Is cannabis the answer to the rising maternal mortality crisis?
After my beautiful surprise of a home birth with my first son, Messiah, I was rushed to the nearest hospital where I had to get stitches for third degree lacerations (including what I know now as the Husband Stitch) and where I spent the first two days postpartum. It was ridiculous. We barely ate or slept the entire time. My first shower and trip to the bathroom was a horrible experience in a sterile, cold environment with nurses coming in and out every two hours. What I remember most from that experience is when I asked the nurses/doctors for pain medication, they told me the only two options I had were, Tylenol or Oxycodon. I was in a lot of pain and I knew that Tylenol would be of little help. I was in so much pain, not from giving birth, but from these stitches that the OB violently sutured. I knew from childbirth education classes, that narcotics interfere with breastfeeding and bonding, and isn’t safe for the baby. So I couldn’t understand then why a highly addictive narcotic was being offered to women immediately after giving birth.
Our body’s works really hard after birth regulating hormones, contracting the uterus, producing breastmilk, releasing the placenta, allowing us to love on and care for our babies. If women are given addictive drugs at such a sensitive time, the risk of dependency is so much greater! I’m thankful that I knew better, that I knew to look up the names of the drugs they offered me, and that I was able to deny them even though I was in so much pain and even after being repeatedly offered the narcotics. Still, however, I suffered in pain and in silence after giving birth for a long time because I refused harmful pharmaceuticals.
This shocking reality is why I advocate for cannabis consumption during postpartum, especially. Cannabis works by binding to receptors in our body and alleviates the cause of pain, it doesn’t numb the pain like synthetic chemicals. Plus, there are no side effects. Safe cannabis consumption is important for pregnant & nursing mothers and we deserve access and education for natural pain relief to aid any discomfort related to pregnancy and childbirth. Traditionally, cannabis in various methods of consumption was used to induce labor, to speed up a stalled birth, for a faster and easier birth, and to stop hemorrhage, as well as treating symptoms related to postpartum depression and psychosis.
So to answer the question, can cannabis be used to address maternal mortality?
For me and more many other families who choose cannabis,
the answer is yes.