Psilocybin and Breastfeeding

The word “psychedelics” typically conjures an image of an extensive trip accompanied by powerful hallucinations, but contrary to popular belief, microdosing in today’s age is a lot different than that. Today, psychedelics are no longer confined to hippies and experimental 20-year-olds, as parents are beginning to discover the secret joys of psychedelic parenting, especially for new moms, and the impacts of psilocybin on their parenting might be the most profound of all. From the common benefits of microdosing to managing postpartum depression, psychedelics are helping new mothers connect with themselves and their newborns in fascinating new ways.

What is Microdosing?

Microdosing is when individuals consume small amounts of a drug substance, typically a psychedelic, that is too little to cause any visible effects (aka, a full-blown trip), usually around 5% of a conventional dose. Even though visible effects of the psychedelic may not be present, studies have shown the effectiveness of a single microdose to have the ability to make changes on a cellular level and even restore neural connections within the brain. Despite the little quantity consumed, there is evidence that microdosing can produce some of the same benefits as full-dose therapy without triggering the severe and often harmful hallucinatory effects. When done properly, the effects and benefits of microdosing can be tremendous.

What to Expect When Microdosing?

There are many reasons that one may seek out microdosing as a form of treatment. These reasons can vary from improving one’s quality of life to overcoming trauma and there is a strong possibility that microdosing via psilocybin might soon replace conventional antidepressants. This is due in part to the incredible benefits that individuals experience when including:

  • Improved mood and a stronger sense of optimism
  • A drastic decrease in anxiety levels
  • Increased focus and fewer difficulties in concentration
  • Motivation and higher levels of energy
  • Less social anxiety and better handling of relationships
  • More creativity in their thought processes
  • Better sleep quality
  • Improved confidence and mental strength
  • Reduction in the symptoms of depression
  • A greater sense of self-worth
 

While everyone’s experience will vary while microdosing, the common benefits tend to increase the quality of life of those who partake in the process of doing so.

Motherhood & Microdosing

Being a mother can be a tough job with immense responsibilities and a rollercoaster of emotions, especially for new or young mothers. In trying to balance it all “Psychedelic Parenting” is becoming a more mainstream and documented phenomenon as the legalizing of mushrooms gains popularity.

To improve their personal wellbeing and parenting, modern parents, in particular mothers, are turning to a more vibrant alternative through microdosing. The practice allows a mother to retain her responsibilities while also being able to manage their self-care. For many, psilocybin has become a lifeline of personal and parental care management when other choices failed to alleviate the mental and emotional strains of parenthood, and some even said it made them better parents due to their experiences while doing so which included:

  • Properly managing the anxiety of their kid’s safety and mom guilt, as well as, the potential depression that comes with raising a family.
  • New moms with a heightened sense of overprotectiveness towards their littles ones admit that it prevented them from spiraling down their anxious thoughts.
  • Microdosing helped mothers feel a stronger sense of connection with their children, and actually enjoy the time they spend with them on a deeper level.
  • Mothers who practice gentle parenting report that it makes them see their children through a more sympathetic view and gain better control over their nerves.
  • Many moms turned to psychedelic mushroom microdosing after their postpartum depression failed to resolve and reported significant improvement.
  • Many women who were in a committed relationship showed a deeper relationship with their partner and confidence within their skills as parents.
 

While the benefits of microdosing differ from one mom to another, there are certain aspects that they all seem to agree on. Microdosing is not necessarily about chasing a high or adding a certain element of excitement into their daily routines. A lot of the mothers turn to it for the complete opposite motive, to remain well and functioning enough to go on with their usual task-filed days.

breastfeeding-microdosing 

 

“Microdosing definitely helped me arrive at motherhood in such a well-formed way that I felt like I was just given a boost of optimism immediately,” one mother said. 

The Effects of Psychedelics in Overcoming Postpartum Depression

The evolution in the study of psychedelics, specifically the effects of psilocybin, has come to a definitive point in which researchers can prove its undeniable benefits. Recently, Yale produced a study in which a single dose of psilocybin was shown to not only improve neural connections within the brain but they were able to spur new growth of these connections that were lost due to depression. For mothers who suffer from postpartum depression a level of guilt is also typically associated as the chemicals in the brain are off. Through microdosing, mothers are now able to recover from postpartum depression faster and relieve the symptoms in a more natural and long-term manner.

Psychedelics and Breastfeeding

The fact that microdosing psychedelics is helping many moms suffering from stubborn postpartum depression, raises another question, is microdosing safe while breastfeeding?

There’s a reason why it’s difficult to get a straightforward answer; it’s unethical to put a baby’s health to risk to study the unknown effect of a certain substance. While the general recommendation is to wait until the baby is fully weaned, for some mothers suffering from postpartum depression, that seems like a lifetime on its own.

After having a child, around 11% of moms and 4% of fathers suffer from their mental health. Symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) include feelings of hopelessness, irritability, lack of interest in daily activities, inability to experience joy, sleeplessness, exhaustion, suicidal tendencies, memory problems, and difficulties focusing. These symptoms not only affect the mother but also their spouse and their child if left unattended. By microdosing, new parents can balance out their feelings of depression while still maintaining some sense of presence in their family’s lives.

Many mothers are also unwilling to drop the benefits of breastfeeding even if it comes at the expense of their mental health, which raises the question: Is saying goodbye to microdosing while breastfeeding the only option to new mothers?

Here is what we currently know about Psilocybin and Breastfeeding:
  • Psilocybin is considered the safest option while microdosing as it has the shortest half-live of common psychedelics. Within 24 hours of ingestion, the majority of psilocybin and psilocin are expected to be eliminated from the body.
  • Waiting until the time of five half-lives has passed before nursing reduces the presence of the substance in breastmilk and is regarded as safer, but isn’t completely risk-free either.
  • Some mothers report successfully microdosing while pumping to evacuate their milk supply until the time of 4 to 5 half-lives of the psychedelic has passed.
  • Opting for donor breast milk to eliminate all the doubts that come with microdosing, has become another option for microdosing mums, although sometimes expensive and unavailable.
But microdosing while lactating doesn’t come free from risks, so here are things to keep in mind:
  • The long-term effects of magic mushrooms on babies have not been studied yet, so it’s unknown whether or not microdosing can lead to defects in a baby’s growth or normal development.
  • If you’re in an area where psychedelics is not legalized, you can be criminalized and have your child taken out of your care.
  • It’s not advised to practice microdosing if you’re in an area where psychedelics have not been fully legalized as it makes you more reluctant to seek professional medical care when needed
  • Always consult your doctor or primary health care physician before taking any type of drugs that might carry a risk to your baby
 

The truth is, we still have a long way to go before all the aspects of microdosing are based on rock-solid scientific trials and researches, especially when it comes to women’s health and the process of motherhood. However, throughout history, in many indigenous cultures, mothers safely consume psychedelics while breastfeeding, without any stigma and with the adequate health and emotional support they need.

While many mothers might report safely microdosing during lactating without any adverse effects on their child, put in mind that there are many factors to consider that differ from one person to another, and it’s best to have medical guidance on your side to tell you when or if you should worry.

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Next Steps

Even though clinical trials of MDMA and ketamine are getting a decent amount of attention in the research community, and several states have now legalized psilocybin, it will likely be years before recreational use of those drugs comes with formalized dosages or certifiable knowledge of how new moms can achieve the incredible benefits of psilocybin come to fruition.

Until then, only you know what is best for you and knowledge is power. To learn more about microdosing and to find out what the best route for your journey may be, check out the rest of microdosebros.com for more information.

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References:

https://www.insider.com/moms-microdosing-magic-mushrooms-psilocybin-say-makes-them-better-parents-2021-8

https://doubleblindmag.com/psychedelics-and-breastfeeding/