Original Publishing found at >>> The mama struggle <<< Real talk about the complexities of motherhood. One story at a time.
As a pregnant mother of a toddler, every day is a struggle to feel well enough, and energized enough to take care of my household. The first 16 weeks of my second pregnancy involved constant nausea, some vomiting, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, light headedness, and dizziness. I think we all can agree that motherhood is a beast and that birthing people should do what works to safely manage it. This not only includes out of whack hormone levels, mood swings, and sleep deprivation, but even the management of intrusive thoughts, anxiety, rage, trauma, and even grief. As more resources are being put forth to combat an abysmal maternal and infant mortality rate in the US, we are now more educated than ever about the chemical, physical, and emotional changes that birthing people go through before, during, and after giving birth.
That being said, more and more individuals are taking autonomy over their experiences and choosing to birth and heal from birth on their own terms. Some of those changes include an increase in the use of doulas and midwives, and an increased incidence of home births, especially now during the pandemic. With birthing communities demanding more autonomy in the decision-making regarding birth, we also see an increase in the use of CBD products designed to help manage not only pregnancy and postpartum symptoms Whoopi Goldberg and her daughter started a company that makes products specifically aiding menstruation symptoms. Even Kim Kardashian had a CBD themed baby shower.
As we find out more about the intensity of prenatal and postpartum symptoms that birthing people experience and are more well-versed on details regarding the scope and incidence of PMADs (perinatal mood disorders that include postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum rage, and even postpartum psychosis), it is no wonder that people are seeking alternative therapies to fill a very real gap in care that the medical industry is struggling to fill. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Megon Dee Cave, cannabis chef and owner of Oracle Wellness Co. to discuss her decision to integrate the use of her specifically designed line of CBD products throughout her pregnancy and postpartum periods.
I asked her specifically how she broached the subject of CBD integration with family, friends, and medical providers. During her first pregnancy in 2011, she indicated that she was met with a lot more inconsiderate pushback than she did with her most recent pregnancy and birth in 2019 as CBD product use has become a lot less taboo and a lot more mainstream. Megon’s approach to cannabinoid integration “is from a perspective of reclaiming the human experience when it comes to motherhood and bringing a new life into the world."
[The use of] cannabis and herbs as medicine in pregnancy is not new and has been practiced for centuries within different cultures to aid in pain relief, inflammation reduction, nausea relief, hormonal migraine relief, and insomnia just to name a few ailments. I pose the question of comparing [the use of] opioids [typical in hospital births] vs. plant medicine as pain management tools. What are the pros and cons? It’s about knowing your options and making the best decision for you and your family.”
The second time around, Megon chose to work with a clinic of midwives (still wary of the negative stigma around CBD use in hospital births) who were pro-CBD and supportive of her choice as long as they weren’t the ones administering it.
At the end of the day, Megon was very open about understanding people’s trepidation regarding CBD products and motherhood. “This backlash/pushback is often from a place of miseducation or lacking information. Education is key to normalizing cannabinoids as medicine. I simply educate them through my own personal experiences of cannabinoid integration. If you are prepared with the facts then there is little room for opposition.” I found Megon’s ability to critically examine the medical industry’s pain protocols while also having empathy for those who may not be supportive of such a choice refreshing.