Mommy-Dosing: Why Are So Many Moms Microdosing Psychedelics?

Mommy-Dosing: Why Are So Many Moms Microdosing Psychedelics?

While mothers might seem like an unlikely group of people to work with mind-altering substances, there is an increasing number of moms microdosing psychedelics to handle the challenges of parenthood. 

This growing trend is gaining momentum. So much so that moms are now banding together to create communities, such as M.O.M. – an online membership site and education platform short for Moms on Mushrooms. Their mission is to: “Promote safe, intentional and sacred use of psychedelics” and “De-stigmatize psychedelics. especially for moms.” The site has garnered attention not just from moms but also from the mainstream media, including the likes of Dr. Phil and Good Morning America

What is Microdosing? 

Microdosing involves taking tiny doses of psychedelic substances like psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, ketamine, or ayahuasca, typically every few days, to experience subtle therapeutic effects. It is usually one-twentieth to one-fifth of a standard dose. It does not impair function or cause any of the full-blown experiences that come with macrodoses. 

According to these moms, microdosing makes them feel more grounded, present, and open-hearted toward their children. Some say it alleviates some of motherhood’s tiresome tasks, like toddler meltdowns and endless laundry. It can also enhance joyful moments, fostering gratitude and an appreciation for their children. 

moms juggle a lot. many are turning to microdosing.

Why Do Modern Moms Turn to Psychedelics? 

Mothers often juggle multiple responsibilities–from family obligations and work to the invisible load of meal planning, childcare, and managing school activities. The expectations can be overwhelming and affect their mental and emotional well-being, which can impact their children. In his book Scattered Minds, Dr. Gabor Mate writes, “The formation of the child’s brain circuits is influenced by the mother’s emotional states.” So what could it mean if there is very little joy being directed to the child by their caregiver? A study from the University of Texas Health Science Center linked maternal depression with child anxiety and depression, indicating that when the mother suffers, the children likely do too. 

“When I microdose, I yell so much less,” Tiffany,* mom of two, explained. “I still lose it sometimes, it’s not a cure-all, but I feel like I can emotionally regulate better.” Microdosing is helping moms with anxiety and depression, which could in turn, help their children, but is it an attempt to alleviate symptoms of a much larger issue? 

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What’s Behind the Trend?

For most of human history, we lived communally in tribes or multigenerational homes, with cooking, cleaning, childcare, hunting, and all other responsibilities being shared. With the current nuclear family model, most duties fall solely on the parents. We know it takes a village to raise a child, but what happens when the village falls away? 

“We moved cities a few years ago for my husband’s job,” Maria shared. “I’ve felt isolated and without support. Being home alone with the kids all day really impacts my mood, but since I started microdosing mushrooms, I feel like I’m finally climbing out of the hole.” 

“In my opinion, postpartum depression is a rather rational response to being left alone at home with a newborn baby and a traumatized body.”

– Luiza Sauma

Modern-day motherhood can be incredibly isolating, and women who previously worked may now be on maternity leave, alone with the child, with limited adult interaction. Exhaustion, lack of mom friends, and their partner’s inability to take extended paternity leave can all take their toll. A study from 2021 concluded that “Loneliness and isolation are related to perinatal depression in complex, intricate, and often mutually reinforcing ways.” 

Work-life Imbalance 

The concept of the “second shift” was coined by sociologist Arlie Hochschild. It describes the domestic and childcare tasks after a day of paid work away from home. While men and women can both work the second shift, women typically bear most of these responsibilities, even when they are the primary breadwinner. Many working mothers still find themselves predominantly handling household chores traditionally considered “women’s work” during a time when mothers did not work outside the home. A Gallup poll from 2019 showed that full-time working mothers in the U.S. are more likely than full-time working dads to do many domestic chores like cleaning, shopping, caring for kids, etc. This creates a lack of bandwidth and an incredible amount of pressure for moms. 

HELP OTHERS: Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Certifications and Training

The Traumas Pile Up

And, of course, there is trauma. Unhealed trauma has lasting impacts. When parents have unresolved issues from their childhood, or if they inherited them from past generations, it can impact their mental health and parenting behavior. When we haven’t worked out our woundings, they inevitably emerge and get reflected back to us by our children, which can be incredibly unnerving. 

A mother on the M.O.M.s forum expressed, “First microdosing session was a success! I was able to also stay calm whenever my 11-year-old was trying to pull me into an argument, which is something that I have been failing to do since I get very triggered when he acts out or gets angry.” 

Microdosing may help slow down fiery reactions, but to heal at the deepest level, it is important to identify and bring awareness to what might be underneath the reactions, thoughts or physical sensations. 

The Promise of Microdosing

Microdosing psychedelics is helping many people cope with stress. One study out of the Netherlands found, “The number of activities and the satisfaction with them were higher on the day when participants microdosed.” Many people (not just moms) report that microdosing helps facilitate emotional processing and relieves depression and anxiety. Scientific evidence is growing, and a fair amount of anecdotal evidence suggests that many people are finding mental health relief from it. “I can see the children as who they are now, not who I think I need them to be,” offered Jennifer, a mom who microdoses psilocybin. “I’m more patient and present. I enjoy playing with them more.”

RELATED: Ayahuasca Helped Find Lost Amazonian Children. Can Psychedelics Really Give You Superpowers?

The Dangers of Moms Microdosing

Still, not everyone is sold on the microdosing movement. “There is no conclusive research that says this is safe,” Dr. Phil warns while interviewing Tracey Tee from Moms on Mushrooms on his show. “You can agitate a psychotic into a serious psychotic break.” Tracey agreed that psychedelics are not for everyone. People with pre-existing mental health conditions should check with their doctor before working with psychedelics. 

And, in an article for Healthy Life Recovery, Dr. Sanjai Thankachen writes, “There are also concerns as to the variation of strength, dosage, and origin of the psilocybin being used. The amount of psilocybin in a given quantity of dried mushroom matter (whether encased in a pill or otherwise) varies greatly.” There is little standardization regarding these substances, and appropriate dosing is critical. 

Without strict attention to dosage, there could be severe negative consequences. Start small and gradually increase your dosage. You don’t want to be unexpectedly tripping out in Target.

“I was using 2C-B, which is a psychedelics that comes in a powder. It’s easy to mess up with powders, and I accidentally took two-and-a-half times a normal dose,” Alex confessed. “I had a hard time getting us home from the playground that day.”

RELATED: Shrooms Dosage: Chart, Calculator & How-To Guide

Heal the Mother, Heal the Child

Microdosing likely won’t solve our systemic issues, but it is bringing relief to many moms who were previously struggling. Mothers are stewards of future generations. If we want to have a thriving society, it is vital that we support our children. Which means we need to start by supporting the mothers.

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Mindful Microdosing: A Guide

While the effects of microdosing are subtle, the shift in perspective can be profound. Below are some tips to help you maximize insights and create long-term changes.

  • Integration – These substances can bring up past wounds, and working with a professional (either a psychedelic integration coach or a therapist familiar with psychedelics) can help you navigate the shadows and turn insights into shifting behaviors. If you can’t afford a private coach, consider an online integration circle or collaborating with a friend to help keep you accountable.
  • Set an intention – Intentions can help you target specific areas of your life or aspects of yourself that you want to work on. This focus can lead to deeper insights and more transformative experiences.
  • Gratitude – Plants and fungi might not look like us, but they are very much sentient beings. If you choose to work with them, remember to offer gratitude for the many gifts and insights they grant you.
  • Choose a protocol – There are a variety of protocols to follow. Do your research and experiment to see what works best for you.
  • Sourcing – You can’t go to your local pharmacy to pick up some psychedelics. Not yet, anyway. Since psychedelics are still illegal in many places, acquiring these medicines can be tricky. Some people turn to the internet, where there is little to no accountability. Finding a credible and safe source of psychedelics can take time, but it’s necessary. If sourcing is an issue, consider microdosing ketamine. It is legal and prescribed by a doctor. 
  • Dosage, low and slow – No one-size-fits-all dose exists as everyone metabolizes mushrooms differently. Start with half the dose you think you might want. Go up or down from there. 
  • Track and journal – Tracking your mood, thoughts, and physical sensations can help you see patterns over time to understand better how the protocol impacts you. These substances can bring up very challenging emotions; journaling is a great way to process what is coming up. 
  • Connect with community – Having a supportive network can only improve outcomes. Find your people to help support you on your microdosing journey.  
  • Contraindications – Psychedelics don’t go well with all pharmaceuticals or medical conditions. Always do your research
  • Keep it away from the kids – Like any medicine, keep out of reach of the children. Buy a cheap locking safe and don’t tell your kids the code.  
  • Limit the timeframe – Microdosing isn’t meant to be forever. Take time off to re-evaluate your needs. 
  • Remember, you are powerful – Some scientists have given the “placebo effect” a bad rap, often dismissing it as unimportant. But studies indicate that you can shift your physiology through your conscious or even unconscious beliefs. You hold within you the power to transform with and without these sacred medicines.  

* Names have been changed to protect anonymity.

Kathleen Raftery

Kathleen Raftery

View all posts by Kathleen Raftery

Kathleen Raftery is a mother, writer, producer and herbalist. She’s been working with sacred plant medicines for over 25 years and believes these transformative beings could hold the key to healing humanity and our planet. She lives on a micro-farm in rural Texas with her husband, two sons, dog, sheep, and chickens.

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