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Smoking and Breastfeeding

Smoking and Breastfeeding It is not good for women, who are still breastfeeding to smoke cigarettes. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which can cause side effects and various health problems to the baby. Therefore, it is vital for nursing mothers, to stop smoking while breastfeeding, because nicotine will mix, with the milk because of smoking. If the milk mixes with nicotine, it will cause several side effects, to your child. Nursing mothers, who are not able to quit smoking, before and after delivery, should reduce on the number of cigarettes that they smoke daily.

In most cases, mothers usually stop smoking, when they are pregnant and later start to smoke when the baby is born. There are women, who believe that, smoking while breastfeeding, is not going to harm the baby, unless if the mother is going to be exposed to the smoke. What, mothers need to know is that, nicotine which is delivered to the baby is not good to the baby. According to experts, it is dangerous to smoke, when breastfeeding more than smoking during pregnancy.

Should nursing mothers breastfeed while smoking

Thou, women who are addicted to smoking cannot be able to stop smoking; they should still breastfeed their baby. Breastfeeding is vital, because breast milk helps; to fight various diseases and it provides the baby with immunities. Therefore, it is not a good option for mothers, to stop breastfeeding because of smoking. If the mother does not want to stop smoking, the mother should reduce the number of cigarettes that she is smoking daily. It is less harmful for the mother, to smoke less than ten cigarettes per day compared, to smoking more than twenty to thirty cigarettes.

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A mother should not opt, for a formula feeding instead of breastfeeding the baby because of smoking. According to health experts, if a woman is smoking and breastfeeding the amount of nicotine, will be transferred twice to the breast milk.

Effects of breastfeeding while smoking

There are various side effects that, nicotine can cause, to the breast milk and they include:

  • Smoking and breastfeeding increases various health complications such as eye irritation, asthma, sinus infections, pneumonia and bronchitis.
  • Nursing mothers who smoke when breastfeeding, their child is at a high risk of having colic. Apart from nicotine affecting their body, the smoke also affects the child.
  • Heavy smoking makes the child ill tempered, compared to non smoking mothers.
  • Women who breastfeed when smoking, their baby is most likely to suffer from various disorders such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea and abdominal cramps.
  • Mothers who smoke their babies are at a high risk of dying from SIDS.
  • Mothers who smoke when breastfeeding, visit the doctor two to three times compared to those mothers who do not smoke.
  • Smoking makes it hard, for the body to be able to absorb vitamins and minerals.
  • Mothers who smoke have a reduced ability of transporting iodine.


How smoking mothers can reduce harmful effects of smoking

The best way, to avoid the effects, of smoking and breastfeeding, is to stop smoking completely. If you have tried to stop smoking and it has become difficult, you should seek for professional help. One of the best ways of stopping smoking is going cold turkey. But, if it is hard to stop smoking, you should still continue breastfeeding because the milk, will protect the baby from various conditions like cold, SIDS and colic. Here are a few tips of how you can reduce, the effects of smoking while breastfeeding.

  • Smoke less number of cigarettes: Reduce the number of cigarettes that you smoke per day. If you smoke heavily while breastfeeding, it will lead to various health complications to the baby.
  • Avoid smoking in the house: You should not smoke in the house because the smoke will remain in the house and it will affect the health of the baby.
  • Do not smoke when breastfeeding wait until the session is over: After you smoke, harmful chemicals reduce one hour after smoking. The chemicals are usually harmful immediately, after you smoke. Therefore, it is not good to breastfeed your child after smoking.
  • After smoking, it is good to wash your hands, hair, and skin. You can also take a shower if possible. Do anything that will remove traces of cigarette from your body and this will help in protecting your baby.
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These tips are essential because they will help, to protect your baby from the effects of smoking but they are not going to eliminate the risks. The best thing to do is to quit from smoking. Pediatricians can agree that, you can continue to smoke, if you are a heavy smoker. It is vital to talk to your pediatrician, about the effects of smoking, while breastfeeding.

Delores C. West is a compassionate healthcare professional with a focus on women's health and wellness. As a certified nurse-midwife, Delores is dedicated to providing comprehensive care to women throughout their reproductive journey. With a warm and nurturing approach, she empowers her patients to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Delores's expertise in women's health makes her a trusted resource for individuals seeking personalized and compassionate care. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more about her commitment to women's health and wellness.