What happens when you’re breastfeeding but still can’t quit smoking?
Disclaimer: I am not condemning smoker, moms who smoke, breastfeeding moms who smoke, this article was written to spread awareness.
We all know that breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for both the mom and the baby.
Breastfeeding boosts baby’s optimal brain development, protects baby from a long list of illnesses, protects the baby from developing allergies, reduces risk of ear infections and gastroenteritis, obesity, SIDS, certain types of cancers and the list goes on.
Now, on the other hand, we also are well aware that smoking is bad for all of us – smoker and second hand smoke. And when it comes to a smoking breastfeeding mom, research shows that their babies are a t an increased risk of colic, respiratory infections and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
Although breastfed babies of smoker moms are at lower risk for these diseases compared to formula fed ones, it of course, is still best to stop smoking
These are the steps you can take:
- Smoke as far away as possible from your baby
- Wash hands and change clothes after smoking.
- Reduce the number of sticks you smoke a day. Fewer cigars mean less smoke and lower levels of nicotine in your milk.
- Smoke after you breastfeed your baby. The nicotine levels in a mother’s blood and milk rise when she smokes, and fall over time. Approximately, after 95 minutes of smoking, the level of nicotine in her blood and milk would have fallen by about half.
- Since smokers see smoking as a stress-reliever, it’ll help if they would find other ways of relaxing to help cope with nicotine withdrawal, like reading, going for a walk, working out, crafting, etc.
Bottom line, non-smoker and breastfeeding > smoker and breastfeeding > smoker and formula feeding.
BUT, always keep in mind that it is still and will always best to quit smoking so as not to expose our kids and ourselves to a long list of diseases (not to mention the fatal ones)