How Long After Smoking Can I Breastfeed My Baby
First, moms who can not stop smoking should breastfeed. Breastfeeding provides a number of immunizes that help your baby fight illness. They can even help counteract some of the effects of cigarette smoke on your baby: for example, breastfeeding has been shown to decrease the negative effects of cigarette smoke on a baby’s lungs.
Definitely, it is better if breastfeeding moms not smoke. But if you can’t stop, then it is better to smoke and breastfeed than to smoke and formula feed.
The greater the health risks for you and your baby from a number of cigarettes that you smoke. It’s safer for your baby if you cut down on the number of cigarettes that you smoke. If you can’t stop smoking, or don’t want to stop smoking so how long after smoking can I breastfeed my baby?
Before I tell you about that, let’s know what happens to babies when they are exposed to cigarette smoke?
- Babies and children have a much higher incidence of pneumonia, asthma, ear infections, bronchitis, sinus infections, eye irritation, and croup.
- Colic occurs more often. Researchers say that not only does the nicotine transferred into mother’s milk upset baby, but the passive smoke in the home acts as an irritant.
- Cigarette causes symptoms in the breastfeeding baby such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
- Babies of smoking parents have a seven times greater chance of dying from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
- Children of smoking mothers or fathers have two to three times more visits to the doctor, usually from respiratory infections or allergy-related illnesses.
- Children who are exposed to passive smoke in the home have lower blood levels of HDL. The good cholesterol that helps protect against coronary artery disease.
- Children of smoking mothers or fathers are more likely to become smokers themselves.
- Researchers found that growing up in a home with smoking parents could double the child’s risk of lung cancer later in life.
Still Wondering How Long After Smoking Can I Breastfeed My Baby?
Before I answer that, first read the effect of smoking:
- Earlier weaning, that researchers showed that the heaviest smokers tend to wean the earliest.
- Milk production decreased
- Interference with milk
- Lower levels of prolactin, because the hormone prolactin must be present for milk synthesis to occur.
From researches (Laurberg 2004) indicated that smoking mothers who live in areas of iodine deficiency have less iodine in their breastmilk compared to nonsmoking mothers.
How to minimize the risk to your baby if you are still smoking?
- Stop smoking altogether.
- Don’t smoke before or during breastfeeding, because it will inhibit let-down and is dangerous to your baby.
- It takes 95 minutes for half of the nicotine to be eliminated from your body or wait as long as possible between smoking and nursing.
- Avoid smoking in the same room with your baby, or away from your baby and other children.
- Don’t allow anyone else to smoke near your baby.