There are plenty of reasons to quit smoking, both for you and your baby. But breastfed infants are at lower risk for these diseases compared to artificially fed infants, even when their mothers continue to smoke. And breastfeeding helps to protect babies from the potential risks of environmental smoke.
Breastfeeding provides significant health benefits for mothers and babies. For babies, it reduces their risk of diabetes, certain cancers, respiratory infections, diarrhoea, and many other health problems. Breastfeeding is just as beneficial for the smoking mother and her baby as it is for the non-smoking mother and her baby.
Smoking is one of the most difficult addictions to break. Smoking and breastfeeding is better for both you and your baby than smoking and formula feeding. If you smoke, your baby will still benefit from breastfeeding.
A study from the Monell Chemical Senses Center reports that nicotine in the breast milk of lactating mothers who smoke cigarettes disrupts their infants' sleep patterns. Mennella, PhD, a psychobiologist at Monell. The findings, published in the journal Pediatrics, raise new questions regarding whether nicotine exposure through breast milk affects infant development. While many women quit or cut down on smoking while pregnant, they often relapse following the birth of the baby.
Pregnant women who smoke risk the health and lives of their unborn babies. Almost every developing organ system is affected by the chemicals in tobacco smoke. This increases the risk of things like:.
A small pilot study of eight women suggests that mothers who smoke marijuana transfer small amounts of THC to their children via breastmilk. Smoking pot during pregnancy has received much more attention. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.
The numerous health hazards associated with smoking tobacco are well researched and documented. There is no safe time to smokebut in some situations, the potential for harm is more unequivocal than usual. One such situation is smoking before and during pregnancy.
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Using tobacco or e-cigarettes while breastfeeding can allow harmful chemicals to pass from the mother to the infant through breast milk or secondhand smoke exposure. Mothers who use tobacco or e-cigarettes should be encouraged to quit; regardless, breastfeeding provides numerous health benefits and breast milk remains the recommended food for an infant. Nicotine and other harmful chemicals are found in cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and chewing tobacco.