Posted by: Admin | March 24, 2011

Dear LC, Can I smoke cigarettes if I am breastfeeding?

It is always better to breastfeed and smoke, than to smoke and not breastfeed. Let me explain…

Research shows that babies coming from parents who smoke have an increased risk of respiratory infections. It is also shown that breastmilk protects babies against illnesses and that it has a strong protective effect against upper respiratory tract infections. So the answer is YES, you can still smoke while you breastfeed!

We all know it is better for a mother not to smoke at all, as it will affect her health. Ideally, a mother should decrease the amount of cigarettes she smokes. Also, parents should never smoke in the presence of their children and never in the house, as not smoking around the baby or in the house will allow him to breathe good clean air. And we should not forget the effect of the second hand smoke from objects or clothing: if there is a cigarette smell on anything, it should not be around the baby. The mother should change her clothes after smoking and make sure that everything her baby uses is free of cigarette smoke.

Research also tells us that infants from mothers who smoke wean earlier compared to infants from non-smoking mothers. Smoking affects the hormones produced by the mother’s body, and the milk ejection reflex is usually decreased in a mother who smokes. As we know that smoking before breastfeeding can decrease the let-down, it is recommended that mothers refrain from smoking for 1 or 2 hours before breastfeeding their baby.

In conclusion, it is better not to smoke, but if you cannot stop, try to decrease the amount of cigarettes you smoke, never smoke in the house or around your children, keep what they come in contact with smoke-free, and don’t smoke immediately before you breastfeed. Breastfeeding has so many benefits that it is better to breastfeed even if you smoke!

Next “Dear LC” post : Is it OK to drink coffee if I breastfeed my baby?


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