Can you smoke cigarettes while breastfeeding is the next query we answer in this article.
Before starting, it is important to know that foods and their nutrients are passed from your body to your kid’s system when you breastfeed him/ her.
Be it a fluid that you are consuming or a food that you crave to jump on to, your baby is bound to absorb or consume what you’re taking in into your system.
For this very reason, we’ve been strictly sticking to foods that are healthy for your baby as well, not just yourself when you consume them, in our previous article.
Anything harmful for you and your baby is a big NO-NO for consumption.
With that being cleared, the very next question that would come into my mind if I was a smoker would be: “can I smoke cigarettes while breastfeeding?” – this is because it’s neither a food nor a fluid that I’m taking in, but smoke.
What do you think the answer is? Can you smoke cigarettes while breastfeeding? Let’s find out.
Breastfeeding and Smoking: What happens when you expose your baby to smoke?
Before answering whether you should smoke or not, let’s find out what happens if your baby is exposed to smoke.
1 – Pneumonia:
Pneumonia is a disease or an infection found in any of the lungs, causing inflammation and making it hard for one to breathe.
If your baby is exposed to smoke, he/ she has more chances to be affected by pneumonia.
2 – Asthma:
Asthma, just like pneumonia, affects the airways, leaving you hard to breathe.
Babies exposed to smoke can easily be affected by asthma.
3 – Ear infections:
Smoking also causes ear infections with the passage of nicotine from your breastmilk into your baby’s system.
4 – Bronchitis:
It is a type of inflammation which narrows down your airways that carry air to your lungs, and it’s very dangerous for a baby to have.
Unfortunately, if your baby is exposed to smoke, he/ she can get affected by bronchitis as well.
5 – Sinus infection:
Sinus infections (sinusitis) is when cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed – happens to babies exposed to smoke.
6 – Croup:
Croup, a common respiratory problem found in young children, causes swelling and narrowing in the voice box, breathing tubes, and windpipe.
If your baby is exposed to smoke, he/ she can end up to have croup as well.
7 – Eye infection:
Several eye infections also occur due to smoke, for instance, eyes swelling.
It is advised to keep babies away from smoke to prevent this from happening.
8 – Colic:
Colic basically means the crying of a baby for more than 3 hours, non-stop.
If your baby is exposed to smoke, he/ she might get hit by colic as well.
9 – Fussiness:
Your baby can become fussy if his/ her mind is affected by smoke, leaving him/ her disturbed and willing to have more of everything.
You don’t want that to happen, do you?
10 – Vomiting:
Baby, in most cases, will start to vomit once he/ she has consumed your breastmilk and it has nicotine present in it.
11 – Nausea:
Nausea doesn’t have a single cause; it has multiple outcomes like dizziness, fainting, migraine, etc.
Babies exposed to smoke can get affected by nausea as well.
12 – Diarrhea:
Nicotine, once transferred into the baby’s system, can disturb the digestive tract in your baby, leaving him/ her to have diarrhea or stomachache as well.
And that’s not only the case for your baby, you might also experience diarrhea, not caused by breastfeeding but by excess consumption of nicotine.
13 – Abdominal cramps:
As mentioned earlier, nicotine can disturb the digestive tract, causing abdominal cramps, diarrhea, or indigestion.
14 – SIDS:
SIDS or sudden infant death syndrome is when your baby dies within a year, mostly during sleep.
This often happens to babies who are exposed to smoke from an early age – in this case, from birth.
15 – Respiratory infections:
Smoke or nicotine can make your baby’s respiratory system weak or infected in most cases, making it hard for him/ her to breathe normally.
16 – Lung cancer:
As you might know, smoking is one of the major causes of lung cancer.
A baby exposed to it from a very early age is very dangerous.
17 – Smoking:
If your baby is exposed to smoke, he/ she will become a smoker too as he/ she is somewhat used to it already.
And now that you have an idea of what actually happens behind the scenes of when a baby is exposed to smoke/ smoking, let’s move on to answering whether you can or can’t smoke cigarettes while breastfeeding – you should know that by now though.
Can you smoke cigarettes while breastfeeding?
To answer this query, it has two parts: one for those who can quit smoking and one for those who can’t.
- If you are a person who can’t give up smoking, then you are advised not to stop breastfeeding as well. Your baby gets most of its required nutrients from your body into his/ her system.
Feeding formulas like powdered-milk don’t help at all. You must not try to replace your own capability of feeding your baby with powdered-milk or other formulas as they are very unhealthy.
- If you can give up smoking, that’s the best thing you can do for your own self and your baby. Congrats to you!
That said, try to work for leaving cigarettes if you can. And if you can’t, you can carry on breastfeeding as well – sure, it’s unhealthy, but not as much as providing your baby with formulas than your own breastmilk.
Also, your capability of breastfeeding is also lowered when you smoke.
Your body produces lesser milk than it should, and even in the produced milk, the amount or levels of prolactin found are very less, used for milk synthesis to occur.
The taste of your breastmilk is also changed due to nicotine found in it.
Another study claims that the flow of milk from your system to your baby’s is also lowered if you are a smoker.
Mentioned below are the extras included in this article for you to have clearer image about the topic.
How to minimize the risk to your baby from smoking?
Try these ways if you really care for your baby to survive and be healthy.
- Give gaps: Studies have found that if you are a smoker and can’t give it up, the best thing you can do is give gaps between the time you smoke and the time you breastfeed your baby. The nicotine found in smoking stays for at least 3 hours in your breastmilk. It, therefore, is best to breastfeed your baby after at least 3 or 4 hours.
- Cut down: Next thing you can do is lower down the consumption of cigarettes throughout the day.
- Nicotine replacement: There are several products you can use to stop consuming nicotine like e-cigarettes, gum, inhaler, etc. that help to quit smoking as well.
- Avoid exposure: Another way to minimize the risks attached to smoking and babies is to not smoke in the same room or spot, next to your baby.
- Stop people: Next thing you might want to keep track of is to stop people from smoking next to your kid. Just like you’re restricted to not smoke around your baby, so are other people – in the end, it’s smoke that’s dangerous to your baby.
- Quit smoking: Lastly, the best thing you can do to end the risks attached to smoking and your baby is to quit smoking.
Smoking While Breastfeeding Facts:
For a clearer picture of what we’ve learned so far, let’s put them into a list.
Following are all the smoking while breastfeeding facts that we learned in this article:
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of pneumonia.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of asthma.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of ear infections.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of bronchitis.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of a sinus infection.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of croup.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of eye infection.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of colic.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances to fuss more.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of vomiting.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of nausea.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of diarrhea.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of abdominal cramps.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of dying from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of respiratory infections.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of lung cancer.
- Babies exposed to smoke have more chances of becoming smokers.
With total of 17 smoking while breastfeeding facts that show smoking is dangerous, it is clearer for you to stop smoking today before it’s too late.
A. Thera are 17 facts about how smoking while breastfeeding is injurious for your baby.
B. No, you can’t smoke while breastfeeding.
C. If you can’t quit smoking, you can breastfeed while smoking – don’t let the baby grow on formulas and powdered-milks.
D. You must quit smoking today.