Health

How Cigarette Smoking May Affect Breastfeeding Mothers

Smoking is a bad habit with severe side effects on people’s general health and wellbeing. Mothers who smoke shouldn’t breastfeed, although infants need to be breastfed in order to have a strong immune system. Cigarette smoking may affect your child’s health, and the more cigarettes a mother smokes, the greater the risks.

What happens to newborns when they’re exposed to cigarette smoking?

Kids and infants that are exposed directly to cigarette smoke may develop asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus infections, and ear infections early on in life. Breastfeeding mothers may notice that their babies have colic more often than normal if they smoke daily. Researchers believe that nicotine transfers into a mother’s milk, and that may irritate a baby’s digestive system. Furthermore, smoking is connected to lowered milk production and low levels of prolactin. It would be great if breastfeeding mothers could give up smoking for good. However, that may be difficult, especially if they’ve been smoking for many years.

Statistics

Smoking cigarettes and breastfeeding may disrupt a child’s sleep. According to recent studies, infants wake up more frequently if their lactating mothers are smokers. Even though there are many women that quit smoking when they’re pregnant, some relapse after giving birth. Nicotine is not contraindicating when breastfeeding, although some specialists claim that smoking while breastfeeding does more than just expose the infant to passive smoke.

Nicotine has a direct side-effect on the brain. Even though many women can smoke during lactation without affecting the health of their babies, some studies argue that there might be some side-effects delivered through the breast milk. That’s because the nicotine from the cigarettes, goes straight to the bloodstream, and inevitably in the milk.

 

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The main side-effect is the lack of sleep of the baby. Usually, infants sleep for about 3 hours in a row. But if the mother smokes, that timeframe may decline to one hour and a half, maybe two. The sleep disruption may be because of the nicotine the child gets from cigarettes.

Should breastfeeding mothers quit smoking?

It is indicated to quit smoking if you’re breastfeeding. But then again, we’re talking about a bad habit that’s very difficult to cease. What women can do is smoke at large time intervals. For example, they can have a cigarettes with at last 5 hours before breastfeeding. Another solution might be to switch on to vaping. Unlike normal cigarettes that contain both nicotine and tobacco, electronic cigarettes only contain pre-determined doses of nicotine. They have zero tobacco, and the levels can be easily adjusted.

E-cigs have helped millions of people quit smoking for good. Vaping doesn’t harm the health of those around you, and since it does not contain any tobacco, the smoke you exhale is harmless. Breastfeeding mothers might want to consider vaping instead of traditional cigarette smoking. But once again, even with e-cigs, you still need to have a break between vaping and breastfeeding, just to make sure the nicotine within the e-cig doesn’t interfere with the milk and affect your baby’s sleep patterns.

Breastfeeding is vital for infants

Breastfeeding is extremely important following a pregnancy because it helps strengthen your child’s immune system, reducing the risk of certain cancers, diabetes, and respiratory infection. Some women choose not to breastfeed their babies if they can’t quit smoking, which is not advised. Smoking and breastfeeding may be less harmful than smoking and bottle feeding. There have been many studies done on the topic, and most researchers advise women to take a long break between breastfeeding and smoking.

 

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However, smoking is a bad habit that many women can’t give up on. But there are alternatives you can consider to preserve the health of your child intact. Since e-cigs function on vape coils, at least once a day mothers can choose a level 0 of nicotine. This way your milk won’t trigger any sort of side effects caused by nicotine. It might be a good idea to monitor your infant’s weight regularly, just to make sure he’s in good health.

Brand new types of e-cigs populate the market on a monthly basis. Find out more about vaping and replace your normal cigarettes with an e-cig just to make sure that your baby is on the safe side. It’s not mandatory, but it can be a well-thought precaution measure.

Author Bio: Alfred Stallion is interested in writing about health and fitness related issues. He has a deep knowledge at this field and he keeps sharing his articles at various health issues. You can also find him at Twitter and Google+.