For many new mums breastfeeding is a huge challenge without the added question of should a mother who smokes cigarettes breastfeed?
We know breastfeeding provides many immunities that help babies fight illness. It can 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.
The more cigarettes you smoke, however, the greater the health risks for you and your baby. If you can’t stop smoking, or don’t want to stop smoking, it’s safer for your baby if you cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke.
Researchers believe that not only does the nicotine transferred into mother’s milk upset baby but the passive smoke in the home acts as an irritant. Heavy smoking by breastfeeding mums occasionally causes symptoms in the breastfeeding baby such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.
That is certainly a good reason to stop but we know often that is easier said than done – even if you desperately want to for the sake of your baby.
Of course best of all is to stop altogether but if you are finding that impossible cut down. The less you smoke, the smaller the chance these difficulties will arise.
Don’t smoke immediately before or during breastfeeding. It will inhibit let-down and is dangerous to your baby. If you are going to smoke go outside or into another room and do it immediately after breastfeeding to cut down on the amount of nicotine in your milk during nursing.
Wait as long as possible between smoking and nursing. It takes 95 minutes for half of the nicotine to be eliminated from your body.
We often get calls from new mums who are desperate to stop but concerned about using methods that contain drugs or nicotine.
If you are seeking a nicotine free way to quit, try Anne Penman Laser Therapy – it’s PAIN free, DRUG free and NICOTINE free.