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Thread: Breastfeeding while smoking???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    3

    Default Breastfeeding while smoking???

    A friend of mine just had her baby. She smoked while she was pregnant and is still smoking now. She is breastfeeding and is producing way more than her baby needs. I have been looking up the risks of smoking and breastfeeding and am very confused. It seems that no one can say either way that nicotine is transfered through breast milk. Can anyone tell me if it does and how long it takes for it to be out of your system. She just wants to know if she smokes three hours before she nurses what are the chances of the nicotine still being in the breast milk?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    1,073

    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    http://lalecheleague.org/vbulletin/s...hlight=smoking

    I'm not sure if the three hour info is in here, but you might want to check out this link.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    8,591

    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    You must be so frustrated and upset with your friend. One of my friends has 3 children, all easy pregnancies, smoked throughout, had big babies, and smoked while she breastfed. All 3 of her babies were easy. I felt so betrayed by God that my baby was difficult when I followed a healthy diet, gave up smoking, and exercised throught my pg and my daughter was colicky. I tried to convince her to quit, but to no avail. I just think it is stupid to risk the damage it could do in her lo's future. Children whose mother's smoke have a greater risk of smoking, a greater risk of asthma, and a greater risk of obesity. Maybe you could point these risks out to her and perhaps encourage her to quit. That is really the best solution. If you would like me to find documentation of these facts, I will be glad to help!

    Erin
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    I'm glad you posted this question on behalf of your friend; there may well be other breastfeeding moms reading this who are also smoking and need the info.

    LLL has a good FAQ about smoking and breastfeeding that I think will help your friend understand the risks and benefits and make an informed decision about how to manage her breastfeeding. Of course it would be best if she quits smoking, but we recognize that it is tough, tough addiction, and some moms just aren't going to get there right away.

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/smoking.html

    From reading this FAQ and some other LLL info on smoking and breastfeeding, I think there is absolutely no doubt that nicotine passes from the bloodstream of a woman into her breastmilk. The nicotine won't be completely out of her system for quite some time, but this link explains that at about 90 minutes after smoking one cigarette, the nicotine levels in the mother's bloodstream are about halfway gone. So, following this information, it is better to smoke immediately after a feeding than right before a feeding. I don't think there is any way to determine at what point the nicotine is completely gone or at a "safe" level for the baby -- but the evidence is quite clear that a formula-fed baby of a mother who smokes is at higher risk for lots of different health problems than a breastfed baby of a mother who smokes. So if she can't or won't quit, it is still important that she continue to breastfeed.

    The link also discusses the impact on breastfeeding of using smoking cessation aids like a nicotine patch or nicotine gum. If you can encourage your friend to quit, be sure she gets this information, too.

    --Rebecca

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    236

    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    Ok this may not be what you want to hear but smoking and breastfeeding never go hand in hand. In fact babies and smoking never do. Exposure to second hand smoke even in the clothes of the smoker significantly increases the risk of SIDS. No mother would want to take such a risk. I know how hard it is to quit I smoked for many years. I wish your friend lots of luck. She is lucky to have such a suopportive friend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    994

    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    this link has similar information as the la leche link previously posted...but it may have some additional information.
    http://www.kellymom.com/health/lifestyle/smoking.html

    i hope your friend decides to quit for the sake of her baby (and herself)!
    Mommy to...
    Aleina... born on Mother's Day, May 14, 2006...7lbs 4oz, 21.6 inches
    Lauryn Elle...January 26, 2008...7lbs 15oz, 20 inches

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    16

    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    my mother smoked while preg with me. breastfed me for 6 months while smoking. i have severe asthma diagnosed at 6months but present since birth. i used to be in oxygen tents, on machines, and even had tubes and shots in my chest. i clinically died heart stopped and it restarted with a severe attack as a baby.

    the smoke does pass and causes irreversable damage. today im on 1 combo inhaler + albuterol. my kids are at higher risk of developing asthma. my oldest has it. im allergic to fresh fruits to colognes to trees... etc... even antibiotics except a select few...

    id push her to quit or quit bfeeding... shes harming her baby.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,168

    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    Actually, the evidence is very clear that the breastfed babies of mothers who smoke are healthier than the formula-fed babies of mothers who smoke. It is not in the baby's best interests to be deprived of breastmilk, even if that breastmilk has some nicotine in it.

    Sinkittin, I'm very sorry to hear about all your health problems, and of course it would have been better for you and your whole family if your mother had not smoked. I think it's wonderful that you are so committed to breastfeeding your children and to not smoking -- those are incredibly precious gifts to give them, and also yourself.

    This issue of smoking among mothers is clearly one that raises strong emotions from people who have experienced the many serious downsides of that addiction, in themselves or their mothers. Let's all please be very careful that we frame our advice to the original poster in ways that will encourage her friend to make the best-informed and healthiest choice that friend is capable of making.

    My concern here is that if we push mothers away from LLL because we judge them to be somehow unfit or not worthy, all we will accomplish is depriving that mother and her babies of the information and support that they need to breastfeed successfully.

    --Rebecca

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    236

    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    I am in complete agreement with quakermomma. I hope that my previous post was not overly critical.. I would like to say that this is obviously a mom who is trying to do the best for her baby otherwise she would not be looking for this information. She has already made a positive choice by breastfeeding. Once again I wish you and your friend the best of luck.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: Breastfeeding while smoking???

    A couple leaders in our group just went to a seminar where Dr. Jack Newman presented. It was their understanding that he suggests that a mother smoking/ drinking/ on drugs and breastfeeding is better for the baby (at least as far as health/ nutrition benefits) than formula is regardless. I thought that was quite a strong statement and was quite suprised to hear it from a doctor. He went on to say that his concern with the babies of mothers who are under such influences is more their saftey and the possibility of neglect (if the mom is on drugs or drunk) rather than what could be passing through the bm.
    Kristie L.
    LLL Leader
    (the poster formerly known as fezzik812)
    Wife to Brett, Mommy to Seamus (5.1.05), and Emelie (1.18.08)
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."- Ghandi

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