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Breastfeeding and smoking

(17 Posts)
likklemum Sun 12-Jun-05 21:04:25

Hi
Please don't shoot me down for this!
I gave up smoking as soon as i found out i was pregs (bout 6 weeks). However, i then started smoking again about 2/3 weeks after ds was born (obviously not in the house or around him). I fully breastfeed. Is there any evidence that smioking is either detrimental for ds or doesnt it make a difference?
A friend told me that her mother had asked and that the HV's and midwives were adamant that it would not effect her baby. But this was 20 or so years ago and am now worried that i shouldn't have snapped up this 'advice' so readily.

Tissy Sun 12-Jun-05 21:07:52

Erm, controversial subject around here, but AFAIK, breastfeeding is likely to do your ds more good than the harm your smoking will do him. As for whether the smoke-stuff gets into your milk, I don't know, but suspect it does, but better breast milk with a little contamination, than formula, I think.

There'll be more responses soon, no doubt!

WigWamBam Sun 12-Jun-05 21:08:52

OK, got this from Google:

Nicotine ingested by smoking tobacco can get into breast milk. Heavy smoking can decrease milk production and to cause vomiting, diarrhoea, rapid heart rate, and restlessness in babies. In general, though, nicotine is not easily absorbed into a baby's intestinal tract and is quickly metabolised.

Babies of smokers are prone to colic and respiratory infections and smoking can increase the risk of SIDS in newborns.

The benefits of breastfeeding still outweigh the dangers. If you do carry on smoking, don't smoke just before breastfeeding, to miminise the amount ingested.

MarmaladeSun Sun 12-Jun-05 22:34:37

Here's an interesting thought for you; did you know that ciggies contain more than 4000 chemicals, and that one of them is formaldehyde? The stuff they use to embalm dead bodies?

kama Sun 12-Jun-05 22:46:12

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debs26 Sun 12-Jun-05 22:50:38

can you breathe the chemicals onto the baby? my mum smokes and her breath stinks all the time, even if she hasnt just had a cigarette (its not bad breath, it is the smoke i mean!) but she has no idea cos thats normal to her. i honestly dont know if chemicals can be passed on like that, its just as a non smoker it is more obvious that smokers breath does smell and while breastfeeding you will obviously be breathing quite closely on the baby. i guess its a just like passive smoking, but over a more prolonged period

likklemum Sun 12-Jun-05 23:30:08

MarmaladeSun - but does that go through to the milk?

Debs 26 -I think it does go in to the same air, which explains why you arent supposed to co-sleep if you or partner smokes? I clean my teeth and wash my hands after a ciggie, but does the bad stuff come up from your lungs? Is there any research on that too?

WWB- Are those 'babies of smokers' facts about babies in smokey houses or babies whose mums smoked when pregnant or babies whose parents smoke full stop?

pupuce Sun 12-Jun-05 23:32:02

I don't know but I find that smokers "smell" of cigarettes (not just breath and fingers) but through their pores.... whether and how this affects a baby (to a dangerous level) I don't know but I can't believe it has no effect at all.

rickman Sun 12-Jun-05 23:34:30

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rickman Sun 12-Jun-05 23:36:41

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WigWamBam Mon 13-Jun-05 07:43:49

Those statements on my post are about babies of people who smoke, not mothers who smoked when pregnant.

Why don't you ask your own HV what the current advice is? They'll probably say that it would be safer if you stopped smoking anyway, but they might be able to give you better advice than we can about how much it's likely to affect your baby, both in terms of breast milk and smoking in the house in general.

gothicmama Mon 13-Jun-05 07:53:58

smoke lingers on clothing and can affect babies, also toxins from cigarettes can be absorbed by the body and released in breast milk- make sure there is an hour minimum between smking and feeding and don't smoke before co-sleep and try and change to clothes that you have not smoked in before holding baby - may be easier to give up if you want to most gp surgery have help 2 quit programmes

Kelly1978 Mon 13-Jun-05 07:58:55

I will still smokign when I had dd and ds1, and was told that bfeeding was better for them whether I smoked or not. I did have more supply problems tho, when I was smoking. I gave up a couple of years ago, and found that with the dts I have had lots more milk. The advice is to avoid smoking right before a feed if possible, but breast milk is still ebtter than formula.

suzywong Mon 13-Jun-05 07:59:39

well done for giving up when you were pg
there's lots of good advice here, but try and cut it out altogether or just as a treat after the last feed before bedtime.

Good luck

SoupDragon Mon 13-Jun-05 08:02:27

I thought you exhaled smoke particals for up to 30 minutes after a cigarette. No idea where I remember that from but washing/cleaning teeth won't stop that. Also, remember that your baby will be breathing close to your skin when feeding/being cuddled.

Prufrock Mon 13-Jun-05 13:29:44

It's actually 2 hours Soupy. The nicotine leaves your breast milk very quickly, but tar etc lingers in your lungs and on your breath for 2 hours post smoking.
I started smoking again after both my babies, but limited it to the evenings once they were in bed, in fact usually only when I was out getting drunk!
A friend did lecture me recently though, saying that although my smoking wasn't harming my kids, it was significantly increasing the risk of me dying sooner - which would also be harmful to them. I haven't had a cigarette since - but then again I haven't been out for a drink since either.

likklemum Tue 14-Jun-05 14:40:53

Thanks for not shooting me down and offering loads of good, impartial advice.MN is great! Obviously is better to give up completley, but glad there are some guidelines.
sorry i repeated a thread!

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