Pregnant? See how your baby develops, your body changes, and what you can expect during each week of your pregnancy with the Mumsnet Pregnancy Calendar.
Sudden Infant Death & Smoking(22 Posts)
Hi everyone. I am expecting my first baby and was recently visited by a health visitor who was very helpful and gave me some very useful information. One of the interesting things she told me was that recent studies have shown that in most cases of SIDS, it was linked to smoking in some ways. As a consequence, the advice now is that all newborns and under 1s should stay away from smokers. In fact, she went as far as to say any smokers should change their clothes, wash their hands and brush their teeth before handling a newborn or under 1s. Has anyone heard of this before or know of the studies that she is referring to? It's just that my mother in law smokes and doesn't like to be told about the dangers of smoking to her health (or others for that matter). She gets very defensive and annoyed if anyone brings up the subject of smoking and the dangers it carries. I don't want her to resent me and my baby, and I really want to avoid telling her to go to these extreme measures without knowing all the facts first. Any info or advice on this is much appreciated. Thanks.
I ve never heard of this new advice however my husbands side of the family are all very heavy smokers and will think nothing of smoking infront of me when i was pregnant and infront of children. If you ever walk into their homes the smell hits you like a ton of bricks. They wont be told otherwise so they have seen dd who is 4 years old 3 times and all of these times we have insisted on going out somewhere like a restaurant rather than their house.
As a consequence, the advice now is that all newborns and under 1s should stay away from smokers.
That's utter rubbish.
Thousands of women are born to mothers who smoke. The NHS cannot possibly advise such a thing.
Yes, smoking is bad.
Yes, smokers should go outside to smoke.
Yes, SIDS advice is smokers shouldn't cosleep.
But stay away from completely. That's completely ridiculous.
My son was born 2015 and we had the same advice. My Nan smokes heavily and I told her that under no circumstances would we visit her home until my son was older or she stopped smoking in there for a considerable amount of time. I also got her to change clothes and wash hands before holding him.
Correction: Thousands of
women babies are born to mothers who smoke. The NHS cannot possibly advise such a thing.
under no circumstances would we visit her home
Yes. Advice is that young babies shouldn't go in confined spaces that are smoked it (houses or cars).
That does not mean smokers should stay away from babies.
My baby was born last year and we had similar advice. Not to stay away completely but:
Change outer clothes
Stay away for 15 minutes after cigarette
Always smoke outside
I had this advice when I had DC1
My DM is a smoker and was banned from smoking around me when I was pregnant by DH and she wouldn't have smoked anywhere near DC when he was born, she went right to the end of the garden!
She also washed her hands and changed her top afterwards and before holding DC. She still smokes outside her own house when we visit.
I was lucky that she was so understanding about it but then I think she knew that the alternative was not seeing original holding DC unless we were out at a no smoking place.
I think the best thing to do is to ensure DH deals with his family quickly, telling them what you both expect. They can then choose to go along with your wishes or not.
If they choose not, I would limit seeing them to venues where smoking isn't permitted, so a restaurant etc. It's their choice ultimately.
I thought the cause of SIDs was unknown? It's pretty obvious that a pregnant woman shouldn't smoke and a baby shouldn't be in a smoky environment but unfortunately there have been cases of SIDs where there's no record of smoking.
I don't think brushing their teeth would make any difference whatsoever
Here are a couple of links with a bit of further info...
Op you can find more info about this study here: www.nhs.uk/news/2010/02February/Pages/third-hand-smoking-child-risk.aspx
I don't think it's ridiculous to keep your newborn away from smokers even if they're not smoking around them, but appreciate the sensitivity with mil. I would agree don't meet at her house if she smokes inside but if you don't see her hugely regularly I wouldn't be too concerned about the odd visit without asking her to change her clothes!
I also had a heavy smoking and difficult mil. As DH refused to ask her to change her clothes I always insisted on passing her a clean muslin to put against her top before holding ds- at least that way the smoke particles aren't passing on to his clothes, and we never take him to theirs
Ask the mw to print you some leaflets and give them to mil. Then the info is there in B&W and not your own opinion?!
A friend came to help me with DS when he was a newborn as DH was away on business and she smoked outside, washed her hands, brushed her teeth and changed her top before holding him again.
She would still do this now too if visiting, it's just good practice and frankly it meant she smoked less as it became a hassle so good for her too.
I say this as an ex smoker myself - your MIL has a choice, your baby doesn't - so you and your DH need to enforce these rules early on so she gets into good habits.
Good luck OP
The really big SIDS risk is smoking during pregnancy.
And then it's coming from a household in which anyone smokes.
Your choice is your partner pissing off MIL or risking your baby potentially dying from cot death. It is your choice but I know which one I would pick.
Thank you all for your thoughts and advice so far. Will be taking a look at the links sent. As a mother, I have a responsibility to protect my baby from harm. As suggested, printing out info from the midwife and asking DH to give it to MIL is an idea. However, even DH has said that MIL will think I have put him up to it, even though DH is asthmatic and is anti-smoking himself. It's as though she's in complete denial, so really not sure this will work. One thing I do know is that whatever happens, I will end up upsetting MIL at some point. It's sad because o really want my baby to form a close bond with my MIL, but her attitude to smoking will mean that I have to limit the visits to outdoors areas only, and she will no doubt resent me for it 😔
Thing is, its more personal preference to mothers. I personally wouldnt let my sister or my brother in law who smoke, light up around my son but that doesnt mean i'd tell them to do an entire outfit change and scrub their hands before touching him. I wouldnt really like to visit a house with my newborn son that has been smoked in and that is clearly smoked in because of the smell, luckily they smoke outside the house because they have a 2 year old. That 2 year old mind you, has parents that smoke and obviously is around them 24/7, even though they smoke outside, they still have it on their clothes/hands and shes totally fine. My sister and her other half, dont mind taking my niece to her godfathers who smokes in the house, where as i wouldnt want to take my son there. Its just personal preference to mothers/parents, everyone is different i guess. Obviously yes dont smoke when pregnant, dont co sleep if you're a smoker and dont smoke around baby or in house/cars BUT many people do and they have okay babies. The changing clothes and washing hands is entirely up to the mother to decide if she wants people to do that. X
There is definitely a link to smoking and SIDS.
The bottom line is this advice is not completely unreasonable, a lot of people just don't want to accept it as it makes their life inconvenient. I would never put my baby's health at risk and will certainly not be letting smokers hold my baby unless I am completely satisfied that there body and clothes no longer smell of smoke. If this makes them uncomfortable or annoyed then too bad, my baby is not going to suffer because they are inconvenienced. I appreciate it may affect your relationship with your MIL but really that is down to her, not your.
PS: I am an ex smoker of 30 a day!
The advice is impossible to follow, but it is factually correct. Smoke lingers in clothing and is exhaled for up to an hour after you've stopped smoking. So smokers should change their clothes and not cuddle babies for an hour after their last cigarette . It's not really feasible though is it?
This advice is not only to prevent SIDS, but respiratory infections and asthma, too.
"respiratory infections and asthma, too."
...and glue ear, which is massively more common in the children of smokers, regardless of whether they smoke around the child or not.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.