Top ten things you must know about smoking and breastfeeding
01/Jun Top ten things you must know about smoking and breastfeeding

Many moms ask me if it is okay to smoke during the pregnancy or during breastfeeding. To be honest it is not okay to smoke in any kind of circumstances. Mothers who ask this question themselves know that it is going to be harmful for them and their babies.

However if you are addicted to smoking and cannot quit then there are a few ways to be on the safe side at least.

Many mothers around the world have practiced these methods and consider them quite helpful. I myself used to smoke with my first kid but considered taking precautions. I tried to reduce my smoking habits to minimum, so that the effect is minimized. My baby was born healthy and normal and is more active than kids of his age.

1. Cut down number of cigarettes


Cut down number of cigarettes

The first thing you should do is cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. This is also suggested to people who want to quit on smoking. Some people think they can quit cold turkey but for most of them it is easier to reduce the number of fags they smoke per day. There is a thing to smoking as long as you have smokes in your pocket you will keep smoking them one after another. If you want to reduce smoking you should stop buying cigarettes. What you can do is borrow one from your guy when you feel the urge to or buy only two three cigarettes a day. During breastfeeding it is advisable to smoke 4 or less cigarettes a day to prevent the harmful effects.

2. Keep yourself busy

Keep yourself busy

Well after the birth of your new born you would have noticed that you are always busy, most of the times doing nothing. Babies ask for 24 hours a day and you have to attend them no matter what. According to a survey carried out by the University of London in 2008 most people feel the urge to smoke when they are bored or don’t have something to do.  If you feel the urge to smoke you can go to the kitchen take an apple and start nibbling on it. Keep the apple in your hand until the urge to smoke fades away.

3. Change your social circle

Change your social circle

If there are people in your social circle that smoke then it will be hard for you to resist when they light a ciggie. What you can do is either stop seeing your smoker friends or ask your friends and family not to smoke in front of you. This would help. You will not have to resist the smoking urge and secondly your access to cigarettes will get limited

4. Smoke away from the baby

Smoke away from the baby

I understand there are times when you simply cannot avoid smoking. For chain smokers especially they have special times in the day to smoke. Most people smoke after the meals, in the morning- like non-smokers have bed tea, smokers prefer bed ciggie. Before going to sleep and after taking a shower. If you have to smoke then decide two or three times in a day and make sure you do it away from the baby. The cigarette smoke is suspended in the air for 20 minutes after your smoke so never smoke in the room where your baby is sleeping. Go out of the house or on the roof or smoke at a place where there are least chances of your kid being affected. When you are done wash your hands and face properly and use a mouth freshen so that you don’t smell.

5. Give a gap between smokes and feeding

smokes and feeding

If you want your baby to be safe from the effect of smoking what you should do is keeping a reasonable gap between feeding and smoking. You can do it right after feeding him when you know he is full and will not be asking for milk for the next two hours or so. The best time to smoke is right after you feed your baby and put him to sleep. Babies usually have a sleep time of two hours and nicotine takes almost 90-95 minutes to dissolve in the body. So it is advisable to give a gap of an hour and a half between smoking and feeding.

6. Mother feed the best solution

Mother feed the best solution

Many smoking mothers have a concern that whether they should breast feed their kid or not because they want the baby to be safe from harmful effects of smoke.  Doctors around the world recommend breast feeding and there is no alternative to it. If you are a smoking parent then formula milk will not be able to provide the baby essentials to have strong immunity against the nicotine and cigarette smoke. Even if you are a smoking mother it is best to give your baby mother feed as it naturally develops the baby’s immunity system. If you are a smoking mother and do not breast feed your kid then he will be more likely to get effected by the adverse effects of cigarette smoke.

  1. Smoking cigarettes during pregnancy can lead to immature birth or under-weight babies.
  2. Children of smoking parents are more likely to be smokers when they grow up.
  3. The chances of smoke related disease of lungs and other body organs are increased in the kids whose one or both parents are smokers.
  4. It is universally admitted that smoking is harmful and no one can deny this fact.During breastfeeding it is better to avoid all kinds of drugs, alcohols and nicotine containing materials if you cannot quit it then try your best to cut them down. Take plenty of water and liquids so that you are able to feed your baby. Stay super positive and have good thoughts in your mind as your baby is directly affected by what you think and act during the pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Dania Khan
Running a household with 2 kids and an office with 20 more ;) Avid reader, passionate writer, traveler, parent and not a very good friend.

4 thoughts on “Top ten things you must know about smoking and breastfeeding”

  1. I think Smoking is not good either everyone,,we also should avoid themselves and should retain others…..

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