Smoking and Breastfeeding – Inherent Risks

If you are breastfeeding your child and you are smoking, you are not only putting yourself at risk for fatal illnesses but you are also hurting your baby as well.

Let's face it, we all know that smoking is bad for you. There is only one thing worse then just harming yourself when you choose to smoke and that that smoking when you are breastfeeding. However, many experts still believe that it is very important for a mother to breastfeeding regardless of whether she is smoking or not. Obviously, if she chooses to smoke, there can be complications for the baby.

One of the first things a woman will notice if she smokes while continuing to breastfeeding her child is that her production of milk will slow down veryly. Their milk supply will also have lower amounts of vitamin C in it. The introduction of nicotine to a baby can greatly increase their risks of becoming colic. Studies show that the chances of developing colic go up 14% versus the babies of non-smokers. That seems like a big risk to take regarding your baby just for a quick puff on a cigarette.

Other complications that one might see with their babies, should they continue to smoke while breastfeeding, are problems with nausea as well as dirrhea. Babies who are exposed to second hand smoke will also show problems with being more prone to allergies, bronchitis, pneumonia and even sudden infant death syndrome.

If you are one of the many mothers who are finding it hard to give up the cigarettes and you still want to give your baby the benefits of being breastfed then you may want to look into what options you have to kick the habit and make your body healthier for both you and your baby. There are many ways you can stop smoking such as patches and support groups. Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that the patch is something that will be good for you and your baby as well.

If you find that you can not quit then you will want to be sure that you switch to the lowest nicotine content and cut way back on the amount that you smoke. Be sure not to smoke during or right before you breastfeeding as this is the time when the nicotine is at the highest in the body. Also be sure not smoke near the baby to eliminate the chances of second hand smoke. Always be sure to check with your doctor to make sure that you are doing what is best for you and your baby whether you can quit or not.