Breastfeeding and smoking


I know this is a very controviesial subject, but an important one.

The healthiest option for your baby is to stay away from cigarette smoke during pregnancy and after birth. As this decreases the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

However, if you are a smoker and can’t quit you should still continue to breastfeed. Breastfeeding offers your baby protection from respiratory diseases and still provides significant health benefits to both mother and baby.

Most of this advice also applies to smoking visitors as well, so it’s worth a read.

7 ways to limit your baby’s exposure to cigarette smoke


1  limit the daily amount of cigarettes you smoke, fewer cigarette means less smoke, lower levels of nicotine in your breast milk and better health for the whole family 

2  smoke outside, away from baby, protect your baby from inhaling the cigarette smoke

3  use a different set of clothes (or a jacket, or a pashmina) when smoking, that you can remove, so that when you cuddle your baby afterwards they are not breathing in the smoke from your clothes

4  wash your hands after you smoke and before you touch your baby, to remove nicotine from your hands

5  brush your teeth to freshen up your breath and wash off nicotine from your lips before you kiss your baby

6  smoke after you fed your baby, not before or during feeding, the nicotine levels in mothers blood and milk rise during smoking, but fall as much as half about 95 minutes after having a cigarette

7  don’t co sleep (bed share)

Smoking increases the risk of SIDS, if either parent smokes you should make sure you never fall asleep with your baby in bed, risk of SIDS is higher if baby sleeps in bed with a smoker. 

Whether you are a smoker or not you should never sleep with a baby on a sofa or an armchair. 


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