Nowadays, most of the women are aware of the undesirable health implications of smoking during pregnancy. A majority of them manage to quit smoking altogether at least for this purpose. Ideally, they should never smoke again so that they can enjoy the extra health benefits for themselves during the latter part of their lives. However, it is not easy since smoking is a highly addictive habit. People are tempted to 'light up', and they see smoking as a means to alleviate anxiety. Concerning the newborn baby, what all are the bad implications of smoking during the breastfeeding stage? Firstly, and most importantly, never put your newborn child or any young one for that matter, in an atmosphere or environment where these young ones are forced to inhale second hand tobacco smoke. The dangers of this aspect are very well documented and do not need to be gone over again.
If at all possible, you should make your home and surroundings a non-smoking area. If you want to smoke, then go out and smoke. If this is not possible, one should allocate a room for this purpose which is closed off from the rest of the house. The newborn baby should never be taken into this particular room. Coming to the various chemicals contained in tobacco smoke and the smoker's breast milk? The most universally known chemical happens to be nicotine and this gets changed to an element called cotinine by the human body. Cotinine levels in breast-fed babies are found to be 12 times higher than that found in babies of mothers who smoke. This demonstrates that the chemical will pass on through breast milk.
Mother's milk is, by far, the best choice of complete food for your baby, especially in the early days of your newborn baby's life. It helps both the mother and the newborn baby in a large number of ways. Since this is widely considered beneficial for both the parties, the mother should breastfeed even if she does smoke. It has been established that mother's milk tastes more like cigarettes around 40-60 minutes after she smokes. You will have the highest amount of nicotine in your bloodstream as well as breast milk just after you have smoked. You should therefore smoke only after feeding the baby in order to minimise the harmful effects. Quitting the habit of smoking or smoking as few cigarettes as possible is a desirable habit. It has also been shown that using alternatives and/or nicotine replacement products is better compared to smoking tobacco cigarettes.
Under no circumstances should a person smoke while undergoing smoking cessation programs and treatment using nicotine replacement products. This is due to the fact that the levels of nicotine can possibly rise dangerously to higher than normal levels. One would be surprised to know that there are some interesting facts and findings related to smoking as well as breastfeeding. Research studies have shown that mothers who smoke and breastfeed feed their babies only for a shorter duration on an average than those mothers who do not smoke.