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Q&A Smoking While Breastfeeding

Shari Bruno, Certified Lacataton Consultant


Q What studies have been done to determine the effects, if any, on a child whose breastfeeding Mother is an occasional smoker?

A I'm not aware of any official studies done as to the effects of smoking on breastmilk, though nicotine, like any drug, does show up in breastmilk. The amounts of nicotine are negligible though, even for heavy smokers. Cigarette smoking can also change the flavor of the breastmilk as well as cause minor gastric problems in some sensitive babies, but these things seem to be the exception, not the rule.

If you are pumping breastmilk while away just the smell of cigarette smoke can cause a premature letdown reflex which would effect the amount of breastmilk you can pump. If this is a problem for you then it would be best to avoid smoking, or all smokers, until after you pump.

Of course it is always best to not smoke around a child, but if you are while nursing chances are that as far as the breastmilk is concerned, your child will not know the difference. Shari

Click here to Ask Shari your questions

Shari is the mother of 4, ages 11 months to 13 years. She is a LLL Certified Lacataton Consultant. She provides all mothers who want to breastfeed with information and encouragement.

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kate Sep 28, 2012 04:13:04 AM ET

Hey i have a friend that is breastfeeding her bub but she is still smoking the drug "p". im just abit curious/concerned if you know of any side effects to the baby?

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