Breastfeeding and smoking vs Formula Feeding

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/07/2011 ( 32 moms have responded )

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Ok, so I know the age old debate of *breast is best* but what if the mother smokes? Do you still think this? I have read many articles stating that mothers who smoke should STILL breastfeed...what do you think? Do you think formula is better at this point?

http://www.loveyourbaby.com/breastfeedin...

This is assuming the mother won't, or cannot quit...

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Charlie - posted on 02/07/2011

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This is from the Australian breastfeeding association :

Smokers may choose to give up breastfeeding because they fear contamination of their milk is a greater risk to the baby than artificial feeding. It is important to remember that artificial milks do not have any of the unique nutritional or immunological advantages of breastmilk and that it is preferable to continue breastfeeding. It is actually more important to stop smoking in families where infants are artificially fed (Chen 1989).



To reduce potential harm from smoking all parents should be encouraged to:

* quit if at all possible.
* smoke outside the house and car.
* smoke only AFTER feeding to reduce nicotine exposure. Try to use other comforting techniques for the baby for 90 minutes after smoking. (This is difficult with a young baby who is feeding frequently, but may be possible once baby has established routines).
* avoid vegetables containing considerable amounts of nicotine - eggplant, green and pureed tomatoes and cauliflower. Ten grams of eggplant provides the same amount of nicotine obtained in three hours in a room with minimal tobacco smoke (Laurence 1985).
* breastfeed exclusively for the first six months to maximise the infant's protection against respiratory disease, and continue to breastfeed as long as possible.
* do not take the baby into smoky environments.

http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/d...

User - posted on 02/08/2011

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I find the 3rd hand smoke argument misleading in the extreme. Yes, it is there exactly as described, but it is not the only harmful, or worst, smell/chemicals on your clothes or in the air. Definitely far from being the most harmful. Talcum powder, perfume, car exhaust, human dust, feces dust, insect dust, fabric softener, detergents, artificial fibers, dyes, makeup, pesticides, herbicides, soaps, plastics, outdoor industry air pollutants, etc. all gets onto, into and then radiates off your clothes. My husband smokes a pipe, but the tobacco smoke on his clothes doesn't scare me, it's the possibility of something from his job instead that scares the crap out of me. Our kids are not allowed around his work clothes and especially his boots.



I have a mild sensitivity to tobacco smoke, but I am extremely allergic to perfumes. Because of today's modern war on cigarettes, I'm seldom around that problem against my will, but I am bombarded daily by perfumes which give me severe headaches, coughing fits, breathing problems, and worse. I am also as allergic to some plastics. Especially plastic wrap. I can't even be in the same room with it the smell is so bad. I can't eat food it has touched either.



The point is demonizing cigarette smoke over all else is extremely short sited.

[deleted account]

Breast is still best even if mom smokes because there is still 3rd hand smoke on the mom so the baby will be affected whether it is breast or formula fed. At least with the bf the baby is getting things that cannot be gained from formula, which may actually help protect the baby from the affects of the smoke.

Meghan - posted on 02/08/2011

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I managed to make it through pregnancy and breast fed until 8 months before I started smoking again. I felt like shit doing it-always washed my hands, had an outdoor sweater and made sure he didn't need to feed within the hour...I have been told that a male smoking affects a developing fetus and women smoking before or up to realization-regardless of quitting before pregnancy- has an effect on a baby. Don't know if that's true or not... Defiantly isn't ideal but it is what it is.

Becky - posted on 02/07/2011

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Unless the mother doesn't feed the baby at all, he is still going to be exposed to at least third hand smoke if she's smoking, so I would stay breast is still best.

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Catrina - posted on 12/23/2012

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BREAST FEEDING AND SMOKING IS DEFINATLY BETTER THAN FORMULA FEEDING AND SMOKING. THE BREAST HAVE ANTIBODIES THAT COUNTERACT WITH THE SMOKE. THEREFORE ELIMINATING THE FULL AFFECTS IT WOULD'VE HAD. SMOKING AND FORMULA FEEDING IS WORST BECAUSE: A- YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE RIGHT FORMULA FOR YOUR BABY. WHICH IN OTHER WORDS, YOU HAVE TO EXPERIMENT WITH HIM/HER. B- YOUR BABY HAVE NO PROTECTION AGAINST THE SECOND HAND SMOKE, SICKNESS, ALLERGIES, ASTHMA. C- IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS LIKE, NATURAL DISASTERS ONLY BREAST MILK IS DEPENDABLE. ECT...NEED I SAY MORE??? BREAST FEEDING IS BEST! HANDS DOWN. THE PROS OUT WEIGH THE CONS BY FAR. UNLESS YOU'RE NOT SMOKING AT ALL. THERE'S NO ARGUMENT. PEOPLE VOUCHING FOR FORMULA NEED TO STFU. OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVE'NT DONE YOUR RESEARCH, SO I FORGIVE YOU. #POW

Stifler's - posted on 02/08/2011

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yeah, we all worry too much about lung cancer, nicotine addiction...

Rosie - posted on 02/08/2011

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i would think that breastfeeding would still be better. nicotene can clear up out of the milk within 3 hours, and peaks at about 30-60 min. after smoking. you can feed when you dont' have any nicotene in your milk anymore.



nicotene is of concern in breastmilk. i would assume that a child could become addicted to nicotene and experience withdrawal. not good IMO. i have also read studies that it affects their sleep, they are more restless, and have trouble sleeping. but still i believe it would be better to breastfeed if you could get rid of the nicotene.

Jenny - posted on 02/08/2011

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In my opinion smoking has no redeeming qualities and is no better for a breast feeding or formula feeding mother. I smoked for 12 years and dropping it for my kids was one of the best things I ever did.

Tracie - posted on 02/08/2011

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assuming she smoked through the pregnancy...? the baby's probably used to the nicotine in it's diet by now- as long as there's no actual 'smoking while breastfeeding'... hahaha, people worry about way too much I think. If it's really bothering the mother- there's no better time to give up!!! It stinks and your baby will stink of smoke no matter how hard you try. Many of my friends have now given up and feel and smell sooooo much better (literally, they say things actually smell and taste better!!) take the chance to save some money and go shopping for yourself for a change, as a reward :-) It's totally worth it! good luck to the smoker ;-)

Brandi - posted on 02/08/2011

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I am with Marina, I am surprised. I think formula would be better. Nicotine for your baby cannot be good.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/08/2011

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I am actually suprised by the results of this thread. Very interesting.

User - posted on 02/08/2011

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Breastfeeding still better hands down. At least breast milk doesn't have the possibility of (and accepted, btw) insect parts and all that brings to the mix. Not to mention human error from the scientists who thinks they know what best for your infant to the guys on the production floor mixing those ingredients. No, breast milk all the way.

Smoking has been around for centuries, btw. I'm not advocating it or saying you shouldn't stop smoking when breast feeding (I stopped). But despite tobacco we still manage to march on as an overall healthy and intelligent society. I personally believe the relatively recent (last couple of generations) epidemic of obesity, diabetics and such, are more a result of the artificial food we create and eat, from additives to vitamins, than anything else. I love science (for exploration absolutely), but some science is causing our problems and then we turn around and expect more science to fix it. It is a self perpetuating industry in and of itself. I refuse to buy in. (sorry about the tangent)

Lacye - posted on 02/07/2011

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Bonnie, a lot of people don't realize how dangerous it is. They don't know that the smoke that lingers on their cloths can be harmful.

Stifler's - posted on 02/07/2011

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Interesting. I would have thought it would be recommended to formula feed. You learn something new every day!

Kristin - posted on 02/07/2011

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i'm a smoker and have breast fed my son since day one, he is almost 7 months old now.
i smoke outside on my porch or in the basement when he is on the third floor sleeping. i wear a jacket when i smoke and wash my hands very well afterward.
i have never noticed anything wrong with my child. when i go into a relatives house that does smoke, i put me and my son in a different room far away from the smoke.
breastfeeding is still important and should not be stopped by a smoking mother.

[deleted account]

I'm sorry. Believe me, I understand. My ex quit smoking before we ever started dating, but started up again sometime after leaving me. I HATE that my kids are exposed to it, but do appreciate that he no longer smokes near them. The first visit he ever had w/ my son.... my son freaked out, so of course my ex was holding him.... and he smoked. When my son came home for his 'nurse and nap' break..... I spent 2 hours being allergic to my own kid even though I stripped off all his clothes (and left them outside) and baby wiped him as soon as he got home. I'm grateful that my kids aren't nearly as sensitive. Even though I KNOW it effects them, at least THEY don't spend their time coughing constantly w/ him. Though maybe if they did he would quit again......

Bonnie - posted on 02/07/2011

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But at the same time it is something that cannot be 100% avoided when you have family members who smoke.

Bonnie - posted on 02/07/2011

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It makes me angry Teresa all the times my kids have been around smokers even if they haven't smoked in front of my kids knowing what just the fumes on clothing can do.

[deleted account]

I could've told you that Bonnie. ;) If you aren't sensitive to smoke... you won't notice and may not believe how harmful 3rd hand smoke is. If you ARE sensitive to it though.... it is sheer torture to be around anyone that smokes whether they are smoking or not.

Bonnie - posted on 02/07/2011

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I don't think it really matters at this point because I just found out not too long ago that the fumes on a smoker's clothing can be harmful as well and make a person sick. I did not know this.

[deleted account]

Since the baby is still exposed to second (hopefully minimal) and third hand smoke if either of his/her parents are smokers.... Yep, breast is best.

Tara - posted on 02/07/2011

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Yes breast is still best.
It isn't the presence of nicotine in your milk that is of concern, it is the second and third hand smoke your infant will be exposed to.
Smoking immediately after a feeding opposed to right before is a good idea when possible.
But yes breast is best.

[deleted account]

I never knew that eggplant had nicotine in it. Interesting.



I was only able to breastfeed for a little less than 2 months with my son. I also smoked. But I limited my smoking a LOT. I'd only smoke one mid morning after a feed. Then I'd have another one mid afternoon, also after a feed. Then one at night, also after a feed. And not every day did I smoke that many. There were days I wouldn't smoke at all because I was really trying hard to stop smoking altogether.



Edited to add: I also had a "smoking sweater" I would put on when I would smoke. I would sit directly in front of a fan to keep the smoke from getting in my hair. I would also wash my face, hands and arms after smoking. To this day, if I have a cig, I ALWAYS wash my hands after. Always. I hate the smell. Go figure.

Lacye - posted on 02/07/2011

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I actually talked to a nurse about that after I had my daughter and she said that the cigarettes don't effect the breastmilk in any way. The main concern is the smoke that is on your clothes. But either way, boobies are best, even though I didn't get to breast feed all that long.

[deleted account]

imo a mom should put the damn cigarette down if she wants and is able to breastfeed her baby. if you and baby are willing and able to breastfeed, i think you should do it. but if you aren't, then you can't exactly let the baby starve, can you? formula should be a last resort, imo, after all options are expended.

Charlie - posted on 02/07/2011

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Most breastfeeding sites such as the Australian breastfeeding association and LLL say smoking and breastfeeding is still the best choice .

Jodi - posted on 02/07/2011

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I agree, breast is still best. I am pretty sure I have read several articles at some point on this topic, and all have said that it is still best to breastfeed. I agree with that.

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