Negatives of Smoking during breastfeeding
Smoking while breastfeeding can have adverse effects just as smoking during pregnancy can. Many of the dangerous chemicals in cigarettes pass through breastmilk and are ingested by the baby. That being said, studies show that breastfeeding can counteract some of the negative effects of being around cigarette smoke. For this reason, if you are going to smoke as a new mum, it is still best for your bub if you do breastfeed.
Effects of Smoking on Breastfeeding
We keep hearing about the uncountable number of benefits of breastfeeding for both the breastfeeding mother and her baby, but smoking does its best to counter those benefits. Here are a few negative effects that smoking has on breastfeeding:
Smoking Can Cause Low Milk Production
You have a higher chance of having trouble with maintaining your milk supply if you smoke during breastfeeding. Low milk supply can lead to supplementing which will in turn mean bub is suckling at the breast less, and will stimulate even less milk production which leads to more supplementing. This cycle often occurs until bub is no longer getting any breastmilk.
Early Weaning Can Be a Result of Smoking
A mum that smokes is less likely to reach her breastfeeding goals and more likely to wean her baby prematurely.This can be problematic as a baby that is not breastfed is even more likely to suffer from problems as a result of secondhand and thirdhand smoke.
Smoking Can Lower Prolactin Levels
In order for milk production to occur, the body requires the hormone prolactin. This hormone has been shown to be lower in mothers that smoke.
Smoking Interferes with Milk Let-Down
When a nursing mother’s breasts are stimulated by her baby’s suckling, the milk in her breasts is released from the milk ducts. This is called let-down. Smoking can interfere with let-down which is one reason that it is suggested that a smoking mother should not breastfeed immediately after smoking.