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Smoking while breastfeeding

What is smoking while breastfeeding? Weakness? Caprice? Ignorance? No, this is a crime. Against the child, against his future, against his success in adult life. You need to quit smoking before pregnancy, so the question of the dangers of breastfeeding and smoking should not even arise. But it is impossible to get away from the realities, and the number of nursing smokers does not decrease. 

What do we end up with? As a result, a generation of children is growing who have received less useful and nutritious substances from their mother’s milk, but have received in excess of all the harmful components of tobacco smoke.

At the same time, one cannot discount the fact that the mothers of these children smoked during pregnancy, which means that the children grew up in conditions of pathologically proceeding pregnancy.

Smoking while breastfeeding in a child has a lot of disorders and deviations, many of which are diagnosed accidentally and often late. One example of such underdiagnosis is a restless child.

A nursing mother who smokes, for whom smoking seems completely normal, does not associate anxiety, poor sleep, and anxiety of the child with nicotine intoxication. But nicotine easily penetrates into milk and has a toxic effect on the immature brain tissue of a child.

In addition, as a vascular toxin, nicotine causes chronic hypoxia, which further provokes the child’s lag in all respects – physical, mental, mental. The child is not shown to the doctor in a timely manner – after all, many believe that the child should “outgrow” restless sleep and tearfulness, colic and meteosensitivity. If they go to the doctor, then the full history of the child, namely in terms of the mother’s smoking, is rarely reported. 

Nicotine causes an increase in the release of hormones, in particular adrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine and many others. Any dysfunction in the hormonal sphere is regarded by the body as a catastrophe, and, accordingly, huge forces are rushed to eliminate it.

In such a situation, the child’s hormonal system is rapidly depleted, which leads to both momentary problems and problems that will become apparent in puberty and in adulthood.

Smoke is a powerful allergen, a provocateur of a large number of diseases of the upper respiratory tract. The interstitial tissue of the lungs of a newborn and a child under one year old is defective from a functional point of view, and nicotine and components of tobacco smoke delay its formation.

One of the consequences of this is frequent bronchopneumonia in young children, whose mothers continue to smoke, practicing breastfeeding.

Another organ of the child’s respiration is the skin. Up to 30% of the main gas exchange passes through the skin of children. Smoke easily penetrates through it, having a systemic effect on the child.

The peculiarity of the child’s body is such that a slight deviation in the work of one system entails a wave of problems and pathologies in others, not even related to the original one. All this leads to more problems in infancy than in standard situations, which requires more effort on the part of the mother.

Smoking while breastfeeding is also dangerous for the mother. The mammary gland consists almost entirely of glandular tissue (altered tissue of the sweat glands), which is very sensitive to nicotine. Therefore, it is not surprising that the incidence of mastitis in women who smoke is much higher than among non-smokers.

Breastfeeding is considered one of the effective measures for the prevention of breast cancer, but in the case of mothers who smoke, this factor is triggered much less often, that is, the smoking woman herself reduces the effectiveness of natural defense mechanisms. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the concentration of nicotine in breast milk is higher than its content in the blood at the same time.

There are many tips on the Internet that follow the lead of smoking – this household addiction. Tips relate to breaks between feedings and smoking a cigarette. However, it is impossible to talk about the success of breastfeeding in such a situation.

The baby should not breastfeed according to hours and schedule, but of his own free will. Then lactation will be complete, and the supply of nutrients will be optimal. Smoking while breastfeeding is unacceptable and no excuses for the mother are sufficient reason to close their eyes to its danger to the baby.

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