In addition to the risks of secondhand smoke for all exposed infants, the chemicals found in tobacco, including nicotine, can be passed from a breastfeeding mother who uses tobacco to her infant through breast milk.
How does nicotine in breast milk affect a baby?
You may not smoke or vape anywhere near your baby, but nicotine and other harmful toxins can accumulate in the air, in your body, and in your breast milk. It’s called passive exposure, and it puts your baby at a higher risk of developing health problems, like ear infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
How long does it take for nicotine to get out of breast milk?
The half life of nicotine in breast milk is variously quoted as 95 minutes (Mohrbacher, 2020) or 120 minutes (halesmeds.com 2020). This means that nicotine levels in breast milk will have fallen by half after about one and a half to two hours after the mother finishes her cigarette.
How much nicotine actually gets in breast milk?
Nicotine also accumulates in the breast milk (milk/plasma ratio 2.9), and some might be surprised to learn that the amount of nicotine transferred into the breast milk is more than double the quantity transferred through the placenta during pregnancy.
Does nicotine stay in stored breast milk?
Unlike during pregnancy, a nursing woman who smokes occasionally can time breastfeeding in relation to smoking, because nicotine is not stored in breast milk and levels parallel those found in maternal plasma, peaking ~30 to 60 minutes after the cessation of smoking and decreasing thereafter.
Will one cigarette affect my breast milk?
Smoking not only transmits harmful chemicals to your baby via your breast milk, it can also affect a new mother’s milk supply. This might cause her to produce less milk. Women who smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day experience reduced milk supply and changes in the milk’s composition.
Can I vape with no nicotine while breastfeeding?
E-cigarette vapour has many fewer toxins, and at much lower levels, than tobacco. However, Public Health England has stopped short of saying that e-cigs are 100 per cent safe. That’s partly because the long-term effects of vaping are not yet known. Even so, there’s no need to stop breastfeeding because you vape.
Should I stop breastfeeding if I smoke?
It is better to breastfeed and smoke than not to breastfeed at all. Nicotine passes rapidly into your breast milk and affects how much milk you have. Nicotine in breast milk and passive smoking can give your baby chest infections, vomiting, diarrhoea and irritability.