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Breast feeding and Smoking: Bad Combination

Dear Ask The Doctor:
If a mother is breast feeding and a smoker will that hurt the baby?


Yes. Nicotine in cigarettes can be found on the breastmilk of moms who smoke. Some babies experience nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, others have sleep disturbances as a result of nicotine. There has been increasing evidence that the long term effects of nicotine are neurodevelopmental and behavioural problems; these are in kids whose moms have been smoking while breastfeeding. Second hand smoke is never good for babies. It can predispose them to respiratory infections, ear infections, colic, asthma, among others. Smoking per se can also decrease breastmilk production. I do hope this helps. Take care.

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