As a mother, I want to give the best nutritional food to my baby. Breastfeeding is known to be the healthiest for a baby. Health Canada recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and breastfeeding has many benefits to the baby, mother and society. I have been exclusively breastfeeding my baby boy since birth. I enjoy the bonding breastfeeding provides for our relationship. However, since I have been having a couple of cigarettes daily, will this affect my baby?
There are many questions related to breastfeeding and smoking online. This makes me feel better because I know I am not alone in this struggle and challenge. Many people judge mothers that smoke, however it is a common challenge that many mothers deal with.
As I research the effects of smoking and breastfeeding, the main concern discussed is the effects of 2nd and 3rd hand smoke. They recommend smoking outside or not around the baby. It is also important to change cloths after smoking because smoke can stay on clothing. Of course, hand washing is also important. Smoking can also reduce the production of breastmilk due to the lack of prolactin.
As I struggle with not smoking, I have been doing research to get more informed. Researching about information allows me to articulate the reasons why I smoke or why it’s important to quit or cut down. I have been due diligent with ensuring my son is not around the cigarette smoke and I take precautions to ensure the smoke residue is not on my clothing. Also, my milk supply has not decreased or been affected. This does not give me a pass that smoking is okay, however it makes me feel better that I am proactive in ensuring I am protecting my baby.