How bad would a mom's habits have to be have to be?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2003
How bad would a mom's habits have to be have to be?
Mon, 03-14-2011 - 8:22am

Junk food, smoking, drinking, drugs, how polluted would a mom's system have to be before formula became the better choice?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
Junk food and social drinking don't bother me at all. Knowing that the body will sacrifice itself to make milk, and that very little alcohol gets into the milk, means that mom's milk is still the gold standard.

Smoking gives me pause - this is a habit it would definitely pay to break - but since outcomes are still better for a baby exposed to tobacco smoke if s/he is breastfed, then I still say BF (while trying to quit, of course).

Drugs is where it gets problematic in my mind. As far as legal pharmaceuticals, as long as mom is making an informed choice with good information (Hale) generally BF is still the way to go. It's the drugs of abuse which are the issue. Some of them hang out longer in mom's system and/or are concentrated in the milk. Plus you have to add in the effect of parenting under the influence.

The caveat, of course, is that formula still ranks lower than breastmilk from a donor ;) So even if mom's milk is contaminated with drugs of abuse, formula isn't the best choice (though it may be the best *available* choice).


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2006

I pretty much agree with Spencer's assessment of the topic.

2010 Siggy
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Registered: 04-16-2007
But honestly, how many mothers that do drugs or are alcoholics actually take the time, energy, and care enough to actually breastfeed their children? Not too many, I would think. It is usually a woman that is self-centered and typically self-abusive and immature that is using drugs and alcohol, with children in their life, and I just don't see that many of them being able to put their children before themselves to quit the alcohol and drugs and therefore it is a moot point. Junk food and social drinking--- like the others said, the body will sacrifice itself first to make milk so I don't think there is really much effect.

Single Mom of 6 beautiful children and 3 angels........
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