More on BF & Smoking

Avatar for mamapalooza
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
More on BF & Smoking
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Sun, 03-30-2003 - 9:01pm
I know, this debate has gone on for awhile, but I haven't gotten my 2 Cents in yet....I tried the other night, but my browser konked out on my long post just before I was ready to hit submit. I was too annoyed (putting it mildly) to try to type it out all over again. I'm in a better mood now, so here it goes............ ;o)

First - I have done some reading on the subject & I think it is better for a smoking mom to bf than to ff, especially if she is going to be smoking around the child. Of course I think it would be for the best if mom quit, but we know that some people either "can't" or won't for whatever reason. That's not the question here, though.

Second - I have read many sources & there are some I trust more than others. I know that many of you may disagree, but I trust the information I get from La Leche League. Regardless of whatever experiences (good or bad) you have had with your local LLL groups, LLL International's focus is on BF'ing and all things that relate to BF'ing. Since the focus of their research & info is on bf'ing, I trust that their info will be accurate with regards to how it relates to bf'ing than say the info put out by another group whose focus is NOT on bf'ing (the American Lung Association, for example). Yes, they are very pro BF'ing, but IMO that means they are even more devoted to getting accurate information regarding all things bf'ing related.

As for bf'ing & smoking. I think that smokers should bf. For a lot of those babies, it is MORE important that they are bf - especially those who are exposed to second hand smoke. Some interesting info...

*Nicotine is absorbed a little more slowly and less efficiently from the breastmilk. The infant also absorbs nicotine (along with tar and carbon monoxide and another 2000 or so by-products of cigarette smoke) readily from the air – passive smoking (second hand smoke).

*The levels in the baby’s bloodstream are greater from passive smoking than from ingesting nicotine only via breastmilk, but the effects are cumulative.

*Babies who are bottle-fed in a household where smoking occurs are more frequently hospitalised and have a higher incidence of respiratory and gastro-intestinal illness. Colic is much more common in this group too. Infants exposed to slip stream smoke also have a higher incidence of middle ear infections and compromised lung function and development. However, probably the most significant effect of cigarette smoking in the household is the greatly increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Breastfeeding will help to protect the infant against all of these increased risk factors.


(source: http://www.health-e-learning.com/breasted_web_articles/Social%20Drugs%20and%20Breastfeeding.htm )

You might also be interested to read the latest on BF & Smoking from the AAP's policy statement on the Transfer of Drugs & Other Chemicals Into Human Milk (2001):

"....One study reported that, among women who continue to smoke throughout breastfeeding, the incidence of acute respiratory illness is decreased among their infants, compared with infants of smoking mothers who are bottle fed.16 It may be that breastfeeding and smoking is less detrimental to the child than bottle feeding and smoking...."

( http://www.aap.org/policy/0063.html )

And if you are interested, LLL FAQ on Smoking & Bf'ing: http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/smoking.html

If you read the articles, they all talk about problems that heavy smokers may experience if they choose to bf. I'm still torn on whether I think that heavy smokers should bf....but, given that if mom is a heavy smoker, she is most likely smoking around baby, I think I lean towards bf'ing being better than not bf'ing for those babies. But, I think that the jury is still out on that one.

Obviously, it would be best if mom quit. Evenso, I think that bfing is better for a baby of a smoker than not - and in some cases, it may be even MORE important that a baby is bf if mom (or someone else in the family) smokes.

Michelle




Edited 3/31/2003 9:34:30 AM ET by mamapalooza

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 7:29am
really interesting post..esp the aap stuff.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 11:38am
I don't see smoking around a child as a reason to BF....I believe that a child should NOT be subjected to second hand smoke. Someone smoking in a home with children is just plain irresponsible, and borders child abuse.

Now a mother smoking outside and then coming in to breastfeed...isn't the best either. I don't know how they justify it. Bottom line is that it passes into their children thru breastmilk...no matter how small an amount....it's still there.

Did these women smoke while pregnant? If they quit while pregnant...then why did they start after the child was born if they wanted to BF? I understand it's an "addiction" so are a lot of things...but people CAN over come it....lot's of people quite smoking, just like lot's stop using drugs or stop drinking....is it easy? No...but I feel that you owe it to your children to do everything in your power to provide them with the best you can.

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 11:48am
I don't get it either. You quit for 9 months but then you HAVE to go back to smoking?? HUH?? 9 months yet you STILL are addicted??!! I don't buy it. If you want to quit...you can.

Yes, it is a known fact that I can't stand smoking. Smokers are selfish. They are selfish because there is virtually no place they can go where their smoke won't affect another person.

Also, as I have explained many times before.....smoking LINGERS on clothes. It remains for hours. It is in your hair, your mouth, your clothes, your BODY!! YUCK!! We're not just talking aobut nicotine either. Did anyone see the post where I listed all 4000 ingredients in a cigarette?? It boggles my mind that there is still a debate with this issue. 47 or 48 known CARCINOGENS!! Geez!! Can you tell me with certainty that a breastfeeding baby isn't getting ANY of these?? NOPE!!! Not even the AAP or LLL ca tell you that.


IMO, there is NO debate here.


christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 12:40pm
You are right, people should NOT smoke around babies. Personally, I think smoking is icky - both of my grandparents died at a young age from smoking related illnesses.

But, the fact remains that people still DO smoke around babies (my neighbors, for example). Those babies really need the extra protection that breastmilk provides them - it has antibodies to help them fight those nasty respiratory illnesses they are prone to from being exposed to second hand smoke. If you read my post, you will know that bf babies of smokers are hospitalized LESS than ff babies of smokers - because they are protected by mom's milk & are able to fight off infections & other illnesses.

Even a mother who doesn't smoke around baby should bf. I'm not here to debate WHY a mother may continue to smoke - whether or not she quit while she was pregnant. I'm trying to discuss what if she DOES smoke & can't/won't quit for what ever reason. If a mother must smoke & times it right, her baby won't be exposed to nicotine in her bm (the half life of nicotine is about 95 minutes - which means that it is gone from her system & her milk in that time). I can't speak about the other things in cigarettes, but I don't think that the AAP would say that it may be better for a smoking mom to bf than not if those other substances were present in bm & at such levels that a baby would be at risk. The AAP tends to be conservative when it comes to drugs/medications & bf'ing.

Michelle

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 1:26pm
I don't understand.......is everyone ignoring the ALA's stance on bf while smoking?? Why should the American Lung Association be ignored, yet other organizations are not??


christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 4:54pm
of course the ala says don't bf and smoke...they want you to quit.

they want no one to smoke. it IS the amer LUNG association, and, i agree, everyone should quit. however, that wasn't the question and i think the fact that aap says what they say is VERY interesting

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 5:20pm
Yes, BUT the same could be said for the AAP and LLL.......just in reverse. KWIM??


christine


~christine~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 6:44pm
I do see what you are saying, but I think the difference here is that the ALA or ACA do not focus on breastfeeding or childhood issues, where LLL and AAP do. I don't think that anyone from LLL or the AAP would dispute research done by the ALA or ACA with regards to lung disease or cancer - because that is their main area of focus, what they were created to study. So, why should they (or we) question the reasearch of LLLI or the AAP when it comes to BF'ing info or info regarding Child Health? That is their focus, what they know best & have dedicated their organization to research.

Do you see what I mean?

Michelle

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:20am
sure, maybe lll, but not aap...

lll promotes bf; aap promotes children's health...

i view them as a 3rd party. they get no benefits from bf...except healthier patients

Avatar for cl_sunny_side_up
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:33am
LLL encourages and promotes bf while HIV positive. Are you for or against that??

christine


~christine~

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