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Smoking while Pregnant and Smoking while Breastfeeding

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Years before, women waited for a positive pregnancy test to give up smoking, stop drinking, and eat better. That way is inappropriate practice. Preferably, you should work with your doctor, nurse practitioner, or certified nurse midwife and registered dietitian to assume positive practice and get a handle of chronic conditions well before conception to prevent the complications that could diminish fertility and endanger pregnancy.

Smoking while Pregnant

Cigarette smoking while pregnant has been shown to have tetratogenic effects on fetus, particularly growth boundaries. The fetus may be at higher risk for spontaneous abortion, premature rupture of membranes, low birth weight, neonatal mortality, stillbirth, preterm delivery, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Low birth weight in infant of smoking mother fallout from vasoconstriction of the uterine vessels, a consequence of nicotine that restricts the blood supply to a fetus. An additional causative effect may be related to the carbon monoxide inhaled. Secondary smoke or inhaling the smoke of another person's cigarette may be as risky as really smoking the cigarettes. Every environment settings should be smoke-free for this reason.

If you cannot stop smoking during pregnancy, as much as possible reducing the number of cigarettes smoked per day should help reduce adverse effects on the fetus inside your womb as well as also defend your own health from long-term illnesses such as chronic respiratory disease.

The best way to cease from smoking is to ask for help to your health care provider and be aware about the risks for your health and the fetus. Be careful not to go into a stop-smoking program that uses drug therapy such as nicotine patches, because the substitute drug may be risky to the fetus as smoking.

Smoking while Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Overview

It is generally established that breastmilk is the ideal way of feeding a baby, since it supplies several health benefits to both the mother and the baby; it remains the perfect nutritional foundation for a baby all the way through the first year of life.

Advantages of Breastfeeding

The final choice to breastfeed should depend on what would satisfy and ease you most. If you're comfortable and satisfied with what you're doing, your baby will be comfortable and satisfied, will like being fed, and will thrive.

According to Pellitteri, author of Maternal and Child Health Nursing, Breastfeeding is contraindicated in only a few conditions, such as the following:

  • If your child has galactosemia (such your baby cannot digest the lactose in milk)
  • If herpes lesions appear on your nipples
  • If you're taking medications that are inappropriate for breastfeeding
  • If you're exposed to top radioactive compounds
  • Breast Cancer

Advantages for a Mother

You can gain several physiologic benefits from breastfeeding:

  • Breastfeeding may serve as a shielding purpose in preventing breast cancer.
  • The release of oxytocin, a hormone responsible in contracting smooth muscles, from the posterior pituitary gland helps in uterine involution.
  • Successful breastfeeding can have an empowering effect, because it is exclusive skill only you,as a mom, can master.
  • Breastfeeding lessens the your cost of feeding and preparation time.
  • Breastfeeding provides an outstanding chance to enhance a true symbiotic bond between you and your child.

Advantages for a Baby

Breastfeeding has major physiologic advantages for your baby.

  • Breastfeeding guards your baby from a long list of illnesses
  • Breastfeeding guards your baby from developing allergies
  • Breastfeeding may enhance your child's brain
  • Breastfeeding may guard your child from obesity
  • Breastfeeding may lower your baby's risk of sudden infant death syndrome

Smoking and Breastfeeding

Just after pregnancy, many moms can't control their cigarette craving not considering the possible effects of nicotine on their health and on the health of their child.

As a responsible mom, you should be aware on the several conditions that might result from exposing your child to passive smoke. An infant's immune system will become functional by at least 2 months of age and it takes a year to actively produce antibodies, which means that immediately smoking after pregnancy will harm your baby's immune system. In addition, this will increase your baby's susceptibility to infections and diseases such as thyroid infections brain problems, and the worst-lung cancer.

Moms who can't stop smoking right after pregnancy are highly encouraged to breastfeed their child. Although passive smoke has negative effects on your baby's health, breastfeeding while smoking is still seen to boost your baby's resistance to diseases and counteract the effects of nicotine as compared to formula-fed infant.

Furthermore, reducing the number of cigarette you smoke will help lessen the harmful effects on your child's health. Scheduling to smoke after a breastfeeding session will decrease harmful chemicals that your child may ingest, and if possible wait for an hour or two before the next session. Smoking outside your home or away from your child, changing your clothes, and hand washing before you breastfeed will also decrease the exposure of your baby to passive smoke.

Quantities of Food Necessary for a Lactating Woman
Food Group Quantities for Lactating Woman
Meat/fowl/fish 7 servings daily
Vegetables 4 servings daily
Fruits 4 servings daily
Breads/cereals/rice/pasta 12 servings daily
Milk 4 to 5 eight-oz glasses daily
Fats/oils/sweets 5 servings daily
Additional fluid 4 to 6 glasses daily



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  1. Adele Pillitteri Maternal and Child Health Nursing: Care of the Childbearing and Childrearing Family. Philippines: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2007.

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