Smoking and breastfeeding

Smoking and breastfeeding. In a nut shell: try to quit or decrease smoking when breastfeeding, but it’s better to breastfeed while smoking than to formula feed and continue to smoke

Smoking can cause low milk supply/milk let-down issues for you and your baby is at increased risk of colic, poor weight gain, respiratory infections, and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). Your milk does not eliminate these risks but does significantly lower them compared to formula. Breastfeeding also helps protect babies from the potential risks of environmental smoke.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) removed nicotine from its list of “contraindicated” substances during breastfeeding. An AAP statement issued in 2001 says, in part:

“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 mothers who bottle fed. It may be that breastfeeding and smoking is less detrimental to the child than bottle feeding and smoking.”

If you do continue to smoke:

⏱️Wait as much time as possible between smoking and breastfeeding to lower the amount of nicotine in your milk

🧯Smoke right after breastfeeding and away from baby. Change your clothes and wash your hands before coming back to care for your baby’s. Have other smokers do the same

🚬E-cigs and vapes may have the same risks. There is limited research about the safety and health effects of e-cigarettes.

⚖️Monitor baby’s weight gain