15 answers

Smoking and Breastfeeding

I know it's terrible, but I never quit smoking during my pregnancy. I need to decide if I'm going to breastfeed. I assume that it's not a good idea since I know I'm going to continue smoking once my baby is born. There is info that I have read stating that I should breastfeed because the benefits outway the consequeces. What are your thoughts?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks to those of you who answered my question rather than telling me all the risks. I know I set myself up for the attack, but some of you were very helpful. Thanks.

More Answers

Wow K.! You must have a lot of guts to put that on a website like this. So, my question is, why wouldn't you be selfless enough for the little life you've created? Your baby has no means of escaping your smoking. Yes, for the respiratory problems your child will end up having, breastfeeding may be your child's best defense. My mother-in-law smokes and did with all three of her children. They all have asthma as adults and have had problems their entire lives. I am an ex-smoker as well. I smoked for fifteen years but the benefit for the little being inside me far outweighed the small sacrafice I had to make. I nursed after my child was born and therefore, didn't choose to smoke again. My daughter needs me and will need me in her life in the future as well. So, yes, I'm telling you all the things you already know but having been there and as a voice for your little person I will say what others are too polite to-
stop being so selfish and -QUIT SMOKING!

2 moms found this helpful


I am sorry you are getting so much crap for your question. You should be commended for your honesty! I should have put my response up here instead of in a message, you are braver than I!

As for you other Mom's, if you can't answer her question without judgement and spouting of smoking hazards, then don't answer! We all know the risks of smoking on ourselves and our children. It is an addiction and a personal choice. Now be supportive or stop!

Thank you! Hope you have a great day K.!

2 moms found this helpful


it is still better for you and the baby for you to breastfeed than not.

Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions.

1 mom found this helpful

I do not think that all you mothers being so judgemental are doing any good. At least K. is being honest. No one is perfect, so lets try to be positive and help eachother.

1 mom found this helpful

WOW, Mary I agree. I cant believe the crap other moms give to moms, geez. K., I never bf so I cant do much for your original q, BUT I have known babies that died of SIDS and the mothers never smoked while preggo or after, AND I have known many moms that smoke the whole pregnancy and after and didnt have preemies, infact their children are very healthy and intelligent. I also know people that had extremely premature babies and they also never smoked. I think its ridiculus for moms to make the comments that some of you made on here, she didnt ask why or should she quit smoking.

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend breastfeeding. I'm not a dr, but I cannot imagine that breastfeeding while smoking would do anymore damage than smoking while being pregnant, as I'd assume an unborn baby is more delicate & susceptible to outside dangers than a newborn. Good luck, and of course I recommend quitting smoking, at least temporarily. I won't lecture you, but I think you need to put your baby's needs & health ahead of your own (sorry to say, selfish) desires. I wish you & your baby the best.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that breastfeeding is the least of your concerns. I think you are brave to be so honest, but seriously, SIDS and asthma are much bigger risk than the precious antibodies you will give through breastfeeding. Your best bet is to stop smoking now. Good luck. I know many people who have quit cold turkey. It can be done!

I've never smoked, but I did breastfeed 4 kids for at least a year each, so I have a few tips about breastfeeding (which I hope you're already doing by now!)
1) Make sure you get enough liquids/fluids AND rest! If you don't get enough of either one, your milk supply will dwindle.
2) Realize that your baby will take growth spurts every so often, and your baby will seem to want to nurse every few minutes. This doesn't mean that 'you are starving him/her'. It just means that s/he needs more milk that s/he HAS been getting. When they nurse a lot one day, the next day your body makes so much milk it hurts! That's nature's (God's) awesome way of meeting 'supply and demand'; not something to worry about!
3) Surround yourself with other gals (older and younger) who support breastfeeding. Everyone has an opinion, but it's definitely best for baby and for your own body.
4) Breastfeeding is a wonderful excuse to eat as much as you want (not to OVER-eat, but it keeps you hungry more than if you WEREN'T breastfeeding a baby!)
Best of luck and God bless!

Better to breastfeed even if you smoke.

But, do your baby a favor and quit OR at the very least, try not to smoke around him/her. Smoking during pregnancy already increased the health risks for your child...exposing him/her to your second hand smoke after birth will increase the potential even more.

From the CDC website:
"Smoking by the mother causes sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Compared with unexposed infants, babies exposed to secondhand smoke after birth are at twice the risk for SIDS, and infants whose mothers smoked before and after birth are at three to four times greater risk. (pp. 584–585, 601)"

You know, I never wanted kids. My husband never wanted kids. I loved MY life, MY money, MY time, MY freedom. It was all about DH and I and what we wanted. When the day came that we decided to have children (they were both planned), I didn't know what I was getting into. Being a parent (especially a Mom) is the ULTIMATE sacrifice. I've given up SO many things I can't even tell you. But, you know what? I don't care and I wouldn't trade it for the world. The instant I held my sons, I knew that I'd willing give up anything for them. Even my life - without a second thought.

I truly hope that you can feel the same way when you meet your baby and hold his/her fragile, but beautiful, body in your arms. I truly hope you can make the decision to quit smoking for the sake of your health and your baby.

Good luck to you.


i want to give you a little of my history here. my daughter is 6 and i quit smoking with her and it was really hard at first. i would still get the urge every once in a while but i did good. i was only 19 so i was scared of the reporcautions. my son is almost 5(they are 15 months apart) i never stopped smoking with him. it was an unplanned pregnancy with him so i was very stressed out and could make it past a day or so of trying to quit. both of my kids were ealry but only a few days and i had over 8 pound babies. in fact, my son was bigger and i still smoked.
now to answer your question...
the baby still needs all the good stuff the comes with it. i still smoke but i have never around my kids, honestly i don't even think they know why i go outside.haha!
i know people on here can be mean but do right by you and the baby. if you do to conyinue to smoke don't do so around the baby. go outside, there are alot more things that can happen out of the womb than in. and SIDS is more common in boys and smoking does not help that. good luck on being a new mommy. it has changed my life greatly and wouldn't change it for the world.

She did not ask what the effects where of smokeing and having a baby, she asked is it ok to breastfeed and smoke at the same time. The answer is yes. Half of you didn't even answer the question? At least she's trying to stop the behavior now! Everyone is different, just because you quit doesn't make her a bad person. In my opinion, your the bad person for being so high and mighty. I'm sorry K., for all these people who use this web sight to make themselves feel better insead of useing it what it's here for, it help people answer there questions. Plenty of people smoke while being pregnant and nothing happends to there babies. In fact with my first, I was under such stress my doctor said if I was to quit, the shock that I would do to my baby would make me loose the baby for sure. He did advise me to stay under a 1/2 a pack a day. And once the baby was born he said to never smoke in the house or car because the risk of sids sky rockets. But to each his own.I dont judge, because lord know i'm not perfact.Dont let them get you down.Do what best for you.

yes breastfeeding outweights formula immensely....and (im sorry to say this, please don't take offense), since the odds may already be stacked against your little one's best health due to your smoking, breastfeeding would benefit immensely to increase support in your child's immune system. You may want to take a breastfeeding class before hand (it's incredibly helpful) and talk to a lactation nurse about the smoking and breastfeeding going together. Both the class and the lactation nurses are awesome at Palos Community Hospital in Palos. The class was not that expensive when I took it 3 years ago either (maybe $25 or so but it made all the difference in my world and both my babies').

But please know that you are setting up your little one for a world of respiratory issues even if you don't smoke around him/her....even what's left over in your clothes will be enough to cause major problems.

My best to you and your baby.

If you are ready to quit for that little miracle coming your way consider seeing a certified hypnotist. Hypnosis can also make your labor & delivery much more relaxed.


Congrats on your new little one who's almost here! Anyhow, I used to smoke and by some miracle I was able to quite while I was pregnant. I did go back but only briefly after my son was born; inevitably I quite all together (finally, never thought I would). I agree that breast is best, as they say, but I want to give you some advice. Yes, we know it's bad so I'm not going to go onto some tangent about it but I will tell you to be prepared at how your doctors may treat or speak to you when they know this. You may or may not have told them already but when my son was first born and I visited the ped for the first time and told her I used to smoke and I may go back to it, she became pretty severe and told me how it stays on our clothes and hands and that even if we don't smoke in the house it can still effect the child, how it sets a bad example, how we know how bad it is so why was I going to put everyone in danger, etc etc etc etc. It went on and ON. She also marked it in his file so everytime I took him in, no matter who saw him, they'd ask "so are you still smoking?" And when he gets sick, which he has a lot, they still bring up the dangers of smoking around an infant. It drives me absolutely, totally CRAZY...especially since I quit! I don't think I smoked but 4 cigarettes after he was born and kicked it right after that. Just be prepared. Ultimately I know they're just looking out for the child and hopefully you don't encounter something like this but it can be quite a hostile situation when they act like that. I always felt like they even looked at me differently even though I had told them a dozen times I had quit already!

All in all, if you want to keep smoking then prepare yourself, it is your choice but if you can quit or think you can at least try, then you should.

Best of luck with that new baby! They're the best!

Once you see that new life that you created, you will want to do what's best for your newborn and of course, for your health. I'm sure you would never want to jeopardize or increase the health risks to your innocent precious one. Just wait until you see them and hold them. Wait until they are born and how they already know your voice when you talk to them. Watch their head move toward your voice and the scent of your body because they know you, even before they see you. It is a miracle, K.. The bonding of nursing is like no other but whatever you put into your body, goes into your baby's. It's your decision. The waiting and pain are so worth it all after it is over. You will be quite amazed! I wish you all the best of everything!

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