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Breast Feeding

Breastfeeding and smoking

06/19/2006

Question:

If I smoked approx 5 cigarettes per day while pregnant, and quit after giving birth, will my milk production / let down still be affected in breastfeeding? I had some initial problems with milk supply, but now that I have quit, I am wondering if there is a chance that my breastfeeding milk production could improve? I quit when my baby was one week old, and now he is 6 weeks old.

Answer:

Cigarette smoking has been shown to interfere with let down. Once you give up cigarette smoking the effects should go away.

It is important to remember that milk production is made based on the demand for milk. So the more time the baby spends at the breast sucking effectively the more milk you make. If you mild production is low and your baby is NOT gaining weight you should keep a nursing log, and review it with your health care provider or a lactation consultant who is familiar with your unique situation.

For more information:

Go to the Breast Feeding health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati