Babies’ Poop Smells Like Vinegar – Why Does It Happen?

Babies’ poop smells like vinegar? Um, definitely not one of the best things to wake up to! As you are changing that smelly diaper. You may be wondering why does my baby’s poop smell like vinegar?

Hold tight as we provide you insight about changes in babies’ poop. And what these changes signify.

Baby Poop- The Basics!

Changes in babies’ poop are likely to scare you. Especially if you are first-time parents! And yes, we clearly understand your anxieties.

But one thing to know is that not every change in baby poop is a red sign. Babies poop changes on a day to day basis. These changes are due to a number of reasons. As we will discuss shortly.

Before you can tell when there is a problem in the baby’s poop, you should know a bit about natural bowel movements in babies.

Also Read: Is Your Newborn Not Pooping But Passing Gas? What Should You Do?

Color of Baby Poop

The color of the stool depends a lot on what your baby is eating. In the first few days after birth, the baby’s bowels are sterile. But as some days pass by, a wide range of bacteria tend to grow in the bowel. And poop too!

So, the poop of a baby exclusively on breast milk would be different than a formula-fed tot. Also, the breastfed baby would also have a changing color of poop. Depending on what mummy eats!

Also read: How Do Babies Get Colic?

Poop Consistency

The consistency of baby poop is also variable. And yup, the dietary factors are in play here too! So, the poop can be mushy and soft, filling the whole diaper. Or there can be small pellets. Or even a single hard stool.

In case of a hard stool that causes discomfort, you may want to rule out constipation. And talk to your doctor if the problem persists.

Also Read: How To Get Your Newborn To Poop? Safe Methods And Techniques

The odor of Baby Poop

The odor of the poop tells how long the poop was in the baby’s gut. The longer the poop stays inside, the more the bacteria and hence foul smell.

In general, babies on breast milk tend to have odorless poops. And those on formula feeds have a slight odor. This definitely changes as solid food is added to the baby’s diet.

Also Read: Sugared Water for Baby Constipation – Is it Safe? Does it Work?

Babies’ Poop Smells Like Vinegar?

With the basics covered, we move on to the smelly problem; that is, why my baby’s poop smells like vinegar?

So, one day you decided to change your babies’ diaper. You noticed a strange acidic odor, like vinegar or sour cream from the diaper! And yup, apart from that horrible smell putting you off, you immediately start wondering if your baby is okay?

What Causes Poop to Smell Like Vinegar?

Baby poop normally does not smell like vinegar or sour cream. The acidic odor may indicate that your baby is having a hard time digesting their food.

It can also point to a bug in the tummy or some other tummy trouble. Some of which are given below:

Malabsorption of Food?

When the baby’s tummy is not able to properly absorb nutrients from the food, the resultant product is that babies’ poop smells like vinegar. Or gives off a sour, acidic smell.

Malabsorption is a problem that needs prompt care. Because not only does the baby’s poop smell like vinegar. The baby often has diarrhea and weight loss. With stunted growth!

Lactose Intolerance and Vinegar Poop!

One of the reasons babies’ poop smells like vinegar is that the baby’s tummy is sensitive to lactose present in the milk. Or other dairy products that you feed them.

In case you are breastfeeding your baby, lactose may enter the milk from lactose-containing products (mostly dairy) that you are consuming.

Keep an eye out for lactose intolerance as it presents with other symptoms too, such as bloating, baby passing too much gas, and even diarrhea or loose stools.

Also Read: Having A Breastfeeding Baby Constipated? What Should You Do?

Food Sensitivities?

Certain food items such as nuts, eggs, soy, and dairy, or food containing these items may be giving your baby’s digestive system a hard time. That tiny tummy may not be able to digest these foods and may end up being sensitive to them; hence, causing babies’ poop to smell like vinegar. And even causing the stool to be bulkier than usual!

Also Read: Broken Skin Diaper Rash In Babies – Causes and Remedies

Teething Troubles

Teething is a tough time for your baby and you. And although there is little to no scientific evidence to back up this observation. Some parents have reported that their babies’ poop smells like vinegar. Especially when a tooth is about to pop up!

Also Read: Baby Born With Teeth Superstition – Myths and Facts You Should Know

Allergies to Certain Foods

Sometimes the reason your babies’ poop smells like vinegar maybe a sudden reaction to a food substance. That did not go well with your tots’ tummy.

And that allergic reaction caused the stool to have much or even blood in it. Apart from that bad acidic odor, you may want to consult your doctor, especially if there is a family history of such food allergies.

Also Read:  Is Your Four Year Not Potty Trained? What Should You Do?

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is another culprit for causing babies poop to smell like vinegar. Look out for other symptoms of Crohn’s disease. These include loose watery stools, often with blood and mucus. This is often explosive diarrhea.

Also Read: Shingles Around Babies – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Babies Poop Smells Like Vinegar – What Should You Look Out For?

As a parent, coming across this foul situation surely would make you lose a night’s sleep! But that won’t be necessary.

You should keep a watch on the pattern of bowel movements. And any associations that you can pick. If you are breastfeeding your baby, keep a note of the stuff you are eating. Especially dairy products.

And if they or any food item is causing the problem. You can easily remove them from yours and your babies’ diet.

Another thing to look out for is the number of episodes of vinegar-smelling poop your baby has. If they are only one or two, then there no need to worry.

Also Read: Pink Noise for Babies: an Effective Sleep Inducer?  

When to Call Your Doctor?

However, if this is a persistent problem and your baby is developing other alarm symptoms, such as diarrhea, dehydration, high fever, or your child is irritable and is refusing to feed; then you should check in with your doctor. The sooner, the better!

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Shingles Around Babies – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Much similar to chickenpox, shingles is a viral infection that can be a cause of great distress. Before we delve into the subject of shingles around babies, let us explain what exactly the condition is.

Shingles, also termed as herpes and herpes zoster is caused by the virus known as the varicella-zoster virus (VZV). This same virus is also responsible for giving you chickenpox. Shingles is described as the reactivation of the VZV that lays dormant in your nervous system after your chickenpox heals. A person is usually at risk of suffering from shingles only once in their lifetime.

A person can only get shingles if they have had chickenpox before. This resurfacing of the VZV in the form of shingles is attributed to a weak immune system. Thus, older people, specifically those above the age of 50 are more prone to it. However, shingles around babies is also a rare but possible occurrence.

Like any other disease, shingles too has a unique set of signs, symptoms, causes, and treatments. Let’s explore said signs and symptoms;

Also Read: Pink Noise for Babies: an Effective Sleep Inducer?  

Some Common Signs & Symptoms of Shingles

How to tell if your infant has shingles? The following are the physical signs and symptoms could help you identify a case of shingles around babies:

Minor symptoms

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Signs of tiredness
  • Changed behavior and less energy
  • Headaches

Major symptoms

  • Burning and itching of the skin
  • The appearance of rashes or red blotches
  • The appearance of fluid-like blisters
  • Irritation and tingling sensations

Unlike chickenpox, shingles typically affects a certain part of the skin rather than the entirety of it – usually in the form of a belt on the torso. Aside from the torso, blisters can also surround the eyes. This can be extremely hazardous if left untreated and could cause permanent eye damage.

If any of the symptoms listed above appear, a doctor must be contacted within the next 24 hours.

Also Read: 12 Months Sleep Regression | A Survival Guide For Parents

Causes of Shingles

Shingles are caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, as mentioned before. However, as opposed to chickenpox, it cannot be contracted by someone who has shingles. If there is shingles around babies, it has been caused by the virus that was already inside them, even if they came into contact with someone who had shingles. Shingles, therefore, is a non-contractible and non-transmittable disease.

Though, a person suffering from shingles can give chickenpox to someone who has never had them in the past.

Older people are most vulnerable to the condition because of their frail immune systems. This condition can similarly affect anyone with a risked immune system, such as those suffering from conditions like the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or certain cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. People on medications that debilitate their immunity are also an easy target for the condition.

Also Read: A Guide to Using Essential Oils for Teething Babies and Infants

Treatment & Prevention

Once your infant gets shingles, you can do nothing but wait for it to heal on its own. The healing process can take from 2 weeks to about a month.

There are, however, ways to prevent shingles around babies from developing in the first place. The vaccine for shingles was approved by the Federal Drug Administration in 2006 and has been used to reduce the chances of getting the disease ever since. However, the vaccine is exclusively recommended for people over 60 years of age.

A chickenpox vaccine lowers your baby’s chances of contracting the disease and therefore shingles too. Having your child vaccinated against chickenpox will undoubtedly defend them against a shingles outbreak, too.

If shingles around babies has already fully developed, there are steps that you can take to prevent its further spread.

Also Read: Baby Born With Teeth Superstition – Myths and Facts You Should Know

You need to keep the blisters of your child covered so that the oozing fluid does not come in contact with potential chickenpox contractors. Furthermore, you need to wash your baby’s hands to ensure cleanliness. In addition to this, you should try to keep your baby’s hands away from the blisters so that they do not scratch them too aggressively. You can use other, softer materials to scratch the blisters for them, such as a neem tree branch.

As far as the treatment is concerned, when you consult a doctor and they diagnose the condition as shingles, they are likely to prescribe the following medications:

  • zovirax (acyclovir),
  • valtrex (valacyclovir),
  • famvir (famciclovir).

The antiviral medications above are never to be taken without a prescription. You also need to confirm with your doctor about their safety for your baby.

Also Read: White Spots On Toddler’s Teeth – What Causes Them & How To Prevent?

Health Complications Associated with Shingles

If neglected, shingles can lead to some grave health complications for your baby. It can progress and evolve into more severe and painful diseases such as postherpetic neuralgia (PNH). Shingles rarely, but nonetheless can cause these complications:

  • pneumonia
  • brain inflammation
  • hearing issues

In extreme cases, shingles can result in death.

Although aged patients of shingles are more apt to become the victims of these complications, they can also occur in young ones. Thereby, apt and urgent care is absolutely imperative.

Also Read: Stork Bites in Newborn – Do These Birthmarks Stay Forever?

How to tackle health complications associated with shingles around babies?

If your baby is to suffer from any complications during or after the healing of shingles, they would require treatment for it too.

Treatment of PNH especially tends to be lengthy and can take several years, and can even be lifelong.

Consulting a doctor holds great significance as the treatment of such issues can never be taken upon oneself.

Also Read: What to Give One-Year-Old for Cough? Home-Remedies or Medicines?

The Outlook

Perhaps the excruciating pain involved is the single most gruesome aspect of shingles. The damaged nerves under your skin can puzzle your brain into causing pain. This combined with the prolonged period of curing can make this time a hellish one for your little one.

The good news is, though, those younger patients completely recover from the disease and almost never show any further signs of the disease.

Take the necessary steps to take away a little from the distress your kid may face during this time.

We wish your infant a speedy recovery!

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Pink Noise for Babies: an Effective Sleep Inducer?       

Newborn babies often have trouble sleeping and adopt an irregular sleeping pattern. This not only creates problems for them but for their parents too. Readjustment of one’s schedule to align with their baby’s circadian rhythm can be a hassle. Moreover, babies themselves usually do not get enough sleep and end up being irritable.

It takes time for babies to get used to the outside world and its features. They are surrounded by all kinds of sounds in the womb, such as the mother’s heartbeat, the stomach’s gurgles and the rushing of blood through arteries, etc. This is why sounds outside or the lack thereof may seem unfamiliar to them.

Thankfully, many sleep experts have specifically suggested techniques to make things better. One such technique is the use of pink noise for babies to help them sleep better.

Also Read: 12 Months Sleep Regression | A Survival Guide For Parents

What is Pink Noise?

Pink noise is one of many types of noises with certain characteristics that have been named after colors. It is similar to white noise i.e. a sound which is equally high across all hearable frequencies, except the higher frequencies are reduced. This leaves us with a deeper and more repressed version of it. Think of it as white noise but with an increased bass.

Although white noise is also popular amongst parents aiming to put their babies to sleep, pink noise is deemed more suitable. There are several reasons for that and the comparison below highlights them.

Also Read: 4 Month Sleep Regression – How To Tacke As a Parent?

How is pink noise for babies a different and better option than white noise?

It is much more soothing

Pink noise is deeper and has a lower pitch than white noise, which renders it more soothing to the ears.

It is natural

Pink noise occurs naturally and is found in abundance in nature. White noise, on the other hand, is manufactured. This means that your brain actually tries to crack it, rather than being relaxed by it.

Also Read: My Baby Won’t Sleep In The Crib – What Should I Do?

It is similar to many sounds in a womb

Pink noise replicates the kind of sounds a baby is accustomed to hearing in the womb. Thereby, they may find it relatively more familiar than white noise, which is merely a ‘shhhh’ sound.

It regulates brain waves

Unlike white noise, pink noise slows down brain waves and triggers sleepiness. These slow brain waves are linked to deep sleep.

Also Read: When Can Toddler Sleep With a Pillow?

It can help with better memory retention in the future

According to a 2017 study’s findings, subjects that fell asleep listening to pink noise performed 26% better at a memory test the next morning, than those who did not.

Various studies have associated pink noise with a deeper, more relaxing sleep. They further imply that it plays a role in improving memory. For these reasons and more, slumber experts have stressed on pink noise for babies for better sleep.

Some examples of pink noises are as follows:

  • the pattering of rain,
  • the beating of heart,
  • the rustling of leaves,
  • the whooshing of ocean waves,
  • a steadily roaring waterfall,
  • a slowed fan, et cetera.

Also Read: My Baby Won’t Sleep Unless Held – What Should I Do?

The Benefits of Getting Ample Sleep for Your Baby

According to science, sleep plays a significant role in the healthy development of your baby. It is an activity (or rather inactivity) that your baby devotes a great chunk of its time to on the daily, and it does so for a reason.

Not getting enough sleep can stunt the mental and physical development of a baby. Therefore, ensuring an undisturbed and deep sleep for your toddler is necessary.

A good sleeping routine at this age is apt to have a long-lasting effect. It can help with memory retention in the future, as well as a healthy physical and mental make-up.

Also Read: My Newborn Makes Weird Noises While Asleep – Is It Normal?

How to Incorporate Pink Noise into Your Baby’s Sleeping Schedule?

Now that the definition of pink noise is out of the way, the question stands – how to make use of it on your baby?

The first step is to learn about the average amount of sleep a baby needs at your toddler’s age.

The following averages are advised by doctors:

Newborns:

Around 16 hours per day, waking every now and then for feeding sessions.

At 1-2 months:

A little over 15 hours per day.

At 3-6 months:

With 4-5 hour long sleeping sessions, up to 15 hours.

At 6-12 months:

More at night than at daytime, a total of 14 hours of sleep.

Also Read: My Toddler Won’t Nap During The Daytime – What Should I Do?

Consider the following for guidance

There are several equally effective options that can be chosen; from mobile apps to devices dedicated to emitting pink noise. If you are unable to invest in a gadget or a subscription, recordings of pink noise for babies can also be readily found on free streaming services such as Spotify and Youtube.

Play the pink noise whenever your infant displays signs of drowsiness. You should expect your baby to not react right away, or even respond negatively by wailing or shifting exasperatedly. You need not worry. This would wear off with time and soon the accustomed baby would link the ambient sounds with bedtime.

Also Read: Newborn Grunting And Squirming While Sleeping – Is It Normal?

Furthermore, it is recommended that you keep the sounds playing throughout your baby’s sleep to drown out any external noises. Besides, turning it off may disrupt it especially if your infant has gotten used to it playing alongside.

Position the device no more than a couple of feet away from your sleeping baby. Adjust the volume so as not to cause any irritation to those little ears.

Typically, the devices offer a range of pink noises for babies, such as rain, heartbeat, and beach waves. Play each one on alternative nights and try to notice if your baby shows a liking to a particular one, and play that one from then onward.

Also Read: Stranger Anxiety in Toddlers – All You Need To Know

Wait for the magic!

Pink noise would not only stimulate your baby’s but your sleep also. It can majorly help restore the serenity of your home, with well-relaxed, contented and comfortable inhabitants.

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A Guide to Using Essential Oils for Teething Babies and Infants

The process of teething is a distressing one for both the baby and the parents. The regular tantrums completely throw off the home’s environment and are also worrisome for the parents. Doctors have not come up with a way to completely eliminate the pain as of yet. However, there are some steps that can be taken to alleviate it to a certain degree.  One such tactic is the usage of essential oils.

Essential oils are highly potent. Thus, extra care must be employed when using them, especially when it comes to infants. This article aims to set out a number of thumb tips that would diminish the chances of hazard, as well as suggest the appropriate essential oils for teething babies and infants at different intervals of teething.

Also Read: Baby Born With Teeth Superstition – Myths and Facts You Should Know

How to Safely Use Essential Oils on Teething Babies and Infants

Essential oils are greatly concentrated versions of their regular plants. Hence, precaution is absolutely imperative. Bear in mind the following safety tips that will ensure that their usage on your baby is safe and efficient.

Some safety tips

Consult with an aromatherapist or child specialist

What better way to gain information about something than from someone who specialized in it? An aromatherapist would help you grasp some basics about essential oils, as well as their uses. You can specifically ask them about the safe oils for your infant, and it does not get any more direct.

If you are unable to get in touch with an aromatherapist, a typical child specialist can also help clear your misconceptions.

Do not use essential oil that the specialist advises you against.

Also Read: White Spots On Toddler’s Teeth – What Causes Them & How To Prevent?

Research about the essential oil before usage

Don’t have access to specialists? Try researching yourself. The internet is crammed with articles covering topics concerning babies. These steps will help you research more thoroughly and attain better results:

  • Look up essential oils for teething babies and infants
  • Make sure you search for the ones pertaining to your infant’s age
  • Pick out the top results
  • Make separate searches for each one of them and find out about their dilution levels etc.

In case you have a few bottles of these elixirs on hand, definitely confirm their safety and suitability for a baby.

Also Read: Stork Bites in Newborn – Do These Birthmarks Stay Forever?

Read the instructions; pay attention to possible side-effects

Be absolutely certain about possible allergic reactions, before it’s too late. Do not apply the oil if it can potentially harm your baby. Do not use the essential oils that are abundant in such possible effects especially if your child has a special – skin or otherwise – condition.

However, in the worst-case scenario; if your child is to have an unwanted reaction, see a doctor straight away.

Don’t diffuse the essential oil

It can be potentially perilous for babies to inhale essential oils as it can lead to asthma. Oral application is deemed as the best method because it contains the least risk.

Never swallow the essential oil

Whatever you do, make essential oils never come in contact with your child internally. This can be incredibly detrimental and can result in a myriad of undesired health-related consequences.

Comply with the regulations above to ensure the safety and comfort of your baby.

Also Read: My Newborn Won’t Sleep Unless Held – What Should I Do?

The Best Essential Oils for Babies of Different Ages

Babies usually start teething when they are around 8 months old, up till the age of 2-2 1/2. However, the process varies from infant to infant and can start as early as only 3 months old. As babies develop immensely during the first few years of their life, a baby of a certain age can differ greatly in physical make-up from one of a different age. It is, therefore, vital that essential oils are categorized according to age, too.

Here is a detailed list of suitable essential oils for your teething infant or baby of various ages:

For 3-6 months old infants

Lavender

Lavender, with its exquisite aroma, is a calming agent. It is very gentle, which makes it unlikely to cause irritation. Additionally, it can induce sleep in an exhausted baby, making for a great stress reliever.

Use a diluted solution with .5% lavender oil to carrier oil ratio.

Chamomile

Chamomile is considered a highly effective sedative. Furthermore, its nontoxic nature renders it appropriate for very young babies i.e. the one below 6 months of age.

Chamomile oil is to be used diluted, with a ratio of less than .5% of essential oils to carrier oil.

Also Read: What to Give One-Year-Old for Cough? Home-Remedies or Medicines?

For babies older than 6 months

Marjoram

Known for its pain-relieving properties, marjoram can majorly reduce your teething baby’s muscle and joint pain.

Use a diluted version with at most .5% marjoram oil to carrier oil ratio.

Ginger

Ginger oil can help treat muscular aches and fatigue. Therefore, it is apt in lessening teething pains, although it should be used with care as it sometimes causes irritation.

Use after diluting in a carrier oil with up to .25% ratio of essential oil.

Also Read: Benadryl For Infants – Is It Safe To Use? How To Use It In Babies?

For babies above 2 years old

Clove buds

Clove buds are effective in alleviating muscular pain. Moreover, they have antiseptic and analgesic properties.

Their high potency makes clove buds a slightly more risky option when it comes to babies. Clove bud oil therefore should be used carefully and in the right amount.

It should be diluted at a ratio of lesser than .25% in order to be used.

Also Read: Best Nutrition For Children – What Do Experts Agree On?

Different application methods

Essential oils can be applied to babies in one of the following two methods:

  • Externally using a cotton pad; soak the cotton into the oil or drop the oil onto the cotton pad, and wipe the baby’s jawline, neck, and backside of ears.
  • Internally using a cotton pad/cloth; soak the cloth into the oil and apply it onto the baby’s gums.

Before using either of those methods, do a patch test. Apply the oil onto the baby’s arm or leg and wait for any allergic reactions. Only proceed if the result is positive.

The comfort of their baby is a top priority for new and experienced parents alike. One must go through these often painful stages of development with their child, but the minimization of the pain can always be possible. The existence of strategies such as usage of essential oils for teething babies and infants is thereby a blessing.

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Smoking and Breastfeeding – Is It Safe To Breastfeed While Smoking?

Do smoking and breastfeeding fit in the same sentence? Yup, you may have asked yourself this question. If you are an active smoker and wish to breastfeed your baby.

Well, look no further as we answer all your queries about smoking and breastfeeding.

Smoking Mums and Mums to be!

It’s no surprise that approximately 10% of women smoke at some time during pregnancy. And even after the birth of their baby, in the postpartum period.

Although some going to- be mummies do tend to reduce the number of cigarettes per day. And try to minimize their intake of cigarettes and other alternatives such as cigar or E-cigarettes. It is still common for most women to resume smoking immediately following the delivery of their baby.

These rates are especially higher for women with some form of psychiatric disease. And the relapse is more for mums who develop postpartum depression and psychosis!

Also Read: Is Breastfeeding With A Cold Safe? A Comprehensive Guide For Mothers

Smoking and Breastfeeding

Having a baby is no easy job. It’s a really hectic and stressful period, especially if it’s your first time. And yeah you may feel so tired that chugging down several mugs of coffee won’t do the trick. And your smoking cravings may cause you to give in!

Nicotine is a psychoactive chemical present in cigarettes. And other variant forms containing tobacco, though in different concentrations. It is also highly addictive! Which is why it is very difficult for an active smoker, especially a chain smoker to get rid of this addiction.

The known harmful effects of nicotine on the expecting mum and the fetus have been documented. And there is a lot of emphasis to quit smoking if planning for pregnancy.

Also Read: All Newly Married Women Should Discuss This With Their Partners!

Should I Consider Breastfeeding if I Smoke?

Despite all the harmful effects of smoking, it may be hard for you to quit smoking. No matter how hard you try! That is because nicotine is a very addictive and hard substance to quit.

But then comes the question of breastfeeding your baby. You may be terrified of feeding your milk to the baby. Knowing that nicotine is not the safest thing present in the milk.

But you’d be surprised to know that you should breastfeed your baby despite actively smoking! Yup, you heard us right. That is because the benefits of breastfeeding your baby outweigh the risks of nicotine in the milk.

Also Read: How To Get A Woman Pregnant Fast?

Breastmilk Vs Formula Feed

Breastmilk is the best food for your newborn baby. It is jam-packed with so many nutrients as well as healthy antibodies. That helps in protecting your baby from a number of diseases.

So, with all these benefits, it is recommended you breastfeed your baby despite smoking. Rather than smoke and give your baby formula feed.

This fact comes from the observation that babies whose mums did smoke and fed them their own produce ended up having protection against several health conditions. Such as diarrhea and other tummy troubles, certain types of cancer, and diabetes.

It also protects the harmful effects of cigarette smoke on a baby’s lungs. You can definitely not get all these benefits from the artificial feed.

Not only the baby, but breastfeeding also has beneficial effects on the mother’s health. Breastfeeding is linked with a reduction in breast cancer, helps in early shedding of pregnancy weight postpartum. And also strengthens that beautiful mother-baby bond!

Also Read: Diet For Breastfeeding Mothers To Increase Milk

How Does Smoking Affect Breast – Feeding?

Smoking and breastfeeding isn’t a healthy choice. That is because smoking has been linked to reducing the production of breastmilk.  As it causes a decrease in the production of the hormone prolactin. The milk-producing hormone.

Not only is the quantity affected, but it also compromises the quality. As vitamin C levels in the breast milk of a smoking mum are less than a nonsmoking mum.

This doesn’t stop here. The milk let-down reflex is also compromised. And smoking mothers tend to wean their babies earlier than non-smoking ones.

Also Read: Breast Soreness and Menstrual Cycle – Are these Interlinked?

Harmful Effects of Nicotine on the Baby?

With regard to smoking and breastfeeding, a common concern is, “Does nicotine enter the breast milk if I am smoking?”

And the answer is yes. This may come as an alarm ringing loud. But the amount of nicotine that passes into breast milk is double the amount of nicotine that crosses through the placenta!

And with this much amount of nicotine comes in the harmful effects. Let’s look at a few of these.

  • Poor and stunted growth
  • Increase in the incidence of ‘crib death’ or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) (Read about when should baby sleep in crib?)
  • A child more prone to develop respiratory allergies, and other problems.
  • Nicotine Dependence. Just as adults, babies also develop an addiction to nicotine. This comes from a combination of both nicotine in breast milk as well as in second-hand smoke.

And they also develop withdrawal symptoms if that amount of nicotine isn’t available to them. These withdrawal symptoms in babies include irritability, fussiness, headaches, and symptoms of disturbed sleep. (Read When Do Kids Stop Napping?)

Also Read: Having A Breastfeeding Baby Constipated? What Should You Do?

Smoking and Breastfeeding – How to Go Hand in Hand?

With the many benefits of breastfeeding, and harms of smoking. How to find a middle lane? It is definitely not possible to quit smoking overnight.

So, what measures to take to ensure the benefits of breastfeeding while at the same time protecting baby boo from harm?

Given below are some ways to work out.

Smoking Cessation!

This is obviously the first thing to do when you plan to conceive. Smoking has detrimental effects on the growing fetus. Hence it is better to start from step 1.

Cut Down on the Cigars!

While immediately giving up maybe a hard task. Try cutting down on the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. It’s all about the small steps!

Also Read: Eating During Labor: What to Choose and What to Avoid?

Smoke Away from Your Baby

When lighting up a cigarette or two, try doing it in a separate room. Away from your baby. Hence minimizing the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

Smoke After Breastfeeding

This is important as nicotine has a half-life of 90 minutes. And our goal is to minimize the amount of nicotine that enters your milk while nursing. Also, try keeping as long a time gap between smoking and breastfeeding as you could.

Also Read: When Do Pregnancy Cravings Start?

Smoking and Breastfeeding- The Takeaway?

Though it is not advisable to smoke while breastfeeding. It is still recommended owing to the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mum and baby.

Doing it the right way saves you from a lot of trouble. And remember to always check in with your doctor if you feel your baby’s health is in danger.

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