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My daughter's pediatrician told me to stop breastfeeding because I smoke. Should I listen?

My daughter is 2 months old and at her last visit was 8lbs 4 oz. Her birthweight was 7lbs. 5 oz. Up until 2 weeks ago she was solely breastfed. At that time I started supplementing with formula immediately after breastfeeding. Friday we had another visit at her doctor. The doctor came in and asked me about my Prozac ( I take 20 mg a day) and about my smoking. She demanded that I make a decision right then and there wheter I would quit smoking or formula feed. Then she told me that she was going to decide that I should just formula feed. Then she proceeded to tell me that I can continue to stimulate milk production and to pump, but to dispose of the milk that I produce until I quit smoking. I have never heard anything like this before! Isn't ANY breastmilk better than NONE? Please help!!


Asked by anfogle at 9:09 PM on Nov. 25, 2008 in Babies (0-12 months)

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Answers (17)
  • Quit BF because she may get some nicotine, FF so at least you KNOW for sure she is consuming toxins!! Note sarcasm, tell your doctor to get more educated on BF.


    Answer by Natsnumberthree at 10:12 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • Yes

    Answer by moviestartaal at 9:14 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • The nicotine that you are getting in your body you are feeding to your child....its not fair, and not healthy, the child is not asking to be exposed to the nicotine....

    I agree that you should either quit smoking, or just formula feed. I don't agree with how she went about talking to you about it, but I do agree with her.

    Answer by CarolynBarnett at 9:14 PM on Nov. 25, 2008


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:16 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • I agree....not fair to your child. Even if you smoke outside and hold your baby...the smoke can linger on your clothing....not good for baby.....

    Quit for you baby's'll be happy in the long run.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:21 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • You're basically giving her poisoned milk so no, it's not better than none.

    Answer by KatieCrandall at 9:33 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • This is from the CDC website:

    Should mothers who smoke breastfeed?
    Mothers who smoke are encouraged to quit, however, breast milk remains the ideal food for a baby even if the mother smokes. Although nicotine may be present in breast milk, adverse effects on the infant during breastfeeding have not been reported. AAP recognizes pregnancy and lactation as two ideal times to promote smoking cessation, but does not indicate that mothers who smoke should not breastfeed.

    I read up a lot on this topic and I read somewhere that if you smoke over 10 cigarettes a day then you probably shouldn't breastfeed.

    Just try to cut down. Go outside to do it. Start rolling your own.. do things that will make you less apt to smoke. I hope you're not smoking in the house w/ the baby and that after you are done smoking you are washing your hands.

    Answer by detroit.mommy at 9:38 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • It's still in your baby's best interest to be breastfed.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 9:40 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • The above poster is correct. I smoke and breastfeed. I have read a lot about it. Now while I know it's not the best choice, and I really wish I had the self discipline to quit, it is still better to breastfeed and smoke than it is to formula feed.

    Keep breastfeeding! And do whatever you can to quit smoking.

    And if I were you, I would find a new doctor- one who knows that YOU are the parent, and works WITH you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:42 PM on Nov. 25, 2008

  • Okay, I did not mean for everyone to be on here passing judgement. I did not mean to ask for opinions on smoking and breastfeeding. When smoking only 15 or less cigarettes per day only a trace amount of nicotine gets to baby. It takes around 95 minutes for nicotine to pass through your system after smoking so it is recommended to smoke right after feeding if you are going to smoke. I know all of the bad things about smoking. All I want to know is how do I handle this doctor who seems to think that it is okay to tell someone when they CAN'T breastfeed. She is my baby and I have the right to breastfeed or not. Period.

    Answer by anfogle at 9:42 PM on Nov. 25, 2008