Important to note that Mom’s lifestyle in particular the daily routine can impact breastfeeding. These are but not limited to smoking, drugs, Alcohol and medicines. Let’s have a look at these.
Nursing mothers should not smoke or take drugs. Tobacco from cigarettes contains a drug called nicotine, which transfers to breast milk and may even affect the amount of milk you produce. The risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) becomes greater when a mother smokes or when the baby is around second-hand (or passive) smoke. Smoking and passive smoke may also increase respiratory and ear infections in babies. If you smoke and are breastfeeding, talk to your health care provider about what you can do to quit smoking. If you can’t quit, breastfeeding still is best because the benefits of breast milk still outweigh the risks from nicotine.
2. Illegal Drugs
Some drugs, such as cocaine and PCP, can make the baby high. Other drugs, such as heroin and marijuana can cause irritability, poor sleeping patterns, tremors, and vomiting. Babies can become addicted to these drugs.
Also visit: How Lifestyle Affects Breast Milk
Alcohol does get to your baby through breast milk, and has been found to peak in its concentration about 30 to 60 minutes after drinking, or 60 to 90 minutes if it is taken with food. The effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding baby are directly related to the amount of alcohol a mother consumes. Moderate to heavy drinking (2 or more alcoholic drinks per day) can interfere with the let-down reflex and the milk-ejection reflex. It also can harm the baby’s motor development and cause slow weight gain. For this reason, and for the general health of the mother, if alcohol is used, intake should be limited. Light drinking by a breastfeeding mother has not been found to be harmful to a breastfeeding baby. If you know that you are going to have alcohol, such as some wine with dinner, you can pump your milk beforehand to give to your baby after you have had the alcohol. Then pump and discard the milk that is most affected by the drink(s).
Always talk with your health care provider before taking any medications. Most medications pass into your milk in small amounts. If you take medication for a chronic condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma, your medication may already have been studied in breastfeeding women, so you should be able to find information to help you make an informed decision with the help of your health care provider. Newer medications and medications for rare disorders may have less information available. [ Also read: Is it safe to take medications while breastfeeding? ]