How does smoking affect breastfeeding?

Smoking before breastfeeding shortens the infant's sleep

01.10.2007

Infants whose mothers smoke just before breastfeeding sleep up to a third less than babies born to mothers who have previously stopped smoking for 12 hours. The pulmonologists of the warn against this Federal Association of Pulmonologists (BdP) citing a recent scientific study from the USA.

Infants whose mothers smoke just before breastfeeding sleep up to a third less than babies born to mothers who have previously stopped smoking for 12 hours. The pulmonologists of the warn against this Federal Association of Pulmonologists (BdP) citing a recent scientific study from the United States that examined the sleep behavior of fifteen two to seven month old children whose mothers smoke and breastfeed. "If the mothers smoked immediately before breastfeeding, their babies slept an average of 53 minutes, after a twelve-hour break from smoking the mother, however, 85 minutes - that is, half an hour longer," reports Dr. Michael Barczok, board member of the BdP and practicing pulmonologist at the Lung Center Ulm, which, among other things, also carries out sleep medicine examinations. “The nicotine nicotine
There are several reasons that the addiction-inducing substance in cigarettes is nicotine:
* Nicotine penetrates the central nervous system (CNS) and is psychoactive.
* The physiological effects of smoking and injected nicotine are identical.
* Nicotine works as a "positive amplifier". Humans (and animals too) add nicotine to themselves in experiments.
* It is easier to get rid of the addictive substance (tobacco abstinence) if nicotine is administered (substituted, i.e. replaced) with medication.
* Smokers tend to adapt their smoking behavior to the different nicotine contents of tobacco products
in breast milk affects both the deep sleep of the children and the active sleep phases (dream phases or REM sleep, in which high-frequency, small brain waves, periodic movements of the eyes and twitching of the facial muscles and extremities occur). The sleep phase that is normally the longest was shortened the most. After all, the babies affected drank no less milk while breastfeeding than the children of abstinent smokers - which may be surprising, since the taste of nicotine-contaminated breast milk has been shown to have changed. "

Sleep deficit can affect healthy development
The more nicotine the breast milk contained, the more the children's sleep pattern was disturbed, i.e. the less time they spent, especially in the active dream phases. "This is of course particularly worrying in a developing baby, considering that sleeping serves to process new experiences and experiences from the waking phases in the form of dreams," explains Barczok. “During this processing, the brain is cleaned of superfluous information, so to speak. Sleep also helps the internal organs to recover. So if you circumcise infants in their natural sleep behavior, which they need for healthy development and which lasts up to 16 hours throughout the day, this can lead to serious developmental disorders. It has also been observed in infants who suffer from difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep that they scream and whine more and play less. We pulmonologists therefore urgently advise mothers to refrain from smoking not only during pregnancy but also when breastfeeding, ”recommends Barczok.

Swell:

  • Pediatrics (2007), Volume 120/3, Pages 497-502 (doi: 10.1542 / peds.2007-0488). Summary (abstract)
  • Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep in the first two years of life. Dissertation by Ariadne Vogt (2004)