View Full Version : Nicotine Patches and Breastfeeding?
Just wondering if anyone here has given up smoking using nicotine patches while breastfeeding.
Im still trying to give up (not having much luck cold turkey :( ) and was wondering on using patches. I looked on the net and from what i found it seems the nicotine levels with the patches are less than if smoking.
Just wondering on what others think on this and if they have used them etc
Edited to add my bf asked me to ask this Q since i so far havent been able to completely stop smoking - i know patches and breastfeeding would NOT be recommended im pretty sure
i was told by my doctor, of all people, that smoking was actually better than the patches if you must do one or the other while breasfeeding - reason being patches continuosly pump nicotine into your bloodstream whereas smoking has to go through your lungs and is not constant, thus more diluted. the patches (or gum or whatever) can also have pretty serious side effects like dizziness, vomiting etc and they'd be no fun while looking after your baby... i honestly don't know myself and of course it would be better to have nothing at all. good luck :)
Ok ive found a few things like :
Because nicotine passes very readily into breast milk, ideally it should not be taken in any form during breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding and are unable to quit smoking, discuss with your doctor the pros and cons of using nicotine patches.
Remember that if you smoke while wearing a patch, you are giving your body a "double dose" of nicotine; if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, your baby will get the "double dose", too.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Certain medicines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other medicines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
* Nicotine in any form should ideally not be used during pregnancy, as it has been shown to adversely affect the development of the baby, both in the womb and after birth. However, for pregnant women who are unable to give up smoking without a smoking cessation aid, NRT may deliver less nicotine (and none of the other potentially disease-causing agents) than would be obtained from cigarettes. As a result, it is considered that NRT poses less of a risk to the foetus than continuing to smoke. Pregnant women who smoke should discuss the risks and benefits of NRT with their doctor as early as possible in their pregnancy and only use this medicine on their advice.
* If NRT is used during pregnancy, forms such as gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalators or nasal sprays are preferable to patches, although your doctor may suggest a patch if you suffer from morning sickness. If you do use patches, make sure you remember to remove them at night. The aim should be to stop using NRT as soon as possible, preferably after two to three months.
* Nicotine taken in any form passes into breast milk and is harmful to the nursing infant. However, for women who are unable to give up smoking without a smoking cessation aid, NRT may deliver less nicotine (and none of the other potentially disease-causing agents) than would be obtained from cigarettes. It is also less hazardous than the second-hand smoke that the infant would be exposed to if the mother continued to smoke.
* However, if possible, nicotine patches should be avoided during breastfeeding because they provide a continuous stream of nicotine into the breast milk. It is better to use intermittent forms such as gum, lozenges, microtabs, inhalators or nasal sprays, because these can be more easily adjusted around breastfeeding times to minimise the amount of nicotine that the infant is exposed to via the breast milk. Seek advice from your doctor or pharmacist.
I would be having a good talk with your doctor :yes:
I asked a friend of mine who did some research in this area and this is her reply..
"Nicotene is excreted in breastmilk in sufficient amounts to cause tachycardia in the infant."
From a cigarette, the max levels of nicotine is reached about 10 to 15 minutes after the smoking has started...and declines until around 90 minutes were its near the baseline again. The graph show that the peak concentration is around 170nmol/l, and it tapers off to around 20nmol/l.
With a patch, its says that the plasma concentration is around 75-150nmol/l and remains constant for around 20 hours.
However, there isn't anything about how much is transferred over to the breast milk.
Assuming that the amount in breast milk is proportional to the amount in the blood, I think it would be safer to smoke a regular cigarette (not around the baby!) and then not breastfeed for 2 to 3 hours afterwards.
On the other hand, I'm not sure if the nicotine in the breast milk already formed is removed after the toxin in cleared from the body....if you know what I mean.
So, in short I think no smoking would be the best, but if she can't stop, then perhaps expressing milk a specific times prior to smoking is an option."
hope that helps.
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