Feeding on Nicotine

Nicotine Wikimedia Commons

Babies whose mothers smoke prior to breastfeeding sleep less, according to a new study to be published in the journal Pediatrics.

When mothers smoked before breastfeeding, then fed their babies, the little ones slept for less than an hour. On days the mothers didn't smoke immediately before breastfeeding, the babies slept almost an hour and a half.

The lack of sleep was directly related to higher amounts of nicotine in the milk. The babies drank the same amount of milk, whether the nicotine concentration was high or not.

Seems like a dangerous positive-feedback cycle: The more mama smokes, the less baby sleeps. The less baby sleeps, the more stress on mama. The more stress on mama, the more mama wants to smoke.

Now let's see if the marketing gurus pick up a tired, crying baby to be the next spokesman for the anti-smoking campaign.

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