Berlin: Mothers who smoke not only damage their children during pregnancy but can also negatively affect their development in the breast-feeding phase.
Nicotine and other dangerous substances contained in tobacco enter breast milk and then the child`s system, according to a new report from the German Cancer Research Centre.
The report says that the babies of mothers who smoke absorb about seven micrograms of nicotine per kilogram of body weight a day. That is the equivalent absorption rate of an adult who smokes one cigarette a day with a nicotine content level of 0.7 milligrams.
Nicotine can also get into the breast milk of non-smoking mothers if they live with a smoker.
It has been observed that if a mother smokes heavily during breast-feeding, her baby may appear restless, may vomit, can suffer from colic and weigh too little, according to the report.
It may also affect the child`s sleep pattern.
Smoking can also negatively affect the level of breast milk produced by the mother and lead to poor breast-feeding habits.