New research has found that mothers who are breastfeeding and living with smokers are more likely to stop nursing earlier than those who live in non-smoking households.
Carried out by researchers at the University of Hong Kong School of Nursing and the University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Canada, the study looked at 1,240 mother and baby pairs from four major hospitals in Hong Kong.
The mothers were asked to complete questionnaires to collect data on maternal, paternal and household smoking habits, as well as other influencing factors. The researchers then followed up with participants with a phone interview at 12 months or when they had finished breastfeeding.
The results showed that 2.5 percent of the participants were smokers, 29.2 had partners who were smokers, and 11.3 percent reported that they had another smoker living in their home.
The team also found that mothers who lived with two or more smokers had a significantly shorter duration of any breastfeeding at 12-month follow-up, with these participants showing a 30 percent higher risk for ending breastfeeding before a year compared with mothers in non-smoking families.
“Once again we are reminded that cigarette smoking is not only dangerous to your health but also to the most vulnerable members of your household,” says Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, editor-in-chief of Breastfeeding Medicine, the publication which published the results. JB