Breastfeeding Difficulties - Health of The Infant - Transmission of Drugs and Toxins - Other Substance Abuse

Other Substance Abuse

The baby's risk from something unsafe in breast milk depends on how much of that substance the baby gets. The level of risk depends on the concentration of the substance in the breast milk and how much milk the infant consumes. Finally, that risk is weighed against the risks of using a substitute for breast milk, such as infant formula.

Heavy alcohol consumption harms the infant, causing problems with the development of motor skills and decreasing the speed of weight gain. There is no consensus on how much alcohol may be consumed safely, but it is generally agreed that small amounts of alcohol may be occasionally consumed by a breastfeeding mother. Considering the known dangers of alcohol exposure to the developing fetus, those mothers wishing to err on the side of caution should restrict or eliminate their alcoholic intake.

If the mother consumes too much caffeine, it can cause irritability, sleeplessness, nervousness and increased feeding in the breastfed infant. Moderate use (one to two cups per day of coffee, tea, or cola) usually produces no effect. Breastfeeding mothers are advised to restrict or avoid caffeine if her baby reacts negatively to it. Cigarette smoking is thought to increase the effects of caffeine in the baby.

Cannabis is listed by the American Association of Pediatrics as a compound that transfers into human breast milk. Research demonstrated that certain compounds in marijuana have a very long half-life.

Read more about this topic:  Breastfeeding Difficulties, Health of The Infant, Transmission of Drugs and Toxins

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