How Long After Smoking Hookah Can I Breastfeed (And Why)?

Exact Answer: At least 4 hours

Smoking hookah while breastfeeding is quite normal, but pretty dangerous during the long run if you do not take precautions. This is because post-birth can be extremely stressful for the mother. So it is normal for new mothers to find new ways to relax and come back to their usual state.

This includes smoking hookah, as cigarettes and alcohol are often considered to be more dangerous. But the hookah can also greatly affect your breastfeeding, as it also contains nicotine, so it is important to wait it out before breastfeeding your infant.

The hookah is basically a water pipe with a bowl in the bottom to heat tobacco, which contains nicotine.

How Long After Smoking Hookah Can I Breastfeed?

ObjectiveAnswer
Half-life of nicotine2 hours
Waiting time to breastfeed after smoking hookahAt least 4 hours
What does hookah contain?Tobacco, which contains nicotine
Why smoke hookah?For relaxation and socialization

The hookah is a device that contains a hose that is connected to a pipe, and a bowl with a smoke chamber. It can also be called a shisha, hubble-bubble, goza, or narghile.

Hookah typically contains tobacco that is heated in the smoke chamber on charcoal or coals. Then the smoke from the tobacco travels through the water and comes out through the rubber hose which has a mouthpiece connected to it.

Hookah offers many flavors of smoke such as mint, chocolate, apple, licorice, and more. The tobacco that you take in through the hookah will give you a slight buzz but doesn’t make you high. You may feel a little dizzy or lightheaded after a hookah session.

Because tobacco contains nicotine, you can get addicted as nicotine is absorbed into your blood. Nicotine can give you an addiction, and if you do not smoke hookah for even a short period of time, you may feel sick or emotionally unstable.

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People often smoke hookah to relax and calm down if they have anxiety. It is also used as a tool for socialization at parties and get-togethers. The use of hookahs dates back to ancient Persia and India, centuries back.

It is a common belief that smoking hookah is much safer than smoking cigarettes. But it is purely a myth as a hookah is not any better than a cigarette and both contain tobacco and nicotine.

According to research, a hookah session that lasts for up to an hour can produce a greater amount of tobacco smoke than that of a cigarette.

Because nicotine can pass into the breastmilk, it is recommended to wait for at least 4 hours after smoking to breastfeed your baby.

Why Does It Take That Long To Breastfeed After Smoking Hookah?

You are highly advised to wait at least four hours after smoking hookah to breastfeed your infant. This is because there is nicotine in the tobacco that is heated in the hookah, while you smoke it.

The half-life of nicotine is about two hours, so it takes at least four hours for the body to metabolize that amount of nicotine in the bloodstream. Nicotine can pass from the mother’s bloodstream into her breastmilk, and remains there for a duration of time.

Nicotine causes plenty of problems for both the infant who drinks the milk and the mother. It will also affect the process of breastfeeding.

Nicotine can negatively impact the infant’s development. Also, this can greatly reduce the volume of breastmilk that is produced in the mother’s body. In addition, it can also decrease the quality and modify the taste of the milk that the mother produces.

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Moreover, the infant may develop asthma and certain allergies. Also, because of the nicotine, the infant may feel sick and anxious, leading to disrupted sleeping patterns. Because of the modified taste of the breastmilk, the baby may refuse the breastmilk or their appetite may even be reduced.

The breastmilk may not contain a rich amount of nutrients and vitamins that are essential for the baby’s growth because the toxic chemicals from the smoke can destroy those necessary nutrients.

In addition, there is a higher chance of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and a higher probability for babies to develop respiratory allergies and gastrointestinal problems. This is because they might be exposed to the smoke from the hookah while you smoke it.

This is why you must always wait at least 4 hours after smoking hookah, to breastfeed your baby.

Conclusion

Therefore we can understand that even though smoking hookah is normally seen as the lesser of two evils when compared to either smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol, it can also be dangerous if the mother doesn’t follow safety protocols.

It is best to wait for at least four hours or more, if you’ve smoked hookah, to breastfeed your baby. This allows the body to metabolize a large portion of it from the bloodstream.

Even though this is an option, you are advised to smoke the hookah right after breastfeeding your infant. This is much better and safer than breastfeeding after smoking hookah.

References

  1. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/120/3/497.short
  2. https://erj.ersjournals.com/content/9/12/2623.short
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1523-536X.2008.00244.x

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