Is Vaping While Breastfeeding Okay?

Is Vaping While Breastfeeding Okay?

If you’ve a mother of a newborn baby, there are lots of things to learn. It’s normal to wonder when you can start getting back to the habits you used to enjoy before giving birth. Recently, with the popularity of vapes, the safety of vaping while breastfeeding has been called into question. What’s best for you and your baby?

In this article, we’ll look more into the safety of nicotine and vaping while breastfeeding. This will include looking at public health perspectives, risks to the baby, and the effects of nicotine in breast milk. We’ll also talk about some strategies you might consider researching for quitting vaping - both for the longevity of yourself and your child.

Understanding Vaping and E-Cigarettes

Before delving into the specific concerns related to vaping while breastfeeding, let's first understand what vaping and e-cigarettes are. Vaping refers to the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device. E-cigarettes, also known as e-cigs or vape pens, are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid containing nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals, turning it into an aerosol that is inhaled by the user.

The Safety of Vaping While Breastfeeding

The Perspective of Public Health Organizations

Public health organizations present diverse perspectives on vaping while breastfeeding, noting that while it might be less harmful compared to smoking, its long-term effects remain uncertain. This ambiguity raises concerns, particularly when addressing the question, is it bad to vape while breastfeeding?

Given the lack of conclusive evidence and explicit safety assurances, caution is advised. The potential risks and unknowns of vaping while breastfeeding suggest that thorough consideration and consultation with healthcare providers are crucial for those considering vaping as a means to cease smoking during this sensitive period.

Potential Risks to the Baby

A key concern with vaping while breastfeeding revolves around the potential transmission of chemicals and nicotine from the mother to the infant through breast milk. Despite e-cigarettes typically emitting fewer toxins than traditional cigarettes, the presence of harmful substances in vaping and breastfeeding scenarios raises alarms for infant health.

Given the scarcity of research on how these elements affect infants, assessing the precise risks of vaping and breastfeeding remains challenging. The limited studies contribute to the complexity of fully understanding the impact of vaping while breastfeeding ****on a baby's well-being.

Nicotine Levels in Breast Milk

Nicotine, a highly addictive substance found in both traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes, can pass into breast milk. Studies have shown that the levels of nicotine in breast milk can vary depending on factors such as the timing of vaping in relation to breastfeeding and the frequency of vaping. It's important to note that the amount of nicotine transferred to the baby through breast milk is generally lower than the amount the mother inhales while vaping.

Potential Effects on Milk Supply and Infant Development

Nicotine has been linked to reduced prolactin levels, a hormone crucial for breast milk production, potentially affecting a mother's milk supply during vaping and breastfeeding. This raises concerns about the ability to provide sufficient milk while vaping while breastfeeding.

Moreover, the exposure to nicotine through vaping and breastfeeding could influence infant development, highlighting the need for further research to elucidate these potential effects comprehensively.

Best Practices for Vaping While Breastfeeding

Timing of Vaping

To minimize the potential risks associated with vaping while breastfeeding, experts recommend waiting until after a breastfeeding session to vape. This allows for a longer period of time between vaping and the next breastfeeding session, reducing the amount of nicotine and other chemicals that may be present in breast milk.

Avoiding Secondhand Exposure

Just as with smoking, it's important to avoid exposing your baby to secondhand vapor. This means refraining from vaping in the presence of your baby, both indoors and outdoors. Keeping the area around your baby as smoke-free as possible is crucial for their overall health and well-being.

Cleaning and Hygiene

Since chemicals from vaping can adhere to clothing, hair, and skin, it's important to take precautions to minimize exposure. Consider designating a specific outfit or covering your clothes while vaping, and wash your hands, brush your teeth, and rinse your mouth after each vaping session. These measures can help reduce the transfer of chemicals to your baby through physical contact.

Quitting Smoking and Vaping

If you are a breastfeeding mother who is currently vaping or smoking and looking to quit, there are several options available to you. It's important to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best approach for your specific situation. Here are some effective methods used to quit smoking and vaping:

Behavioral Therapies and Counseling

Behavioral therapies, such as counseling, have been found to be effective in helping pregnant and breastfeeding women quit smoking. These therapies provide support and guidance in overcoming nicotine addiction and developing healthier habits. Working with a trained professional can greatly increase your chances of successfully quitting.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)

Nicotine replacement therapy involves the use of products that deliver nicotine to the body without the harmful effects of smoking or vaping. FDA-approved NRT products include nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, nasal sprays, and lozenges. It's important to discuss the use of NRT with your healthcare provider to ensure its safety and effectiveness while breastfeeding.


Certain medications, such as Zyban and Chantix, are sometimes prescribed to aid in smoking cessation. However, these medications are generally not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding due to potential risks to the baby. Always consult with your healthcare provider before considering any medication to quit smoking or vaping.

Support Programs and Resources

Various support programs and resources are available to assist individuals in their journey to quit smoking or vaping. These may include helplines, online support groups, and community-based programs. Taking advantage of these resources can provide you with the guidance and support you need to successfully quit.


While the safety of vaping while breastfeeding is still a topic of debate, it's important to approach it with caution and make informed decisions. While vaping may be considered a potentially safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, it's crucial to understand the potential risks and effects it may have on both the mother and the baby. Consulting with healthcare professionals, following best practices, and exploring available quitting options can help you make the best choices for your health and the well-being of your baby. Remember, the health and safety of both you and your baby are paramount, and seeking professional advice is always recommended.


CDC: Tobacco and E-Cigarette: Vaping while Breastfeeding

American Heart Association: Is Vaping Less Harmful than Smoking?

NCBI: Effects of Smoking and Vaping Around Infants

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