“First of all, a mom who can’t stop smoking should breastfeed.”
No, this isn’t a joke or sarcastic remark. This is an actual quote from the “Breastfeeding and Cigarette Smoking” page on KellyMom.com. And it’s just one (of MANY) reasons that women should stop trusting KellyMom as a valid resource for breastfeeding.
I don’t know why what I’m about to say is a no-no among moms who exclusively breastfeed, but I really don’t care: If you’re a smoker, breastfeeding your baby is absolutely wrong. There’s this overwhelming misconception that breast milk is some sort of magic cure for all illnesses. I even had a lactation consultant come to my home and tell me that breast milk contained stem cells. OH REALLY? I’m pretty sure the scientific community would LOVE to know about this, seeing as they’ve been harvesting stem cells from a much less accessible source. Who knew that lactating women hold the power to create a brand new liver with milk from their boobs. Seriously? You ladies can’t be this dumb. But, I digress.
Women who insist that mothers breastfeed after consuming alcohol, tobacco, or certain over-the-counter medications because “breast milk has immunities” and will “protect” or “filter” the bad stuff may have missed the recent story about Ryder Salmen, the eight month old who died because his mother wouldn’t stop breastfeeding him. Despite being instructed by medical doctors that she should stop breastfeeding, the baby “tragically died after drinking toxic breast milk containing a lethal cocktail of methadone and Xanax and now his mother had been charged with murder”.
Hmm. I wonder why she wouldn’t stop breastfeeding. Could it be that she was repeatedly told “breast is best” by KellyMom and the internet boob-cult found on the mommy boards? Because, I’ve read posts, mother-to-mother, advocating the use of breast milk even if intoxicated (the exact words of the poster: “Breast milk from a drunk mom is better than formula”. Um, no. Actually, it is not better. It is what we educated folk like to call poison).
The question I urge moms to ask themselves is this: can we trust a source that insists on something so asinine? If secondhand smoke is bad for a baby, surely nicotine from breast milk is worse.