You seem to have a very strong opinion on breastfeeding and smoking. You should know though that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers who smoke should breastfeed rather than give their infant formula. Please read the following and educate yourself on this issue.
As for the Ryder Salmen case, her doctor had recommended that she breastfeed while taking prescription methadone. It was the CPS who warned her not to breastfeed, not any doctor. In fact, the Sacramento CPS does not have an informed policy about breastfeeding and prescription drug usage. It would have been impossible for Ryder to have suffered an overdose via just breast milk. This was a misconception by the police that the media picked up on. The court case for Sarah Stephens, Ryder’s mother, should reveal the source for the methadone overdose.
Let’s just take a moment for this comment to permeate. And, now, let’s review:
The reader believes
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends smoking and nursing
- Metadone, a synthetic opiate, is not only okay while nursing, it’s also doctor endorsed. Also, Child Protective Services and the media have misconstrued the issue: doctors said it was okay, according to the reader.
And, before I go deep, let me address the reader’s first words: yes, I have an incredibly strong opinion on nicotine and nursing.
If you’re not beginning to feel enraged by this comment yet, there’s something wrong with you. For anyone to suggest that nicotine, specifically through cigarette consumption and secondhand smoke, does not have horrendous effects on full-grown adults would be foolish. For someone to go beyond that statement and assert that a substance that causes cancer and respiratory illness, among other things, in adults poses no risk to an infant is inexcusable. Smoking while nursing, or even in the presence of an infant, is gross. It’s negligent. It ignores an infant’s basic needs for cleanliness. And it disgusts me.
But, these are not simply feelings I have toward nursing and smoking: these are facts, which are evidence based, about the effects of nicotine on the human body – no matter its size.
Let’s get something straight right now: breast milk is not some magical substance that will give your child immunities and protect an infant from every type of illness or disease. If that were true, no infant would have ever died before the 19th century (which is when humans started experimenting with alternative infant feeding methods). Historical sources:
Nurturing Yesterday’s Child: A Portrayal of the Drake Collection of Paediatric History and The Ladies’ New Book of Cookery
Furthermore, the AAP does not recommend nursing and smoking. The presence of nicotine in an infant causes sleep issues, specifically in regards to “active sleep” . The reduction in active sleep, as was studied in infants whose mothers both nursed and smoked, leads to mental delays. The official stance, by the AAP, is that if you cannot quit smoking, you should still breastfeed because your baby is inhaling harmful secondhand smoke anyway; however, smoking while nursing is absolutely not advised by any pediatrician or licensed doctor. And, for the record, the Center for Disease Control has some super scary statistics on secondhand smoke and the risk of SIDS, in case you were still wondering if smoking around an infant was “okay”. Spoiler alert: it’s not!
Although I don’t feel I’ll ever be done arguing this issue, let’s move on to the Ryder Salmen case. In my original post, I specifically stated: “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.'” The point of debate here, according to “aldestrawk”, is that Salem’s “doctor had recommended that she breastfeed while taking prescription methadone. It was the CPS who warned her not to breastfeed, not any doctor” and my source’s information was “a misconception by the police that the media picked up on.” Okay, fair. Let’s go off that assumption, shall we? Even if it was a social worker, not a doctor, who told Salmen to stop breastfeeding, that order was correct. Salmen’s son died because the drugs in her system were transferred to her infant via breast milk.
As far as I’m concerned, anyone who lacks the mental cognizance to connect the dots should not be advocating nursing universally. Believe it or not, substances that are dangerous to adults are infinitely more harmful to infants. Yes, infants. You know, those tiny humans who are so helpless. Too helpless to dress themselves. Too helpless to feed themselves. Too helpless to advocate for themselves. Anyone who advocates drug use, whether legal or illicit, in a nursing or pregnant woman, lacks integrity to the fullest degree. To KellyMom, lactation consultants, and anyone else who thinks passing substances to an infant is totally safe, I say: go fuck yourself.