Breast Feeding Smokers Affect a Baby's Sleep

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Breast feeding mothers who also smoke could be preventing their babies from getting the sleep they need.

A new study finds babies exposed to nicotine in breast milk have their naps cut short by an average of 37% compared with infants who aren’t exposed to nicotine.

The study included 15 breast fed babies observed over two days. The mothers either smoked right before breast feeding, or were asked to refrain from smoking. Babies exposed to higher levels of nicotine found in their mothers' breast milk had significantly shorter naps.

Previous studies by the same research team found levels of nicotine in breast milk peak 30 minutes to an hour after smoking one or two cigarettes, but generally clear within three hours.