Much of what a mother puts into her body gets into the breast milk she produces. Smoking decreases beneficial nutrients in breast milk such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, Vitamin E, and iodine. In addition, smoking introduces harmful compounds in breast milk such as nicotine, inflammatory compounds, and toxic metals. Nicotine can reduce the amount of time the infant sleeps. Infants who have mothers that smoke during breastfeeding are more likely to sleep less and have a higher risk of respiratory infections and sudden infant death syndrome. Many drugs that may even be safe to take during pregnancy are not safe to take while breastfeeding. Social drugs like caffeine, cannabis, alcohol, and nicotine also get into breast milk. While the alcohol concentration in breast milk is low, infants cannot metabolize it very well and can cause altered sleep habits, decreased appetite, weight gain, low blood sugars, and impaired motor development. In this clip, Dr. Rhonda Patrick goes over harmful substances that can get into breastmilk and negatively affect an infant’s health.

This clip was taken from the Biology of Breast Milk video with Dr. Rhonda Patrick found at

Original episode published on Aug 25, 2020 🍼 #development #microbiome #brain 🧠


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