Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing 31 May 2019 World No Tobacco Day ...

World No Tobacco Day: Lactating mothers and power foods to help you quit smoking

Published May 31, 2019, 12:54 pm IST
Updated May 31, 2019, 1:18 pm IST
Lung problem caused by tobacco is on the rise; a major public health issue.
Smoking can reduce the milk supply and reduces the let-down reflex, which causes the breasts to discharge milk rapidly leading to poor nursing by the baby. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)
 Smoking can reduce the milk supply and reduces the let-down reflex, which causes the breasts to discharge milk rapidly leading to poor nursing by the baby. (Photo: Representational/Pexels)

Smoking is an exasperating habit to quit, but if you truly want to take charge of your health, you will need to keep trying until you succeed and protect yourself against lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Smoking is a clear indication of leading a bad lifestyle and the first step to remedying it is making health a lifestyle and being determinedly disciplined about it.

On World No Tobacco day in an attempt to draw the attention of smoking pregnant mothers, Dr Gayatri Uma, Chiraya nutrition and wellness studio and part of Medela India LC Club shares, “Smoking leads to several health hazards for the baby. The nicotine in tobacco gets transferred into the mother’s milk. This can cause restlessness, increased heartbeat and shorter sleep time for the baby. If you are smoking excessive cigarettes while breastfeeding, the baby can show signs of nausea, vomiting, ear infections, sinus infections, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea.”


She further elaborates that the level of iodine in the milk reduces which increases the chances of thyroid malfunction in the baby. The number of doctor visits increases due to respiratory or allergy-related complaints. Smoking also has an effect on the milk supply as it can lead to earlier weaning i.e. transition from mother’s milk to solids. WHO recommends a minimum of 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding and nursing up to a year.

Smoking causes the mother to wean before time which isn’t encouraged. It can also reduce the milk supply and reduces the let-down reflex, which causes the breasts to discharge milk rapidly leading to poor nursing by the baby.


They play a crucial role in monitoring his baby’s health, especially during the nascent stage when they are more sensitive to falling ill. Passive smoke in the home acts as an irritant for the baby. It lowers blood levels of HDL in children which is the good cholesterol that protects against coronary artery disease. In fact, smoking parents can have 2 major life-threatening effects on the baby such as the high risk of dying from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and double the child’s risk of acquiring lung cancer later in life.


Vice President, Vitabiotics Limited, Rohit Shelatkar shares that food plays a very important role that can help you quit cigarettes. He shares a list of some power foods that can be included in the diet to help you curb the urge to smoke and put you on the path to a healthy life:

Yoghurt: As nicotine levels rise in the blood so does the amount of blood glucose, making your blood sugar levels rise or drop. Yoghurt slowly releases sugar into the bloodstream, therefore can help regulate this effect. Dairy products are also known to create a bad taste when you smoke, so drinking milk or eating yoghurt could be a useful tip when you’re dealing with cravings or trying to reduce the amount you smoke.


Vegetables: Vegetables such as celery, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, spinach and eggplant are muscle foods. They contain folic acids and vitamins that will make your body dislike the taste of tobacco, as the muscles relax and flush out toxins while reducing stress levels.

Water: Drinking a good deal of water will allow your body to begin to flush toxins out of your system, as well as help balance out your appetite and reduce cravings.

Fruit: Smoking is known to exhaust stores of vitamin C, which is important to boost your immune system and safeguard your lungs. Citrus fruits like oranges, kiwi, pomegranates and grapefruit help your replenish vitamin C levels, as well as protects against illness and infections.


Nuts: Mixed nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews or pistachios provide energy, protein, and nutrients. These can be eaten over the course of a day as a snack. They make you feel full, boost energy levels and thereby reduce the urge to smoke.

Make sure you avoid alcohol, caffeine, and red meat when you are attempting to quit smoking as these items only increase your craving for nicotine. Apart from eating healthy foods, it is necessary to follow an exercise routine. Quitting an addiction isn’t easy, but it can be accomplished with discipline and sturdy will power. Just like smoking is a choice, not smoking too is a choice. Keep yourself motivated to stick to your healthy lifestyle and you will surely start to crave only for a better life.