After the birth of a baby, many mothers are usually in some state of stress. With changes in their daily routine after the pregnancy, a woman may experience nervous disorders and a constant lack of sleep. That’s why the new mother will try to relax using some familiar ways that’ll help to restore her to her normal state.
While cigarette smoking and drinking alcohol are well-known to be harmful to pregnant and lactating women, hookah smoking isn’t so critical. Hookah is therefore considered as a harmless alternative to alcohol and cigarettes by some women. So, can a woman smoke hookah while still breastfeeding? Read on to find out.
What is a hookah?
Also known as sheesha (or shisha), narghile, goza, and hubble-bubble, hookah is a water pipe with a smoke chamber, a bowl, a pipe, and a hose. The word ‘hookah’ refers to the pipe instead of its contents.
It’s used to smoke tobacco that has been heated on coals or charcoal. The tobacco smoke passes through the water and is drawn through a rubber hose to a mouthpiece. The tobacco may have flavors such as apple, mint, licorice, or chocolate added to it.
Is smoking hookah safer than cigarette smoking?
There’s a common myth that smoking hookah is safer than cigarette smoking. This isn’t entirely true. The tobacco found in a hookah pipe isn’t less toxic than that in a cigarette.
Also, the toxic ingredients found in the tobacco smoke can’t be filtered by the water in the hookah bowl. In a single smoking session, hookah smokers can inhale more tobacco smoke than cigarette smokers. Smoking one hookah for a whole hour is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes.
Hookah won’t make you high, but the tobacco in it will give you a buzz. This may make you feel wobbly, dizzy, relaxed, or lightheaded. Just like cigarette smoking, hookah smoking can become very addictive.
The nicotine in tobacco will be absorbed into the blood and with time, confuse your brain. You end up feeling sick and anxious if you don’t smoke it.
What are the health risks of smoking hookah?
Smoking hookah is a great way of relaxing, reducing nervous tension, and socializing with friends. Individuals are attracted to the atmosphere around hookah smoking since it helps in releasing unnecessary thoughts. With the different flavors added to hookah, smoking it doesn’t look like a bad habit. Instead, it comes across as therapeutic.
However, smoking hookah isn’t entirely harmless to a person’s health. Besides inhaling the nicotine and carcinogens found in tobacco, you also inhale the chemicals from the fruit flavorings. The levels of these compounds are high in hookah smoke and can expose one to serious illnesses.
Research shows that hookah smokers are exposed to more carbon monoxide and smoke than cigarette smokers. Similar to cigarette smoking, hookah smoking is linked to oral and lung cancers and heart diseases. It can also lead to nicotine addiction. Moreover, hygiene rules are not strictly observed. The pipes used may not be thoroughly cleaned, increasing the risk of spreading infectious diseases.
Hookah use while breastfeeding
Lactating mothers should consider the health effects of smoking hookah on their babies. The properties and taste of breast milk are directly dependent on what the mother eats or drinks. Taking in harmful chemical compositions can greatly affect a baby’s development.
The toxic substances found in tobacco can get into the nursing mother’s bloodstream, which gets into the mother’s milk. Smoking hookah while breastfeeding can reduce the amount of milk being produced. It can also reduce the quality and taste of milk being produced.
The consequences of smoking a hookah while breastfeeding may cause the baby to become allergic and develop asthma. The baby may also start feeling anxious, resulting in poor sleeping patterns. Due to the change in the quality of the breast milk, the baby’s appetite may be affected and they’ll refuse the mother’s milk.
The bottom line
There are serious health effects associated with hookah smoking that may affect both the lactating mother and her child. While smoking hookah can help the woman to relax and reduce nervous tension, it can result in nicotine addiction if they become too used to using it.
A nursing mother should give up the habit and take care of their new-born baby. Besides, many harmless alternatives can help them relax and help strengthen their health.