Can I Smoke Hookah While Breastfeeding? See Best Alternatives 2023

Can I Smoke Hookah While Breastfeeding? See Best Alternatives

Being a nursing mother can be stressful, which makes some women look for alternative ways to relax.

Most Breastfeeding mothers believe that smoking hookah is a safer alternative to help them relax and ease stress. At the same time, some ask: can I smoke hookah while breastfeeding?

Hookah smoking is a well-known form of tobacco smoking that many people believe is a safer alternative to cigarettes. Unfortunately, it is a false belief.

In many ways, using a hookah can be worse than smoking cigarettes. Smoke from hookahs contains at least 82 known carcinogens and toxic chemicals.

Hookah bars and lounges worldwide are increasing in popularity, and it is becoming a social event increasingly among young people.

If you are a nursing mother and wonder if it is safe to smoke hookah while breastfeeding, you are not alone because many women worldwide ask the same question.

In this article, we will discuss in detail the answer to the question: can I smoke hookah while breastfeeding?

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What Is a Hookah

A hookah is a water pipe used for smoking tobacco heated on charcoal or coal. It has a metal body, a water bowl, a flexible hose with a mouthpiece, and a head with holes in the bottom.

Smoking hookah while breastfeeding

Hookah has a variety of flavors, including apple, cherry, mint, chocolate, watermelon, coconut, cappuccino, and licorice. However, many individuals believe hookah to be less harmful than cigarettes.

Hookah and cigarette smoking have the same health risk; hookah is not considered a risk-free alternative to cigarette smoking.

Hookah is also known as shisha, goza, hubble-bubble, argileh, and narghile. There are now electronic forms of hookahs, such as hookah pens and steam stones.

Hookah smoking is often done in groups. Each group member passes the same mouthpiece to the next member.

There is some concern that the mouthpieces in hookah bars and lounges are probably not cleaned, which increases the chances of spreading illness among users.

Also read: Rash on Belly After C Section: Why and How to Get Rid of it!

Can I Smoke Hookah While Breastfeeding?

One of the most frequently asked questions from nursing mothers is: can I smoke hookah while breastfeeding?

The answer is no. Smoking hookah while breastfeeding is not safe.

According to recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), the abuse of hookahs is one of the factors that causes lower respiratory diseases in infants, sudden infant death syndrome(SIDS), and many other diseases, such as Bronchitis, Pneumonia, Ear infections, Lessened lung function, etc. So it is advised you avoid smoking hookah while breastfeeding.

Is It Okay to Smoke Hookah Around Your Baby?

Smoking a hookah around your baby is not a good idea because it produces secondhand smoke, which is harmful to the people around you, regardless of age.

can I smoke hookah while breastfeeding

Similar to traditional cigarette smoke, hookah smoke may contain many hazardous chemicals like arsenic, acetaldehyde, carbon monoxide, acrolein, etc. If your baby inhales these hazardous chemicals into their lungs, there are health risks.

Even though you use a hookah away from your baby, it is still advisable to change your clothes before holding the baby because these hazardous chemicals may stick to your clothes.

Does Smoking Hookah Affect Breast Milk?

Yes, smoking hookah can affect breast milk. Nicotine and other chemicals in hookah tobacco are passed from a mother to the baby through breast milk. Smoking hookah also reduces a mother’s ability to produce milk. It may be due to the effect of nicotine, which lowers serum prolactin levels.

What a woman eats and drinks affects the breast milk she produces. As a result, the milk’s taste may alter, which can cause a baby to reject breastfeeding. Additionally, chemicals and nicotine passed along in breast milk can likely cause babies anxiousness and disrupt sleep.

What are the side effects of smoking hookah while breastfeeding?

There are serious side effects of smoking hookah while breastfeeding, which include:

1. The nutritious vitamins found in breast milk can be destroyed by hookah smoke.

2. It may also reduce the quantity of milk a woman produces.

3. Infants might lose their appetite due to not liking the milk they are getting because of its taste and composition.

4. In addition to low-quality milk and decreased output, infants can also develop allergies and asthma. Infants breastfed by mothers who smoke hookah may experience anxiety and trouble sleeping.

5. The baby may experience other adverse effects like fatigue and upset stomach.

Alternatives to smoking hookah while breastfeeding?

There are alternative ways to relieve stress without ingesting harmful chemicals and exposing your baby to them. You can relax and ease stress by engaging in activities like:

  • Yoga practice
  • Going for a walk
  • Having a warm bath
  • Reading books

All of these activities are beneficial for nursing mothers without harming the baby.

Why Does It Take Long To Breastfeed After Smoking Hookah?

It is advised that you wait at least 4 hours after smoking hookah before breastfeeding your baby because of the nicotine that is included in the tobacco that is heated in the hookah while smoking.

Since nicotine has a half-life of about 2 hours, it takes the body at least 4 hours to metabolize that amount in the bloodstream.

Nicotine can pass from the mother’s bloodstream into her breast milk and remain there for a long time. The breastfeeding mother and baby are negatively affected by nicotine, which may also impact the breastfeeding process.

FAQs on Can I Smoke Hookah While Breastfeeding

Can I Smoke Hookah and Breastfeed?

Smoking, alcohol, and most drugs should be avoided or at least limited while breastfeeding to ensure the best health for you and your baby. Speak to your doctor or the WIC breastfeeding staff if you have any questions or concerns about smoking or taking alcohol or drugs while breastfeeding.

When can I Smoke Hookah after BBL?

Smoking should be avoided two months before and two months after BBL. It would be best if you avoided smoking because it harms you and your skin, making healing and scarring an issue.

How Can I Smoke Hookah Without a Bowl?

You need a hookah bowl to smoke a hookah, but if your go-to bowl breaks, you can make an excellent substitute bowl with a piece of fruit. Many fruits can be used as bowls, but fruits with firm flesh, like apples or pears, or fruits with a thick outer rind or skin,  like oranges, produce the best results. Try a small melon or pineapple if you wish to go big with it.

Can I Smoke Hookah While Pregnant?

Smoking hookah while pregnant is not safe. Hookah contains chemicals like tar and carbon monoxide, which can harm your and your baby’s health.

Is a Hookah Worse Than Cigarettes?

Smoking a hookah is just as harmful as smoking traditional cigarettes. Moreover, not all harmful ingredients in tobacco smoke are filtered by the water in hookah pipes, which may also contain some hazardous chemicals, such as acetaldehyde, formaldehyde, acrolein, cobalt, carbon monoxide, etc.

What happens if a baby takes nicotine through breast milk?

Even though you may not be smoking close to your baby, nicotine and other dangerous toxins can still accumulate in the air, your body, and your breast milk. It is called passive exposure, increasing your baby’s risk of developing health issues, including pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections.

Do they test for nicotine in newborns?

Meconium drug screening helps to identify substances that can elicit newborn withdrawal symptoms. Including nicotine and its metabolites in the meconium drug screen helps discern the exposure level and assists in the management of withdrawal symptoms.


Smoking hookah while breastfeeding is considered dangerous by many health organizations.

The hookah has been the subject of numerous research studies, and it has been falsely labeled as a safer alternative to cigarettes when it can be just as harmful as cigarettes, if not more.

Smoking can become addictive, making quitting while breastfeeding or pregnant challenging. It is advised not to smoke hookah while breastfeeding a baby.

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