According to the University of Nottingham researchers, the major public health concerns relating to the postpartum period are low breastfeeding rates and maternal smoking. However, these researchers set out to see if vaping could enable maternity mothers to remain smoke-free.
The researchers comprising of a team of six from the university medical school says that a significant number of mothers will return to smoking postpartum, while many of them quit smoking following pregnancy.
They went ahead to suggest that there is a connection between breastfeeding and smoking. According to these researchers, early cessation of breastfeeding (less than three months postpartum) and the deliberate decision not to breastfeed are all heavily influenced by the intention to return to smoking.
The study aimed at investigating the influence of vaping on mothers’ abstinence from tobacco and breastfeeding issues. This follows the current research suggesting the use of electronic cigarettes as a harm reduction tool for smokers as they are safer than conventional cigarettes.
Users from 8 online UK-based parenting forums were questioned about their smoking behaviors, their limitations, and motivators to the use of electronic cigarettes as a breastfeeding mother. According to the team, their choice of data from parenting forums is due to the fact that this platform is where women express themselves on health-related issues and make decisions.
Recently, an update by the Royal College of Midwives clarifies their position encouraging pregnant women to vape as a way to quit smoking. They went further to say that if vaping helps a pregnant woman to stay smoke-free, then she as well as others should be encouraged do so.
The team of researchers says that their study result suggests that women keep accessing a wide range of sources for information on the safety of e-cigarettes, however, these info sources are either not interpreted appropriately or met with a level of uncertainty and mistrust.
So far, the research has found out that women have different views on how acceptable vaping is to a mother. However, some of them have shown interest or are already using electronic cigarettes after pregnancy (postpartum).
There is a need to carry out a research study that focuses on how opportunities could be provided for women to ask and receive relevant advice from health care providers on e-cigarette use. Perhaps a dialogue could help in increasing breastfeeding rates and maternal smoking.