Mom asks smoking grandma to shower and change before holding her grandchild

The arrival of a new baby signals so much joy and anticipation but it can also be fraught with worry.

One mom was concerned about her baby being exposed to third-hand smoke as her mother-in-law was a heavy smoker.

Her mother-in-law would not smoke around her baby but would still have smoke on her clothes and hair and the mom-to-be was understandably concerned.

According to the Mayo Clinic: “Thirdhand smoke is residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke. People are exposed to these chemicals by touching contaminated surfaces or breathing in the off-gassing from these surfaces.

Old Lady Smoking Friends Talk - Free photo on Pixabay
Generic image/Pixabay

“This residue is thought to react with common indoor pollutants to create a toxic mix including cancer causing compounds, posing a potential health hazard to nonsmokers — especially children.”

To be absolutely sure her mother-in-law wasn’t bringing any third-hand smoke into her home and around her baby she asked if she could shower and change her clothes before holding her new grandchild.

According to Slate.com’s Care and Feeding page the mom said: ” I’m not worried about her smoking in front of my child, but after researching thirdhand smoke, I am very concerned about her holding the baby after she has had a cigarette. My husband and I have decided that after she smokes, she needs to shower and change her clothes before she can pick up the baby.

“We don’t want my mother-in-law to feel ostracized, and we don’t want to hurt her feelings, but obviously, those are likely potential outcomes,” the anonymous “worried mom-to-be” asked the help and advice page.

American Pregnancy Association

“How can we still be welcoming and let her know we are excited to have her around while still setting these boundaries? Also, how long should we remain this strict about the issue? How should we handle this when we are visiting my in-laws?”

In response to her question Care and Feeding wrote: “You are perfectly within your rights to ask for what you want; her response to that is her business, not yours.

“When she’s visiting you, I think you can be strict about this. When you are visiting them, I think you have to, for necessity’s sake, be less so. It’s not possible for them to clear all residual smoke and nicotine off of everything in their home. You may want to stay in a hotel for that reason.”

Frequently Asked Questions - Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center
Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center

What do you think about this mom-to-be’s concern about her baby being exposed to third-hand smoke?

Are you a grandmother who smokes and feels strongly about what this woman is asking of her family?

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