A new mum has expressed concerns over her mother-in-law touching her newborn after smoking a cigarette.

In an online letter, the new mum asked if her mother-in-law would be offended if she asked her to shower and change before touching her newborn.

“After researching thirdhand smoke, I am very concerned about her holding the baby after she has had a cigarette,” she wrote, in a post published on Slate.

“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.”

Thirdhand smoke is a growing concern and it’s something many new parents aren’t aware of. It can occur when somebody inhales smoke that is left lingering on a person’s clothes or hands.

The new mum is also worried her mother-in-law will feel “ostracised” by her decision.

“We don’t want to hurt her feelings, but obviously, those are likely potential outcomes. How can we still be welcoming and let her know we are excited to have her around while still setting these boundaries?”

The mum was advised that she was  perfectly within her rights to ask for what she wants; “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.”

Do you think she has a right to ask her MIL not to smoke before touching her baby?

Share your comments below

  • My husband is a smoker and my son has quite bad asthma and I hate it when I can smell it on him.


  • I was told about third hand smoke by my obgyn and is something we are only just learning the effects of. It’s particularly bad for newborns as they are more seceptable.


  • Sure they have the right to ask. Personally I think it’s a bit over the top though and can indeed be perceived as offensive.


  • Yes, 100% she has the right to ask her mil to do this. When it comes to the safety of your babies, nothing us to extreme. My son smoked when he became a father. The health professionals told him to smoke out side and wear a robe or jacket which was to be removed after smoking. If they can ask the sad to do this, for sure you can insist on mil doing similar


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