22 answers

Breastfeeding - Naperville,IL

I just had a baby and was wondering what peoples thoughts are on having a glass of wine while breastfeeding.
Also, I keep reading that pumping and dumping does not work. Any suggestions if you want to have a glass or two of wine.
If it's not a good idea, then I have no problem not having any at all just wondering what other people do...

Thank you in advance.

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More Answers

You will likely get those responses from those who say it's okay and those who say it's not. I say this: if you didn't drink while pregnant, then don't drink while breastfeeding. I never drank alcohol while breastfeeding. Having a drink was just never that important to me but for others, I suppose it is. My vote is to stay away from the alcohol until you have weaned.

Congratulations on your new baby. : )

3 moms found this helpful

I did have an occasional drink while nursing my first without any issues, and I will likely do the same when baby 2 is born in 2 weeks. I spoke to both my doc and my son's pediatrician who said the same thing, a drink or two was nothing to worry about. I was comfortable with my decision, but then, I will also have an occasional drink during the last few weeks of pregnancy, so I am admittedly fairly relaxed on this subject.
I have to say, I love the people who ask "would you give the baby a glass of wine?" I wouldn't give the baby a cheeseburger either, but that's not going to stop me from having one.
Good luck with your decision, and congrats on the new baby!

3 moms found this helpful

Alcohol metabolizes out of your breastmilk at the same rate that it metabolizes out of your body. So, just like your blood alcohol will rise about 20 minutes to 45 minutes after having alcohol, so will the content in your breastmilk (since it's not immediately absorbed into the bloodstream, nor milk). Then, as it metabolizes out of your blood, it does the same out of your breastmilk. Your milk ducts are not these sealed-off areas that once something goes in, it doesn't come out unless you pump or nurse.

Your best bet if you really want that glass would be to nurse, drink and then make sure that your child won't be nursing again for at least 2-3 or more hours afterwards, depending on how much you drink. I also read that you could nurse up to 30 minutes AFTER having a glass of wine, but I personally wasn't willing to risk that.

I partook in having a glass of wine once in a great while during my nursing times, but I made sure that I wasn't nursing again for at least 3 hours after my one glass of wine. And I didn't bother pumping/dumping. Plus, given that I was nursing and burning calories faster, I found that the wine affected me differently while nursing. It seemed to hit me harder/faster. Under normal conditions one glass wouldn't do much of anything, but after one glass while nursing, it felt like I'd had at least 2! Once I was done nursing, it went back to normal. Weird.

2 moms found this helpful

I drank a glass of wine once in awhile. I did wait however until my daughter had a few hours in between feedings. For the first 6 weeks or so my daughter seemed to nurse nearly nonstop! Once she had a 'regular' schedule and knew she wouldn't eat for a couple of hours or more I'd have a small glass of wine. Likely you are going to get answers from both sides of this - I, too, questioned other mommy friends who had breastfed.

1 mom found this helpful

It is fine to have a glass of wine or a beer.
Also, the alcohol leaves your breastmilk at the same time it leaves your blood. In 2 hours or so, for one glass of wine. That is why pumping and dumping doesn't really make sense.

I feel as though it is perfectly fine to drink wine on occasion, but if it still worries you, then you can nurse your baby before you drink. Or, drink after your baby has gone to bed for the night.

1 mom found this helpful

This is what my pediatrician told me...
Pumping and dumping would not work because milk/alcohol content is the like your blood alcohol content. Even if you remove some blood there's still alcohol in it. So removing some milk won't help, as long as there is alcohol in your body there is alcohol in your milk.
He also said a glass of wine isn't strong enough to hurt your baby in any way what-so ever and not to feel guilty if you have one drink.
They even sell these little strips you can test your breast milk with to see if there's alcohol in it. They are expensive but if you only use them once in a while it might be worth it.

1 mom found this helpful

I would not do it when the baby was a newborn. But when my kids got older and there was alot more time between nursing...like around 6 months or so....I would just make sure that I would nurse right before, and then have a glass of wine. By the time the baby would nurse again I would not be feeling effects of it anymore and they say that once you are no longer feeling the effects then you aren't passing it on in the milk (I read that somewhere, anyway....)

Here's some info about it http://www.kellymom.com/health/lifestyle/alcohol.html

1 mom found this helpful

It's like a couple of others have said. If the alcohol is in your system, it is in your breast milk. If the alcohol has left your system, you're good to go. The idea of "pump and dump" comes from the idea that if you drank, the alcohol stayed in the breast milk that is in your body until the milk left your body, and that is not the case.

Have a glass. After 9 months, it's normal to want one!

1 mom found this helpful

Im sure I'm in the minority here, but I bf for 11 months and drank wine snd beer. I would only pump and dump if I was out for the night and drank alot.

1 mom found this helpful

I breastfeed and I feel everything you put in your body your baby gets. Would you give him a glass of wine? This is my opinion and what I live by. I would feel horrible if something went wrong with my son because I was selfish and wanted to drink. It is your body and your baby so you have to make that decision. Your probably thinking what could go wrong but you never know that is my thought process.

1 mom found this helpful

The latest research actually says one glass of wine (one serving is FIVE ounces!!) is fine. One beer is fine. Beer really does help milk supply, but not sure that wine does. I would not have more than two. If you do, you can pump enough ahead of time to feed your baby while 'under the influence' and wait until you fully metabolize the alcohol before you nurse again. There are test kits that you can get at the drug store (?) to test your milk for alcohol levels, but I seem to remember that as long as you have fully metabolized the alcohol (ONE serving per 1.5 hours for women) it should also be out of your breastmilk. Have A glass of wine and relax. :-) I just wouldn't make a habit of it....once a week or so is probably fine.

Your body actually filters out only a glass or two by the time your baby gets breastmilk. If you're going to drink more than that, then I would pump and dump. I did it several times. I'm not a daily drinker, but I know most people who like to have a beer or glass of wine every evening have been told by their doctors to not worry about that -it's if you drink a good bit every day. As I said, if I had more than two drinks at any time while breastfeeding, I pumped and dumped twice after those drinks. I didn't breastfeed that long though -4 months with my first and 6 weeks with my second, and I supplemented with formula the whole time because I always had a low supply (unless I drank ironically -then I finally had milk!). There have been no ill effects or any that I can see on any child whose mother I know drank while breastfeeding using the same guidelines as I did. I really enjoy microbrews and wines, and it was a big pain to me not to drink for almost 10 months!

They sell test strips at Target and Walmart that you dip into your breast milk and it registers the amount of alcohol in the milk. That way you will know if you are ok or need to dump. Good luck!

I have always let myself have 1 glass of wine or 1 beer a few times a week while breastfeeding. The few times I had more than that and felt tipsy I did use the alcohol test strips for breastmilk and it always came back safe. I've never seen adverse affects in my daughters.

My thought is, if a glass of wine is okay in early labor (as many doctors recommend) then it should be okay while nursing. Go with your instincts, though. If you're worried about it, don't do it.

IMO a glass of wine is fine once in a while. If you're concerned about it or if you have more than one glass, stock-pile some frozen pumped milk (pump when you're not drinking obviously) and then feed that during and after drinking. Pumping and dumping doesn't help get the alcohol out of your milk any faster - just have to wait that out. But if you become uncomfortably engorged while waiting you can pump and dump to relieve the fullness.

My kids are older and advice has changed. But I was told several times that if Mom has a drink with dinner, baby will sleep better. I never drank daily, or more than one or two in an evening. My kids have shown no problems.
When my Mom was young, breastfeeding Moms were told to have a beer or two daily to increase their milk production. My aunt was advised, by her doctor, to have a cigarette and a beer to calm down at the end of the day, she had a colicky baby.
Advice changes so often and there are soooooo many ideas about what is best. I am not advising anyone to follow the advice given my aunt, I only mentioned it because so much has changed, we can only do our best daily.

Congrats on the new baby! A friend of mine used test strips to check her milk when she went out and had a couple of drinks she got them at babies r us they are called "Breast Milk Alcohol Test Kit called MILKSCREEN" you can google them. You are doing a great thing for your little one! good luck!

Updated

Congrats on the new baby! A friend of mine used test strips to check her milk when she went out and had a couple of drinks she got them at babies r us they are called "Breast Milk Alcohol Test Kit called MILKSCREEN" you can google them. You are doing a great thing for your little one! good luck!

Updated

Congrats on the new baby! A friend of mine used test strips to check her milk when she went out and had a couple of drinks she got them at babies r us they are called "Breast Milk Alcohol Test Kit called MILKSCREEN" you can google them. You are doing a great thing for your little one! good luck!

I drink only one glass of wine or beer(beer is good for your milk supply). I try to drink it right after she nurses so I have a few hours to get it out of my system before she eats again.

One glass of wine every 2 hours should be fine... don't have more than that tho. A glass is under 8 ounces if I'm thinking correctly. If you feel tipsy or buzzed - then you've drank too much and need to start drinking water to get more out of your system faster.

It doesn't matter what you are doing, drinking, eating, etc.

One serving of alcohol takes approximately 1 hour to be metabolized by the body, specifically the liver, before it is out of your bloodstream. Drinking water won't work. Having a big fat greasy pizza won't work. Taking aspirin won't work. Only TIME will work. One serving of alcohol = a 12 ounce beer, an 8 ounce glass of wine, or a 1.5 ounce shot of liquor. It's just always funny how some people will say that formula is poison, yet they'd have no qualms about drinking or smoking while nursing!

While I was EP-ing, I did not drink at all. Personally, for me it wasn't worth taking a chance that the alcohol would get into my milk for my child but then again I was pumping every 2 1/2 hours so I really didn't have much time for enjoying a glass of wine.

If you just had a baby you will probably want to hold off, assuming that your baby is nursing on demand and that could mean every three hours or every hour. As stated earlier, you must wait about an hour for the liver to metabolize the alcohol, so unless your baby is on a predictable schedule where you can plan your glass of wine you may wish to wait.

I know at places like Babies-R-Us they have milk testers for alcohol, I don't remember what they are called, though. I remember reading that a glass of wine is fine, so long as you don't breast feed about two hours after (don't quote me on that) but you might want to look around on the La Leche League website, they are a great source for breast feeding questions! They helped me a lot!
http://www.llli.org/nb.html

I never drink while I am breastfeeding. In fact, I'm kind of stringent about everything that goes in my body while pg or breastfeeding. No alcohol, no RX's. I have had many a discussion with dr.s over taking a med that I didn't want. Ultimately, I have taken hydrocodone for two days with my second son because I was having epidural headaches (lovely anesthesiologist). I HATED that and so I quit and just dealt with the pain until it subsided (of course, as long as I laid down, there was no pain, so that's where I stayed for two weeks to avoid stressing my body out and doing other damage to my breast milk). The only other thing I've allowed was the dentist who had to work on a root canal to give me epinephrine - something my body already produces anyway.

That is what worked for me and made me feel comfortable with what my baby was ingesting. Even doing this, our babies still get toxins that we can't help because of the environment that we all live in. But at least I controlled what I was able to control! No judgment, just what worked for me and my children. :-)

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