B.H. asks from Drummond, MT on August 01, 2008
Drinking Beer While Nursing??
I've heard that drinking an occational beer helps produce more breast milk. Is this true? What is your thoughts on drinking a beer while breastfeeding, how much of the alcohol is transfered to the baby? I just thought I should ask
So What Happened?™
Thanks so much for all you helpful advice. I tried many things in the last week, I tried both Mother's Milk and Fenugreek. They did help me a little. But for some reason, after I drank only half of a guiness, I felt more relaxed and was able to let down much more milk. Some of you have mentioned that its the hops or the malt or possibly the yeast in the beer that helps produce more milk. That's not to say I would suggest other mothers do the same, it just worked for me. I am going to try a non-alcoholic beer next time though. Thanks again....
K.H. answers from Fort Collins on August 04, 2008
I drank an ocasional beer to keep my milk it and it worked better than anything out on the market, and my baby did just fine. Try whatever you like, but beer worked the best for me. If you are worried about the alcohol, after you drink the beer just pump and dump than you should be fine.
J.F. answers from Denver on August 03, 2008
I was told by my Italian grandma my first day in the hospital to drink a beer, but I think it is more of a myth... however she insisted it was what you do to get the milk plentiful!!! :)
L.N. answers from Salt Lake City on August 02, 2008
I looked it up in Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. A limited amount of alcohol hasn't been shown to harm the baby. Alcohol in milk peaks at 30-90 mins afterward. Relaxing helps the let-down, which is what someone else said - that's probably where the myth comes from.
N.W. answers from Denver on August 04, 2008
A lactation consultant I spoke to with this same question put it this way... if you feel like you can safely drive, you are 100% fine to nurse after drinking. You produce milk from your blood, so it's related to blood alchohol level- same thing that's tested with breathalyzers. Personally, I had a single beer or glass of wine about 3x a week until my baby was 4-5 months old and nursing less often. Now, I have a drink with dinner every night, usually wine, as I love it! My baby goes to sleep at 7, about when I eat/ drink wine, then I don't nurse her until 2am...
I really think a single drink is a complete NON-ISSUE, even if it's daily. Americans are so uptight, it's unbelievable. It's not like drinking while pregnant, where your placenta is a direct line to the fetus.
Do what you think is right. With 16month old twins and a 2 month old, I would bet you need an "occasional drink" ;)
1 mom found this helpful
R.K. answers from Salt Lake City on August 02, 2008
I have never looked into this theory much. I, however, would never take the chance.
I absolutely do NOT what ANY trace of alcohol to get to my child EVER.
Plus, you never know these days who the legal system is going to turn. If something where to happen and they found traces of alcohol in your milk, you could fry, even if it was improbable for it to have had an ill effect. (I know this sounds paranoid, but what can I say--I know people who've been traumatised for insignificant things and, sadly, also known people who should have the book thrown at them who are "livin' the life")
I wouldn't chance it with my children and I wouldn't chance it with myself.
R.C. answers from Colorado Springs on August 02, 2008
There are some amazing website to look up the research but here is what I've read. That it increases the taste of the milk (which makes your baby want to drink more, thus making more milk in future), but that it in reality can cause you not to make as much milk.
Google it, there is so much information from doctors out there! Everyone I've heard try to use it for increase milk flow, it didn't work.
J.D. answers from Denver on August 04, 2008
I tried this- didn't help much for me... but there's a testing kit (at $5 a test, but it was worth it for me) to test the milk for alcohol. Called Milkscreen- you can get it at the breast feeding store in Park Meadows and maybe even Babies R Us. Nice to be able to have a glass of wine and then 30-45 minutes later pump and make sure there's no alcohol in it...
Good luck! The thing that helped me was called Goat's Rue - tasted horrible and you have to take it 1/2 hr before eating/ drinking 3 times a day (PAIN!) but it did work better than Mother's Milk or Fenugreek alone.
D.A. answers from Boise on August 04, 2008
It worked for me!!! I don't do it very often and usually have less than half a beer. Within three hours of drinking it I am engorged... I make sure I nurse my son right before, drink some and then don't nurse again for four hours. (he's six months old so he eats every four hours) My doctor told me within two hours all of the alchol is absorbed into the blood stream and as long as your not throwing back a couple beers in a row, very little alchol actually gets to the baby.
C.L. answers from Salt Lake City on August 04, 2008
Geez there are some judgemental women. I would be scared to even ask something because of some of these responses.
Having one beer does help with building up the milk supply or you could drink something with malt in it. Also eat and drink lots of water. And just have your baby nurse as much as you can, that stimulates your milk to come in. I also find that if I go to the store and leave baby home with dad, my milk comes flooding in.
S.S. answers from Provo on August 03, 2008
The alcohol will transfer to the baby. Try some chocolate malt ovaltine. I drank it every night while nursing my kids. If I pumped and put it in the fridge, the next morning there was literally a 1/2 inch of cream on the milk! It's easy and good tasting! It's the malt that makes the milk more abundant, not the alcohol.
T.S. answers from Salt Lake City on August 01, 2008
I have heard it is the Malt beer, not a regular. I am not a beer drinker, but I am assuming it is NOT something like Budweiser. I tried it with my daughter and my BIL bought me the beer and I never saw that kind before.
There are also more "natural" ways to help. At health food stores the have a mother's milk tea. Also, you can get fenugreek capsules (you will smell a little like maple syrup and so will your urine!) and blessed thistle.
I even had a medication called Reglan/metoclopramide (used for nausea but also helps milk production).
Don't forget you can always try pumping between feedings. (if you can fit in into your schedule.)
Don't beat yourself up if it doesn't work. I tried ALL of that and lost my milk with my daughter. My other two kids were fine!