25 answers

Glass of Wine or Alcohol for Breastfeeding Mother of Toddler???

I have had barely a drop of wine or any alchohol since becoming pregnant and now bfeeding for 17 months. I bfeed 3 times a day.

Can I have a glass of wine or a bit of amaretto without any risk to my loved one?

Thanks as usual for your thoughtful advice.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My answer is a very definitive "no". I mean why risk it? I had a friend who thought it was okay, and we had quite a falling-out over it. I could never understand the point of the gamble. Wine will still be around when you've decided you're finished B.Feeding and if you (or anyone) is getting to the point in their B.Feeding experience that they are contemplating harming their child - perhaps it's time to quit B.Feeding. I don't mean that to sound harsh, but I just feel it's the truth. I'd rather my infant drink formula than a cocktail...

One glass of wine should be fine. If you drink more than that, I'd pump and throw it away before the next feeding.

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The one thing no one yet has mentioned is that alcohol metabolizes differently when you have a full stomach versus and empty one. So, when I'm bf'ing and want to have a drink, I will eat a meal, bf, and then have the drink, or bf, meal, drink. I know it takes me longer to metabolize liquor slower on an empty stomach, so I need to eat.

And - I've also been told by dr.'s and a couple lactation consultations that beer is better than wine, and wine is better than hard liquor. Both at metabolizing in your system and the ingredients aiding in production.

3 moms found this helpful

Yes, in moderation of course. My doctor advised me to wait at least 2 hours after drinking before breastfeeding and to keep it to one drink. I usually did it after the bedtime feeding was done. You deserve it after breastfeeding for so long. Great job.

2 moms found this helpful

YES!! you can!! and there is no reason to pump and dump either.. breast milk is like gold.. no reason to waste it!! Just nurse and then have a drink.. and as previously mentioned wait at least 2 hours to nurse again!! And enjoy it girl!! You are doing a great job!! =))

2 moms found this helpful

it's perfectly fine.
My MIL's Dr told her to drink a glass of wine while she was breastfeeding because it relaxed her and in turn , because she was relaxed it would relax baby.

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, you can drink. I didn't like to do it when she was up, but after she went to bed, I would have a couple and it's out of your system before they get up. My dr. said that only 2% of a drink actually gets in your milk and it only stays there for 2 hours. Basically, if you feel sober, your milk is fine.

2 moms found this helpful

It was not that long ago that drs told nursing moms to drink a beer a day to help with breast milk production...

When nursing I try to time it so that any drinking happens AFTER baby nurses for the night and hours before the next nursing... If you worry about it you can always pump and dump... Giving baby a bottle of breast milk instead.

The key thing is that you are not getting sloshed and feeding baby. A glass here or there is fine.

1 mom found this helpful

Yup, fine! There's some good info about it on llli.org which is the La Leche League website. Generally though, nurse and then have your drink. That way the alcohol will be as diluted and metabolized as possible in your milk. Or best option is to have a drink after your last nursing of the night. Also, one drink a day is unlikely to impact your nursling.

1 mom found this helpful

yes you can have a drink! Here is a good article, it's more statistical on the matter and short and easy to read, http://www.obfocus.com/nutrition/alcoholinmilk.htm

Basically all of the concerns are for newborn babies, because their systems are just developing and they metabolize alcohol much slower than a toddler. I am still nursing my 28month old daughter, and I have an occasional beer or glass of wine. Most follow the 2hr rule, but even shortly after consuming a beer with a meal, the transfer is so minimal that there is no effect to a toddler. Baby will be fine! ENJOY!!!!!

To the post just prior and others similar in thinking, The chemicals that are in Baby Formula or in ANY processed foods on grocery store shelves and fast food chains, are MUCH WORSE than an occasional trace of NATURALLY fermented alcohol found in beer or wine!!!! (sorry, just had to give my opinion on that)

1 mom found this helpful

Alcohol will leave your breast milk at about the same rate as it will leave your bloodstream. Many doctors agree that moms can breastfeed and have a drink or two--but since every mom has a slightly different metabolism it can be hard to know for sure when your breast milk is clear.

There is an excellent home breast milk test called Milkscreen which does test to see if you have any alcohol in your milk: http://www.upspringbaby.com/index.php?main_page=product_i...

I hope that helps!

A.

1 mom found this helpful

no ma'am. I breastfed well beyond a year and I had a glass of wine probably once a month when nursing (never when pregnant though). I tended to drink it after my child went to bed for the night, and the alcohol was out of my body by morning when he nursed again.

1 mom found this helpful

My doctor told me the same as the woman below - that a glass of wine or two would stay in my system for about 2 hours (if I was going to drink to excess, I would need to pump & dump). As long as you do not breast feed within 2 hours after drinking the wine, you're fine. I used to have a glass of wine while breast-feeding because it wouldn't be in the blood until he was done, and I knew he wouldn't need to eat again for a while. ^_~

1 mom found this helpful

My doctor told me that the alcohol will only be in your breastmilk while it is in your system. If you can feel the effects, so will your baby. If you wait 2-3 hours before feeding baby, you should be ok. This is for people who don't drink daily, but just a few times a month. Daily drinker's bodies will metabolize the alcohol differently. SO- I wouldn't drink daily. If you have a girls night out, it should be fine. Just don't nurse the baby until the alcohol is completely out of your system. And it doesn't get stored in your breastmilk, so there is no need to pump and dump the first milk after you drink. (Although I still did because I am neurotic. :)

Here is a link to kellymom, which is usually very accurate and up to date:
http://www.kellymom.com/health/lifestyle/alcohol.html

1 mom found this helpful

You're fine to have one glass. A glass of beer will actually up your milk production. Do watch out for signs of allergy with baby, though. My husband is terribly allergic to nitrites in some wines. We actually had to call an ambulance once, but this is not a likely scenario. If you notice a rash or irritability, stop. Alcohol can pass through to the milk, but one glass of wine is unlikely to affect baby.

I'm a training Lac. Consultant.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes!! I am still BF'ing and my lil one is 18 months. I have a glass of wine or beer ( they say that Beer helps with production) like 3 times a week. As long as you feel sober you are good to go. Just wait about 2 hours before you nurse again. Keep up the wonderful work!

1 mom found this helpful

I would not take the risk of damaging that young growing brain... alcohol has been shown to destroy a few brain cells, even in adults, everytime you indulge. It goes straight into your bloodstream... did you ask your doctor or a lactating specialist?

Yes you can. You got some good responses here.

One glass of wine should be fine. If you drink more than that, I'd pump and throw it away before the next feeding.

My pediatrician said, "if you're legal to drive, it's OK to breastfeed" - basically, not more than one drink per hour and then wait at least an hour.

You can buy strips to test your breastmilk's alcohol content - my doc said, if that makes you feel better, do it, but you don't have to as long as you use your common sense. As someone else mentioned, less than 2% of that alcohol makes it into the breastmilk, even at maximum saturation.

And you don't need to "pump and dump" (unless you're so engorged that you have to get rid of some milk) - the alcohol is no longer in the milk once you've metabolized it.

Also: I've noticed I'm able to pump a few more ounces on days when I've had a glass of wine earlier - much tastier than oatmeal and fenugreek. :)

I loved Milkscreen Breast Milk Test Strips when I was breastfeeding. They register at .02% alcohol content in your breastmilk. Infants can exhibit restlessness, feeding difficulties and sleep disturbances at .03%, so you can be sure your milk is not just safe, but the very best. If you go by "legal to drive, ok to nurse" your child is getting about twice that much alcohol concentration in your milk. For me, that was not okay. I had the occasional glass of wine (or bottle) while nursing and simply used the strips before bedtime pumping or nursing to determine whether I was safe to nurse or needed to dump and wait more time. I used them in the mornings before nursing if I had been drinking a lot or late the night before. There were some mornings I was SO not okay to nurse, even though 6-8 hours had elapsed, so I was very grateful for the strips. They're totally worth it, about $1/strip, and you can find them at Babies R Us, possibly Target. Good luck and enjoy your wine!

I wouldn't do it. Some say it affects the milk while other contend it does not. Who's right? Do you really want to take that risk? Just the fact that you are asking should tell you that your instincts are kicking in. Play it safe and refrain. Breastfeeding your baby will end one day....you'll have plenty of time after you stop breast feeding to sip your wine.

Yes, you can have a glass of wine or a bit of liquor - at least that is the conclusion i came to after researching it my self. Basic rule of thumb is that if you can still feel the effects of whatever you had, then it has not circulated out of your breastmilk yet either. Wait three hours after to be safe and if your really nervous about if its out of your system or not you can pick up these little test strips at the drug store that test your milk and can tell you if there is any alcohol in it.

It is perfectly ok to have the ocassional glass of wine while nursing.
Enjoy but don't over do it!

I don't really know the correct answer to this, but my inclination would be to say that one drink probably won't hurt, but do it right after the last feeding, which I assume is at the end of the day, so it will be gone, or mostly, by the next feeding (the next mornign?)

I was very stressed during periods after my first was born and I do remember my gyno telling me to have a glass of wine to calm my nerves at the end of the day, and I was still b-feeding.

I would, of course, check with your doctor first...

I am still BFing my 1-yr-old and I wait until she has gone to bed (obviously) to have a beer of glass of wine with my husband. That way, I know that most of the alcohol will be out of my system 12 hours later when my baby awakens and I nurse her again. I also do this with medication; I will not take a tylenol unless I know I won't be nursing for over 8 hours.
But ultimately, you have to decide what is best for your and your baby and what you feel most comfortable with.

My answer is a very definitive "no". I mean why risk it? I had a friend who thought it was okay, and we had quite a falling-out over it. I could never understand the point of the gamble. Wine will still be around when you've decided you're finished B.Feeding and if you (or anyone) is getting to the point in their B.Feeding experience that they are contemplating harming their child - perhaps it's time to quit B.Feeding. I don't mean that to sound harsh, but I just feel it's the truth. I'd rather my infant drink formula than a cocktail...

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