14 answers

Pump and Dump

I need some help on the whole concept of pump and dump. Here's the scenario...I have a 9 month and her last nursing session of the day is around 8 PM. After that, she stays asleep until 6 AM, at which time we nurse again. At 6 AM, I am very full.

This Friday, hubby and I are going out with his sister & husband for dinner and to a martini bar while my in-laws watch the baby. In 9 months, I've barely had more than 1 drink in a evening. Assuming I have a couple of drinks (say 3) and have stopped drinking before midnight, do I still need to pump and dump if my there is 6 hours before I feed again?

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I waited over 2 hours per drink.
Here is what I found on Babyzone.com

Will it harm my breastfeeding baby if I drink wine, beer, or spirits?
That depends on how much and when you drink the alcoholic beverage. Your blood alcohol levels (and the level of alcohol in your milk) will generally be highest one to one and a half hours after your last drink, although that time — and the length of time it takes the alcohol to dissipate from your body — varies from person to person.
If you're going to enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage or have more than one drink, wait at least two hours per drink before nursing your baby to give the alcohol a chance to dissipate. One drink is considered 4 ounces of wine, one beer, or one mixed drink. Alcohol isn't stored in breast milk, so "pumping and dumping" (using a breast pump to empty your breasts and then throwing out the collected milk) serves no purpose. And be sure to down a nonalcoholic drink for every cocktail you quaff, to ward off dehydration.

So, I would wait till around noon or later. Pump and Dump to releive yourself of pain and fullness.

Have fun!

1 mom found this helpful

Well, I see that you have gotten many responses already from very lenient to very conservative. I will admit that after a WHOLE lot of research on breastfeeding (and two years of breastfeeding my daughter) I truly believe that ANY alcohol in the bloodstream is too much...for your baby. Again, no different than when you are pregnant. There is no safe level. So, then the question is when will it be out of your system. Everyone is different, so you won't know without a blood test. Therefore, I'm in the camp of you being the "designated driver" and foregoing the --strong hard liquor--altogether, if you're really committed to breastfeeding.

And, unlike one of your respondents, I don't believe that myself and others in this camp are being self-righteous. I believe being conservative about our decisions, especially where it involves our child's health & development, both short-term and long-term, is a priority and easy decision.

I truly hope that this helps and know that the "sacrifices" you are making now in breastfeeding, will seem like a little blip on the screen of your life, 2 years from now. So, have fun...just without alcohol.

Many Blessings - L.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes you need to pump and dump after drinking no matter how long it's been. The alcohol stays in your system approx. 3 days.

I am not sure where the 3 day thing came from but my DR always told me the ting about wait 2 hours for every 4 oz drink. I will warn you that the first time I drank while nursing had a lot stronger effect on me than any other time in my life. M.

Kellymom is a wonderful source of breastfeeding info. They have a great summary of the whole alcohol issue, plus links to a lot of other info:


Yes, you will still need to pump and dump. The alcohol will still be in your milk regardless of what time you stop drinking and start nursing. You will need to pump and dump for at least 24 - 48 hours to ensure that your milk is safe for your baby. If you decided that you want to drink please make sure that you have plenty of milk saved up in the fridge or freezer to feed your baby during those 24-48 hours.

N. S,

Please do not take this view or comment on a bad note. How important is your child health?
I am not trying to be critical of your enjoyment with a night out with hubby, because relationship are important after having a baby too.
Maybe you should discuss with your husband what is his desire in this decision. Would you drink while you where pregnant? Well, drinking now still a important issue of a healthy baby when it comes to breastfeeding.

I believe you should have given more thought to what responsiblity of breatfeeding Vs. pleasure of drinking on a outing more judgement. What if you make a mistake of drinking too much? What if you forgot to prepare for extra pumping before methods? What if your baby has a undetected illiness you don't know about and the same to for your health?
Being a mother should be important enough to make a conscience decision to benefit the baby well-being, and your second first.

Please keep in mind this only my personal view.
I love baby, and definitely love good parent's.
You seem like you are a responsible parent because you are asking for help and opinions on this delicate matter. I think you got it going on in the parent world girl.

I hope my view or questioning did not offend you.

Although I don't know the answer to your question I too would like to know how to pump and dump or if you even need to. My daughter is three months old and I have had a glass of wine on occassion and wonder if it will affect her. If you get any good advice will you forward it to me. My address is ____@____.com I would feel comfortable asking my doctor but I have not yet.

Wow, what a hot topic for some of your respondents!! It seems some just jumped right down your throat. I must agree, several seem to be very judgemental and a little condescending. Hey, the only thing that I am going to say is its obvious that you care about your baby, because you are asking this question here on mamasource. Listen to the advice that you are given, sift through all of it in your head and MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION!! Do NOT let anyone else make it for you!! My son just turned one the other day, and if I have learned ANYTHING from being a new mom, its that God gave you motherly insticts for a reason. He made you a mom because he knows that you can handle it if you let Him guide you through it. Read books, talk to your doctor, talk to other moms, then MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION. Concerning alchohol, I read what the La Leche League book said, talked to my doctor and went with that. Hope this helps.


Also, someone may know-there is a website that calculates how long it takes the alcohol to leave your milk based on how many oz you've had...if I find it I'll send it your way!

I have just finished nursing my third child in four years, so I have some experience with this. DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT!!!!! You probably won't be able to drink more than 1 or 2 after not drinking for so long, so just have fun and enjoy the night out. As long as you are drinking water it will leave your system. You have been eating and drinking LOTS of things that you wouldn't give to your baby. Some people just get really self-rightous when it comes to alcohol - don't let them bother you. For some reason, there are people that will try to make new mothers feel bad about everything. The hardest part of being a mother is learning to trust yourself and your decisions. Have fun!!!!

You really shouldn't need to pump and dump in that scenario. Alcohol is metabolized in the breastmilk as quickly as it is in the bloodstream. So, providing you don't still feel tipsy the next morning when it's time to nurse, pumping and dumping isn't necessary.

3 martinis is alot of alcohol! There was one evening where I made the mistake of having 2 BEFORE dinner several years ago (the last time I had a martini) and I wasn't nursing any longer, but boy did that wipe me out.

So, I would think you would still certainly have some in your system 6 hours later. As difficult as it might seem, I would suggest you stick with the one drink with dinner and have club soda thereafter and volunteer to be the designated driver. The earlier you drink it, the sooner it will be out of your system. It is also highly dependent upon how well your own internal detoxification system is working. If you were able to drink 3 martinis and feel fine at 6 am the next morning before the baby, then perhaps you'd be okay. But, again, my view is that a glass or two of wine with dinner would be okay, but 3 martinis would like be too much.

In short, I don't think that pumping and dumping will really help as alot of the milk is still made while the baby is nursing (as full as you might feel at nursing time), so any residual alcohol in your system will be in the milk. Unless, you're asking should you dump and pump and then supplement that morning feeding, in which case I would say yes, that would be the necessary compromise if you want to drink.

The much easier thing again in my mind is for you to be the designated driver and wait a year to enjoy that martini bar.

yes, you should dump at least one pumping possibly two.

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