Breastfeeding and Drinking Alcohol - Dallas,TX

Updated on March 11, 2010
C.X. asks from Dallas, TX
11 answers

What are the consequences to baby if mom drinks while breastfeeding? Let's say a drink a day.... be it wine, margarita or whatever. So I'm not talking about intoxication. But while we are on the subject, feel free to give any thoughts on any level of drinking while breastfeeding. Thanks!

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answers from Grand Rapids on

I agree with Brenda and RM, etc... I just wanted to share a funny story. My sister was having a hard time relaxing enough to let down (nervous 1st time mom!), so her OB brought her a beer... in the hospital. Worked like a charm! lol As long as you're careful, don't do it all the time, and don't get drunk, I say no prob.

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answers from Dallas on

I totally disagree that drinking while BF is "reckless". I think if you do your research and know the "rules" then it's just fine occassionally (I do think everyday is too much, but that's my opinion). I will have a glass or two of wine 1-2 times a week (that's the max, some weeks I don't have any at all). When I do have a drink, it's always right after nursing. By the time I BF again, it's out of my system. Like a couple of other posters have said, if it's in your system, it's in the breastmilk. So know what your body can process (an avg of 1 drink per hour depending on weight, and liquors take longer to metabolize than beer or wine). If you ever feel the effects of the alcohol, then don't BF. And pumping and dumping is not necessary, unless you pump while intoxicated. I have had 2 nights where I had more than 2 drinks since my LO was born. One night I did pump for comfort reasons and dumped it out since I knew there would be alcohol in it. But the other night I knew it was safe by the next morning (I actually waited til the 2nd morning feeding just to be safe). I know ahead of time if I will have more than 1-2 drinks, so I prepare bottles of expressed breastmilk.

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answers from Nashville on

In addition to what Karen wrote, 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 follow standard rules for drinking and driving- how quickly one drink will be out of your system- and don't feed baby during that time, you should be ok. A general rule of thumb is one hour per drink. 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 always did just to be on the safe side. :)

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answers from Seattle on

There are kits that test your breastmilk and alcohol lever... sold in drugstores.

Don't drink without ensuring safe levels because you never know what the consequences might be for your baby.

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answers from Austin on

Here's a link from the Kellymom website:

Specifically, the article says:

1.) Many experts recommend against drinking more than 1-2 drinks per *week*. (Your question was asking about drinking 1-2 drinks a day...)

2.) Always keep in mind the baby's age when considering the effect of alcohol. A newborn has a very immature liver, so minute amounts of alcohol would be more of a burden. Up until around 3 months of age, infants detoxify alcohol at around half the rate of an adult. An older baby or toddler can metabolize the alcohol more quickly.

3.) One study showed changes in the infant's sleep-wake patterning after short-term exposure to small amounts of alcohol in breastmilk -- infants whose mothers were light drinkers slept less;
Daily consumption of alcohol has been shown in the research to increase the risk for slow weight gain in the infant.
Daily consumption of alcohol (1+ drinks daily) has been associated with a decrease in gross motor development.

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answers from New York on

I think if your child is nursing exclusively (under 6 months of age) any more than 1/2 a glass of wine after your child has gone to bed would be a little reckless. If you are nursing a toddler on the other hand, and occasional drink a few hours before or after nursing is not really a big deal. I don't think having a drink every day is really healthy whether you are pregnant, nursing, or just being you. It will put on a lot of weight and get very expensive. Plus, why would you feel the need to have a drink every day? As far as having a drink at night them waking up the next morning and pumping and dumping breast milk, unless you are an amazing pumper, throwing away that liquid gold is just a sin! I would never do that unless I was taking a certain medication the doctor told me was toxic to the baby.



answers from Boise on

What I was told was that a glass of wine can actually relax you while you feed if you are having problems. The key is timing. I was told that the best time to drink is WHILE you are feeding, because it won't be in your milk yet. I was also told that if you feel tipsy, then your milk will have alcohol. When I felt the desire for a drink, I would either pump and dump, or have it after the last feeding of the night, and it was out of my system by morning. There are tests you can get at the drug store to test the level of alcohol in your breastmilk. I still wouldn't recommend a drink a day though, save it for special occasions until you wean - just my opinion. Oh, and I personally didn't do any hard liquor, just wine.



answers from Dallas on

i bf'd for a year. was i supposed to never drink for that year plus pregnancy? um no! i would pump enough for an evening out, then have a few over a few hours. i would pump when i got home, dump that and feed the baby when he woke up an hour or two later. i definitely didn't feel bad for it a bit. and an occassional glass of wine in the evenings was no big deal to me post bedtime. by the time the baby woke at 2 am, the wine was out of my system.



answers from Stationed Overseas on

Personally I don't think you should drink while breastfeeding at all. You wouldn't drink while pregnant right? But this is my personal opinion. I know plenty of women who do and will BF their child right after doing so. I haven't had a drink of any kind in over two years b/c of pregnancy and now still BF. I am happy with my choice and will have a beer to celebrate when I stop. Plus alcohol was beginning to make me feel awful even after one drink. I guess I'm getting old LOL



answers from Anchorage on

I would not recommend it, but it can be done safely if you have a drink at night before bed, and them pump and dump in the morning, which means you will have to have a supply of milk to cover that morning feeding from an earlier pumping.



answers from Sherman on

Personally I drank while nursing, 1-2 drinks, maybe 1-2 times a week. Usually after the baby went to bed when I knew I would have a good 4+hours before nursing again. I don't believe you are being AT ALL "reckless"! My ob actually gave me the go ahead. By all means, have yourself a drink and enjoy it!

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