Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol While Breastfeeding?

alcohol and breastfeeding

Image : Shutterstock

You must be wondering if you can drink alcohol while breastfeeding! Well, let us clear your doubt… It is a complete ‘No-No’, as drinking alcohol is considered harmful for your child.

By doing this, you may simply endanger your baby’s life. You need to remember that any concentration of alcohol in your blood will show alcohol content in your milk. Here is a post that will clear your doubts about alcohol and breastfeeding.

Factors That Decide Alcohol Content In Your Breast Milk:

Alcohol gets mixed in blood and moves freely from blood to your breast milk. Alcohol stays in your breast milk for around 30 to 60 minutes once you drink.

There are number of factors that determine how alcohol gets into your breast milk. They are as follows:

  • How fast you drink.
  • How much weight you gain.
  • The amount that you have taken.
  • The amount and strength of alcohol in your drink.

Generally, it takes around two hours for women to get rid of alcohol after a drink. The amount of alcohol in blo

od reduces once you stop drinking. However, you need to remember that the milk content reduces as well. You will be making a mistake if you feel throwing away excessive breast milk will reduce the alcohol content in it.

Effects Of Alcohol While Breastfeeding:

While it is important that you make an informed decision, here are some effects of alcohol that you must bear in mind:

  1. Levels of alcohol in your milk are the highest between 30 minutes and 60 minutes after you have taken a drink.
  2. The levels remain high as long as 90 minutes when you are drinking along with a meal.
  3. It takes around 2 hours for the unit of alcohol to leave your blood.
  4. Large amount of alcohol in your breast milk can create a sedative effect.
  5. Your baby may experience sleep disturbances and feel agitated.

According to doctors, babies take around 20% milk when alcohol is present in it. It is said that babies opt for ‘nursing strike’ when they taste the altered taste of milk.

Planning Ahead Is Important:

The best solution is to stop drinking when you are breastfeeding. If you still plan to drink while breastfeeding, you will have to formula feed your child.

Myths Associated With Beer And Breastfeeding:

A commonly associated myth with drinking and breastfeeding is beer enhances production of milk. In reality it actually reduces milk production from your breasts.

In case you have robust milk supply and you can see your baby gaining sufficient weight, occasional drinking with some waiting period generally will not reduce the supply of your milk.

Some Strategies That Can Protect Your Baby:

In case you intent to drink, here are some strategies you can plan to minimize effects of drinking on your baby:

  • If you have established a routine for feeding your baby, you can feed her first, before taking a glass of wine. This will ensure there are no traces of alcohol in your blood that can affect your baby.
  • Babies are generally good at sticking to schedules, and thus you can set a back up option as well.
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association suggests that formula milk is much better compared to your breast milk mixed with alcohol.

Like everything else in parenting, whether you drink or not while breastfeeding is your personal choice. The more important point to ponder over at this point is, how often you intend to drink.

A glass of Champaign in a special occasion is unlikely to have long term negative effect on the health of your baby. However, this does not mean you can overlook the potential effects of drinking while breastfeeding.

Well, we suggest you moms to stop drinking alcohol during breastfeeding for healthy you and baby!

Do let us know if this article helped you by commenting below.

References : 1

Recommended Articles:

  • Is It Safe To Continue Breastfeeding While Suffering From Flu?
  • Is It Safe To Breastfeed When You Have A Cold?
  • Is It Safe To Drink Coffee While Breastfeeding?
  • 6 Benefits Of Breastfeeding While Having Diabetes