Often new mothers have questions about breastfeeding and alcohol consumption. Many women who breastfeed wonder if it’s safe for their baby if they have an alcoholic drink. The answer to this question depends on the amount of alcohol that is consumed, and the time before or after breastfeeding that the alcohol was drunk.
With this subject being so controversial, it’s better for each breastfeeding mother to fully understand how alcohol affects the body and the effects that it can have on the baby. This way, the mother is fully capable of knowing when and how much they can drink without harming the baby.
Breastfeeding the most natural thing in the world
What was I afraid of during pregnancy? Contractions, baby blues, stretch marks on the stomach. What I wasn’t afraid of breastfeeding. Why too? It’s the most natural thing in the world.
I am also well prepared: I have not worn a bra for days, to gently harden the breasts. I read that demand regulates the supply when it comes to breast milk, and I don’t have to worry about not getting my baby full. Breastfeeding-friendly midwife in the back, with whom it has already been agreed: Immediately after birth, the little one should be on the chest. I have invested a lot of money in a nursing pillow that promises absolute breastfeeding comfort for mother and child. What else can go wrong?
A lot. Because my midwife shows me exactly how to put on the little girl and Linnea drinks well with fish mouths, it is pretty awful first. The “slight suction pain” I’ve read about feels like someone is tacking my nipples. I check more than once: maybe Linnea already has teeth with which she secretly bites me?
How Much Alcohol Can I Have While Breastfeeding?
Many women don’t realize that when they drink alcohol, it does get into their breast milk, via the bloodstream. After the drink is consumed, it takes about 30 minutes for the alcohol to reach the milk. The stronger the drink, the more alcohol goes into the bloodstream and then into the breast milk. There for the alcohol remains in the blood, it remains in the milk.
Ensuring that all the alcohol is out of the body before breastfeeding will ensure that the baby is not affected. A good rule of thumb is, if you feel the effects of alcohol and breastfeed your baby, the baby will also be affected. Experts define drinking heavily as having more than two drinks a day. It takes six to eight hours after consumption before the alcohol has left the system.
Should I Dump My Milk After breastfeeding and alcohol consumption?
If you have plans that include having a few drinks and are wondering if they need to pump and dump is in order, understanding that alcohol does not stay in the breast milk forever will help you plan accordingly. The need to pump is only required if you will be away for a couple of feedings, and you want to have a supply on hand, or if you need to relieve engorged breasts, due to being away from the baby.
Planning will help keep you and the baby happy. If you know, you will still have some alcohol in your system when returning home, pumping the necessary amount before you will resolve the issue. Just understand that pumping is not necessary to remove milk that has alcohol in it. The alcohol leaves the milk naturally when it leaves the bloodstream.
Be Extra Careful When Nursing Babies Less than 3 Months
Taking extra precautions with newborns and babies under three months old should be done when considering breastfeeding and alcohol consumption. Before a baby reaches three months, their liver function is still limited. If alcohol gets into the bloodstream of a new baby that is less than three months, it could affect liver and cause problems, since their livers can only process breastfeeding alcohol at half the rate of an adult. By the age of three months, their livers begin to function the same as an adult.
What The Professionals Say About breastfeeding and alcohol consumption
Professionals use to be very strict on the subject of Drinking Alcohol and breastfeeding effects on baby: Occasional consumption is okay. While others suggested avoiding all breastfeeding and alcohol consumption consumption, others suggested that an occasional drink would not harm. Others thought that breast milk should be pumped and dumped following the 24 hours after drinking.
Today, doctors have discovered that having an occasional drink while breastfeeding does not have to be avoided completely. Of course, using common sense is always the best thing to do. According to professionals, an occasional drink is okay, but overindulging while breastfeeding is a no-no. Nursing, while intoxicated, is strictly advised against because this can cause problems with the baby.
Understanding Alcohol and Breastfeeding Is the Key
All experts do agree that moderation is the most important key to breastfeeding and alcohol consumption. Moderation means keeping your alcohol intake to two drinks a day. They also suggest that alcoholics and heavy drinkers should avoid drinking until they have weaned their baby from breastfeeding. Studies have shown that women who drink heavily have a reduction in lactation.
They also showed that babies could be affected by mothers who drink heavily and breastfeed. When they reached the age of one, some babies showed signs of motor development problems when their mothers breastfed them while drinking heavily. Heavy alcohol consumption can also decrease or even deplete breast milk supply.
With a clear understanding of the effects of breastfeeding and alcohol consumption, proper planning can be done to provide safe feeding. Without the worry of the baby being affected. A mother does not have to prevent her from enjoying a glass of wine in evening or an occasional beer. Using moderation and refraining from heavy drinking by planning, will make life easier for baby and you.
Do you think it is okay for fellow moms to breastfeed and drink alcohol?
Do you have a good view or the other way regarding to breastfeeding and alcohol consumption? Share it! I’ve shared with you what I found in my research.