Drinking while breastfeeding.

Cynthia - posted on 03/18/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Just curious as of what would happen if you drank and then waited like 3 or more hours will it be okay to put baby on breast?

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Becky - posted on 03/18/2010

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I asked a lactation specialist about this - I was seeing her to ask about nursing after surgery and was just curious - and she said that for a standard size drink (1 beer, a glass of wine, 1 ounce of hard liquor) it takes about 1 1/2 hours for it to completely leave your bloodstream. It peaks in your blood, and therefore, in your breastmilk, within about 15 minutes. So yes, if you're only having 1 drink, 3 hours later, you'll be fine to breastfeed. If you're having several drinks, you should probably pump a bottle or 2 beforehand. You don't need to pump and dump though, unless you're really full and are still feeling the effects of the alcohol.

Marcy - posted on 03/18/2010

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My rule of thumb was always stick to 1 drink. I would have a glass of wine or a beer and that was it. I have been doing extended nursing for years (my son is 3 1/2) and now I am more comfortable having a few cocktails because he weighs more and he is older. I never pumped and dumped.....

Kim - posted on 03/18/2010

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I can have a couple of drinks and nurse just fine. I never noticed any differences with my girls.

Kim

Melisa - posted on 03/29/2010

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I agree with all the previous posters about the driving/nursing. I have a drink here and there and have never had fussy issues. My biggest issue is after 9 months of not drinking I feel it after only half a drink! So I usually don't have more than a few sips. If I were going to go out and have more than that, I have a store of pumped milk for that purpose only. No need to ever supplement with formula for me!!!

Dyani - posted on 03/29/2010

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Yes, you can drink if you follow some simple rules.



If you drink, wait until you no longer feel the effecst of alcohol and then you can nurse. Alcohol gets in and out the milk the same way it gets in and out of your blood stream. It does not stay in the milk. So just wait it out. And as a rule of thumb, after you feel okay... wait an additional 30 minutes just to be sure.



Now it is probably a good idea to pump all the milk out before you drink so that your baby will have milk for the next feeding and will not have to wait for the alcohol to leave your system.



Also, if you need to pump during the time that you will under the influence (like your boobs will explode if you don't), then go ahead and pump, but dump it, as it will have alcohol in it.



Also, there are some alcohol testing strips available for extra comfort. I haven't tried them, but I see them at Target all the time.



Lastly, keep drinking in moderation. The more, and heavier, you drink, it increases the liklihood that you may slip and have alcohol in the milk. If you drink heavily it will take a long time for the milk to be clean and this may impact your feeding schedule. You may even be tempted to feed the baby from the boob... but don't!



So go on an enjoy your drink (I was loving my mimosa on Valentine's Day), but make sure that you do it safely!



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22 Comments

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Lyndie - posted on 03/28/2010

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I would not take the risk, just wait to drink until baby is weaned. Baby is way more important than drinking so why even worry about how much is to much?

Samantha - posted on 03/28/2010

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I agree with Melissa...I use the Milkscreen test strips if I drink at all, just to make sure my milk is okay for my son...they are awsome, easy to use, and give me peace of mind!

Alicia - posted on 03/28/2010

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My grandmother was a child health nurse. It's healthy for you to drink and perfectly ok to have a couple as long as your not intoxicated while nursing. You need to have a life too and if you're relaxed (after 2 wines) then your milk will benefit from it. If you're really worried, have a drink with or after dinner when the longest stretch is between feeds.



All the best and enjoy :)

[deleted account]

1 standard drink takes 2 hours to get out of your breastmilk so for every 1 standrad drink you have its 2 hours you cant breastfeed just express before you think your going to drink and do it that way. its always handy to keep expressed milk in the freezer as a just in case thing anyway i think.

Danielle - posted on 03/20/2010

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becky franklin is completely right. i did a lot of research before drinking and nursing. its ok to drink but if you feel drunk you shouldnt feed your baby. whenever i want to go out i just substitute with formula or milk that i pumped previously.

Melissa - posted on 03/20/2010

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make sure u have some pumped milk on hand before, but this will give you an idea of how much and how long u will have to wait...
http://www.beststart.org/resources/alc_r...
also there is something called MilkScreen, google it, they are test strips that will test milk and indicate whether or not it is safe to breastfeed. i used them recently and brought them to show my LC, who was quite interested and impressed with them. but obviously no alchol is best. but its also good to remember that u r breastfeeding, not dead! ur allowed to indulge urself once in a while, just like everyone else. as long as ur baby is afe and cared for then go ahead and have a good time!

Amanda - posted on 03/20/2010

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Sorry I say yes go for it, like others said dont get smashed. There is zero need to sustitute with formula if you havent gotten drunk otherwise it defeats the purpose of keeping your milk supply up. I have breastfeed 3 children, drank a beer or two, and never had a problem.

Jessica - posted on 03/19/2010

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dont drink while you breast feed or sustitute with formula for altleast 24 hrs after alcohol was consumed

Robin - posted on 03/19/2010

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I drank while breastfeeding my girls and had no problem. Usually never had more than one drink per night, though, unless a special occasion. Helped me relax, and kept the milk supply up!

Lisa - posted on 03/18/2010

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ditto with what Amanda said. I had a glass of wine with dinner last night, then came home and nursed. It's OK to drink a little - but it's important to know how well your body processes alcohol too. Drinking water and eating won't help the alcohol get out of your blood system (and therefor your milk) any faster, only time will do that. Just don't get slammed!

Sarah - posted on 03/18/2010

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Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is that if you are sober enough to drive a car, then you're sober enough to nurse your baby. If you know you're going out and probably going to get a little buzzed, then pump or hand express some milk for your baby before-hand. If you get too engorged before you're sober enough to nurse your baby you can always pump and dump around the same time you feed your kidlet the bottle.

Karlie - posted on 03/18/2010

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i would never drink while nursing, why take the risk ya know? drinking is not that important and you arent breastfeeding long so why not leave it til you know your kid isnt going to get it through you. alchohol stays in your system for about 24 hours. and is dissolved in fat so if you are skinny its going to take a longer time to get out of your blood stream. if it were me i wouldnt be risking it

Amanda - posted on 03/18/2010

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I like the driving rule, if you cant drive a car you cant breastfeed a baby. Drinking a beer is actually benfical to breastfeeding, it helps many mothers keep their supply up.

Erin - posted on 03/18/2010

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It depends on how much you had to drink. The alcohol level in breast milk is very close to your blook alcohol level. I personally feel that if your BAL is low enough that you could legally drive, then it's low enough to breastfeed. However, it's a personal choice.

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