Is it okay to drink wine and then breastfeed?

Ana Sofia - posted on 01/14/2010 ( 62 moms have responded )

0

0

0

What happens if I drink wine and have to breastfeed my 5 month old baby? Is it safe?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Kristin - posted on 02/21/2012

7

2

0

A friend of mine who is in her forties asked her mother if she smoked when she was pregnant with her and her mother replied "only when I drank"!! I did a lot of research on this because my sister in law thought it prudent to accuse me of poisoning my son with alcohol while I was pregnant with him. First of all, the truth is if it is 4oz of wine, a beer, and one bar shot, it takes ONE HOUR to metabolize, this has nothing to do with your metabolism, this is for every body. Also, you have to consume an enormous amount of alcohol over an extended period of time for it to harm your child while pregnant or breastfeeding. The only reason it is recommended you don't drink while pregnant is to keep you from being tempted to overdo it. Both my dr. and my midwife told me to have a glass of wine or a beer once in a while during my last trimester and while breastfeeding. For all of you that choose not to drink, fine....but having one or two while you breastfeed is fine, it will do no harm to your child. The amount that actually makes it into your milk from just one drink is minute . Just don't over do it...moderation!

Karlie - posted on 01/18/2010

187

69

70

oh and just a few things i found:

here is little research evidence available about the effect that [alcohol in breast milk] has on the baby, although practitioners report that, even at relatively low levels of drinking, it may reduce the amount of milk available and cause irritability, poor feeding and sleep disturbance in the infant. Given these concerns, a prudent approach is advised

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a disorder that can occur to the embryo when a pregnant woman ingests alcohol during pregnancy. An ingestion of alcohol does not always result in FAS. The current recommendation of both the US Surgeon General and the UK Department of Health is not to drink alcohol at all during pregnancy

One study found that babies who are exposed regularly (at least daily) to alcohol in their mother's milk during the first three months of life might have a slight but significant slowing of motor development

Studies do show that a baby drinks less milk if her mother has recently drunk alcohol. And drinking large amounts may make your baby drowsy or sluggish, which could interfere with her sucking ability. Drinking as little as one drink may also affect your milk letdown reflex (your breasts' natural ability to produce milk). And heavy drinking may impair your ability to care for your child. One study also found that babies slept for significantly shorter periods of time in a three and a half hour period after nursing if their mothers had had an alcoholic beverage.

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.

Karlie - posted on 01/18/2010

187

69

70

i still dont think its a good idea but thats just me, you dont breastfeed your baby for long you should be able to not drink during that time. iv gone without a drink for 20 months now and i use to drink alot before i had my son. would you let your child taste a sip of alcohol? i dont think so, so why give it through breastmilk? i cant believe any OB or midwife would tell you its ok to drink during pregnancy or breastfeeding... i would never risk it getting to my child. but each to their own

Patricia - posted on 04/02/2012

30

18

4

Yes..one glass will not influence your child grow...I liked my Beershandy will I breastfeed and ALL of my 3 kids are healthy and growing :o) We have a saying - drink dark Beer and it helps your production of your milk...I did it and it works!! In my experience - if you feel like drinking one or two glasses (Wine or Beer) - go for it - BUT not every evening - occasionally!!

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

62 Comments

View replies by

Kayleigh - posted on 04/02/2012

2

0

0

I asked my health visitor and a small amount (125 mls max) won't affect your milk

Kayleigh - posted on 04/02/2012

2

0

0

I asked my health visitor and a small amount (125mls max) won't affect your milk

Lise - posted on 03/30/2012

1,738

8

233

Thanks. That's really weird, because I haven't seen that anywhere else... I know I've read that alcohol doesn't help with production (which some people still say about beer, despite research to the contrary)...

Brianna - posted on 03/30/2012

27

0

1

I just checked and all references are listed at the bottom of the page.

Lise - posted on 03/30/2012

1,738

8

233

@Brianna:



"While 1 drink is not going to kill your baby, there are studies that show babies drink less milk when there is alcohol present."



Can you please show these studies? What you posted actually goes against what is posted on the kellymom site that you included. http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/...

Brianna - posted on 03/30/2012

27

0

1

I have always heard pump and dump. While 1 drink is not going to kill your baby, there are studies that show babies drink less milk when there is alcohol present. Your baby's appetite should be controlled by hunger, not distaste for alcohol. If you have the calculations down pat (which involve the alcohol percentage, your weight, if you have eaten recently etc.)Then it should be fine. Personally, I would rather be on the safe side. I don't want to deal with pumping and dumping so I just don't drink until its time to wean.



I would check out kellymom.com, LLL, and WHO.

Erin - posted on 03/25/2012

193

30

6

Every friday I have some wine with a friend of mine and we relax and de-stress and rant to eachother about how the week was. My son is 8 months old, and ive had my wine fridays since before I was even pregnant with him. I took my obligatory 9 month break during my pregnancy, and had smoothie fridays, or slushie fridays, or chips and dip fridays instead :)

My son is hitting every milestone properly, has 7 teeth, a head of hair, whines to be picked up, and loves to be alone with his toys sometimes too. He is as normal as any child could be. My glass or two of wine once a week for the past 8 months (give or take a few rainchecks) have not hindered him in the slightest, and ive never had an issue. Of the times where maybe I do get drunk (we get something different every week, sometimes the percentage is crazy!) I have expressed milk in the freezer and hubby gets to feed him :)

win win!

Ania - posted on 03/24/2012

703

25

52

pumping and throwing out does not make sense....as someone mentioned. As long as alcohol is in your blood it will also be in milk that you are producing

Jennifer - posted on 03/24/2012

2

0

0

pumping and dumping doest do anything...alcholo curuclates in your breast milk....in the health guide it says u can have a glass of wine and breast feed no worries..it doesnt stay in your breastmilk!! but more then that noway.

Ashley - posted on 01/20/2010

7

5

1

There are a bunch of articles out there. It's safe after 2-3hrs, but you have 2 remeber it depends on your metabolism. You should also try out "Milkscreen" just to be safe.

Hannah - posted on 01/20/2010

471

15

79

Re Foetal alcohol syndrome, it occurs when mothers drink HEAVILY during their pregnancies.

[deleted account]

One occasional (1-2 times/wk) glass of wine makes baby and Mom Much happier. No harm done. Your child will Not die and may even sleep a little better :)

Maureen - posted on 01/18/2010

21

22

1

as to my earlier response, when i was referring to killing ur kid, i meant drinking excessively not just a glass, i was told by the hospital(doctors and nurses)to get my milk tested just to be safe, if ur doctors told u to go ahead then fine, they know what they are talking about. but for those of us who are weary of the side effects, get it tested or like nicolotte bryd said go to walgreens and get the milk tester. sorry if i didnt make it clear as to what i meant.

Nicolette - posted on 01/18/2010

13

12

2

they now have things at Walgreens that tests your breast milk for alcohol

Sherwood - posted on 01/17/2010

38

56

3

it does take 24 hours for it to be metabolized in your liver and passed out in urine, but it is out of your blood in an hour and your blood supplies your milk.



Oh, and the purpose of "pump and dump" is to make the demand for milk that your baby normally would (if it wasn't being fed expressed milk) so that you do not have a decline in supply the following day.

Lise - posted on 01/17/2010

1,738

8

233

Karlie Spain:
Alcohol metabolizes at 0.01 blood alcohol content/hr. So unless you drink a LOT or keep drinking, it definitely doesn't take 24 hours to leave your body!

Lise - posted on 01/17/2010

1,738

8

233

That's actually not true... As previous posters have mentioned, alcohol goes through your milk like it goes through you're blood. As long as the alcohol is out of your blood, you're fine to breastfeed. So said by my doctor and many places online.

Sherwood - posted on 01/17/2010

38

56

3

If I'm having a drink, I will usually serve it just before feeding her, then after a few sips, I feed her and then come back and finish my drink, I like this way b/c my drink is waiting for me when I'm done feeding her and I get distracted easily, so this way I won't wait too long to drink it. That said, I really didn't drink until she was a few months old, when they are really little newborns, they have very little of the helpful bacteria in their intestines so it is more difficult for them to process stuff like that. Now that my girl is 10 mos. she can easily go without a feed for 4 or 5 hours so I don't have to worry about it anymore- so it really is just a little while if you decide not to drink and bf. I say relax, enjoy yourself and love your bebe :)

Carrie - posted on 01/17/2010

4

6

0

If you want to have a drink dont feel ashamed. I craved beer while pregnate and my child is fine and after while breastfeeding i would have a beer or wine or two at night. I was told by my mid wife that there is only about 1% that gets through to your milk and thta is if you have had a few glasses but if your going to drink alot give them there last feed, express and just get rid of your first lot of milk in the morning. Then you can go back to normal. Good luck

Lara - posted on 01/17/2010

89

32

5

My OB told me that starting in my 3rd trimester it was okay to have one glass of wine at dinner. (He also told me to relax by lighting some candles, taking a bubble bath, and having a glass of wine. Whoo-hoo!) I checked with him regarding alcohol consumption while BF and again, one drink at meal was okay.



The attitude of beer being good for milk production is actually something that is scientifically proven, and again, okayed by my OB. My hubby thinks this is wonderful! Just like anything else you consume, it will change the flavor of your milk. I found with my two girls that while they did not seem affected when I drank red wine, my youngest definately did not enjoy my milk when I drank a beer.



If you are in any way concerned, don't do it until you talk to your doctor. If you do have a drink, you won't harm your baby. It'll be okay!

Liz - posted on 01/17/2010

14

7

0

@ walmart they sell these test strips that you did you breast milk in and it will tell you the level of alcohol in your breast milk. it also tells you what level is ok to breast feed with and what level you need to pump and dump.

Elisabeth - posted on 01/17/2010

24

15

1

Moderation, moderation, moderation. If you are breastfeeding more than likely you are not going to go out for an all night party - as your baby is or should be so bonded to you and you bonded to him/her that you couldn't stand to be apart!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or a drink ( a small shot of Jaeger is good for nerves and digestion too). Moderation is the key. A relaxed mommy is better than an uptight mommy.

Karlie - posted on 01/16/2010

187

69

70

i would never, but thats just me. if you do, it takes 24 hours for the alcohol to completely leave your system. if you have to have a glass id drink it right after bubs last feed at night so you have the longest length of time for it to get out your system

Yoke Wean - posted on 01/16/2010

9

12

0

As for our tradition, we normally almost every meal will eat dishes that cook with rice wine during consignment. Anyone can tell me whether i still can breast feed?

Sarah - posted on 01/16/2010

65

4

10

Everything I've read says DON'T pump and dump because this does nothing to get rid of the alcohol still in the breast milk your body is producing during those 2-3 hours after you drink.

Tammy - posted on 01/16/2010

75

13

6

I think weight and what you had to eat that day all play a part...All of us have experienced getting drunk off one beer on a hot day and being surprised, but the next day you can drink a 6 pack and not get a buzz...My rule was always to wait 2 hours per drink, that's one 1oz shot, one 3/4 cup glass of wine, or one beer. But if you feel like you should wait longer, or it's only been an hour and a half but you feel it should be fine, then do what you feel is right

Rachel - posted on 01/16/2010

3

0

0

It's fine. Just don't drink so much that you will have a problem waking up to her. It passes through breast milk but I have never seen any difference in all 3 of my kids, the nights/days after I have seen nothing either. It does help you relax and when you are relaxed tour milk will flow freely :)

Brittney - posted on 01/16/2010

44

9

2

its actually ok so long as its only a glass bcuz it helps relax u and bring ur milk in any more than that and its not good for ur child

Lisa - posted on 01/16/2010

9

10

0

Hi Ana, I was told by the doctor to wait at least 2 hours to breastfeed after drinking wine or any other cocktail.

Hannah - posted on 01/15/2010

471

15

79

Like you Cassie, I also drank a lot before realising I was pregnant (it was Xmas!) and my 2 year old is so smart and healthy. I think these days it is very common for this to happen as a lot of my friends have said the same thing. Some people will disagree with this, but I also allowed myself the occasional small drink whilst pregnant, (eg why at a wedding should I be the only one not able to toast with a small glass of champagne?) so I will allow myself one now I'm breastfeeding. I don't get drunk, but I like a drink, what can I say? I don't think I'm being selfish, I'm just laid back about it, I don't think it is harmful or I wouldn't be doing it.

[deleted account]

Thank you Ana for posting this question, and for all the answers. This was something that I'd been wondering about.

Cassie - posted on 01/15/2010

23

8

1

i also heard that its fine, and after a couple hours it will be out of your system. in fact, beer is good for lactation, so if you have one of those it wouldn't be a huge deal. if you're really concerned you could make sure you have a bottle available for her if she needs to eat before two hours. but if your baby has a sensitive belly be careful because the yeast from beer could upset them.

if it helps to put you at ease, i drank a lot before i found out i was pregnant...i'm younger and was going out a lot before i knew. i stopped once i found out but that wasn't until i was at least 5 or 6 weeks. my baby is beautiful, totally healthy and smart so honestly, i wouldn't worry about drinking one glass of wine here or there.

Hannah - posted on 01/15/2010

471

15

79

Now my daughter is older and more predictable in her sleeping habits, I don't even think twice about having a glass of wine in the evening.Whether you breast feed or not, I don't think any mother is about to get rip roaring drunk when they have a baby to care for in the house. We all need to relax, and lets be honest, a glass of wine after a stressful day is just what we need sometimes!
If the thought of drinking and feeding makes you feel nervous then fine, don't do it, but I wish people would relax a bit on the issue and trust people to use their own judgement.

Nicole - posted on 01/14/2010

421

15

23

check out kellymom.com and the la leche league website- if you are safe to drive you are safe to nurse. heck, hops that are found in beer are very good for milk production. if your blood alcohol content is .08 then your milk alcohol content will be .002- the same as a glass of orange juice ( these numbers are on the web somewhere- I think there is a link to the source on the LLLs website).

Jamie - posted on 01/14/2010

12

1

0

Mt doctor says to drink after you breast feed because the next time you feed him it will be delituted

Kylie - posted on 01/14/2010

2,391

81

190

In response to Maureen Hippensteel ...Its incorrect formation like that being spread around that makes it hard for mothers to feel confident about breastfeeding.
Alcohol will only pass through breast milk into baby as long as it is in the mother blood stream. It takes about 1 hour to process 1 standard drink.
If mothers want to have a drink or two once baby’s gone to bed or is sleeping for 3-4 hours then they can! And they are not killing their kids even if they do it every night!

I’ve got a few hours free anyway so I’m off to the hospital to have a milk test…:o hah

Mary - posted on 01/14/2010

19

27

1

My doctor Ok'd a glass of red wine while I was pregnant and the same goes with breastfeeding--one glass of red wine isn't going to do harm.

Francesca - posted on 01/14/2010

502

36

16

I read that for every drink you have you have to wait two hours before you breastfeed.



http://www.cfpc.ca/cfp/2002/jan/vol48-ja...



According to Dr. Jack Newman, a doctor and member of the LLLI Health Advisory Council: "Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all. As is the case with most drugs, very little alcohol comes out in the milk. The mother can take some alcohol and continue breastfeeding as she normally does. Prohibiting alcohol is another way we make life unnecessarily restrictive for nursing mothers."



I don't really drink. But I had a beer once with my BIL after I put my baby to bed.



Remember, everything you eat your baby eats. So use common sense. If its just a glass, wait a while before feeding. If you want a lot more, pump before hand so you have milk available for when your little one gets hungry.



Don't worry about some of the extremist advice. You don't need your milk tested at a hospital. Talk to your doctor if you need this verified.



Have a great one.

Nicole - posted on 01/14/2010

43

86

3

a glass of wine is just fine. if you plan to have more than one drink, pump in advance. there are also milk screen tests to see if your milk contains alcohol. my 21st birthday is in a few weeks so i understand your concern. and dont take maureen's criticism personally. some people don't understand.

Jackie - posted on 01/14/2010

623

44

93

Talk about over reacting Maureen. If you are such an expert you would know that beer is recommended to nursing mothers to encourage milk production.



Yes I wouldn't make a habit of drinking while nursing but say you are at a wedding and want to toast the bride and groom its perfectly fine!! I also would have a beer WHILE nursing my baby when I felt my milk production just wasn't up to par. The beer wouldn't even be close to to finished before my son was done nursing and by the time he was ready for more.... that one beer was more then out of my system. Just use your own good judgement.

Maureen - posted on 01/14/2010

21

22

1

ur are NOT suspose to be drinking any alcohol what so ever! if ur breast feeding u have to pump some and take some to a hospital and get it checked to see if there is any alcohol in it. if u are going to continue to drink u need to stop breastfeeding, and get the baby on formula, kids bodies livers etc. cannot get rid of the alcohol as effiencently as a adult can. if ur doing that on a regular basis, u could kill ur kid!

Stina - posted on 01/14/2010

1,055

19

108

A single glass is ok. I have enjoyed a glass of wine at a meal and then fed my dd.



More than that though and it is better to feed before you start drinking or have a pumped bottle ready in case baby gets hungry and you are feeling the effects of the alcohol.

Joley - posted on 01/14/2010

51

22

10

I have seen a test at walgreens to measure the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk. I have also heard to wait 1-2 hours after every alcoholic drink.

Mattee - posted on 01/14/2010

229

49

9

I have an occaisional beer or glass of wine and my son is just fine. I just feed him right before I drink ;)

Beck - posted on 01/14/2010

609

0

111

If you have had too much to drive, you have had too much to feed! I am a non drinker so I have not had any personal experience.

Casey - posted on 01/14/2010

65

22

6

if your too drunk to drive your too drunk to breastfeed..
honestly if your feeling it just wait until youre sobered up.
one glass of wine or beer is ok (i have even drank a glass of wine while feeding :))

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms