When is it safe to breastfeed after having an alcoholic drink?

Etta - posted on 03/24/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Can anyone tell me when it's safe to breastfeed after having an alcoholic drink?
I'm going to a wedding (with out the kids) and would like to have a little champagne. I've heard that after a certain amount of time the alcohol leaves your system and will not affect the baby, but how long does that take?
I'd appreciate any advice on this.
Thanks.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Martha - posted on 03/25/2010

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Pumping and dumping is a waste of perfectly fine milk. Alcohol metabolizes and leaves your blood/milk. THOUGH if you get really drunk and it's going to be a while before you're sober enough to nurse, then you might want to pump&dump for your comfort. But having a glass of wine or one bottle of beer wouldn't even effect your milk. The rule of thumb from the LLLI is if you are safe enough to drive then you are safe enough to nurse. If you drink enough to make you tipsy, then you should wait probably about 2 hours or so, until you are sober again. Another helpful thing to do to avoid becoming engorged is to nurse or pump right before you plan on going out or drinking so you are as empty as you can be. lol

Becky - posted on 03/24/2010

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I asked a lactation specialist about this specifically and she said that a standard sized drink - so one glass of champagne, stays in your bloodstream for about an hour and a half. It stays in your breastmilk for the same length of time. So if you have only one glass of champagne, you would be fine to breastfeed after an hour and a half. There is no need to pump and dump.

Stephanie - posted on 03/24/2010

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I have read that your breast milk doesn't stay "tainted" pumping and dumping des no good...The general rule is wait 2 hours after drinking to nurse or pump (if you intend to keep it). The alochol stays in your breast milk as long as it is noticeable in your bloodstream. If you are no longer feeling tipsy then you do not need pump your breast milk and dump it.

The other general rule is if you are "too tipsy" to drive it is nto safe to breast feed.

Good Luck!

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9 Comments

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Hannah - posted on 03/26/2010

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I'd say go for it Etta, one glass won't hurt! I agree with Stephanie and Becky, I'm sure by the time you get home at least 1.5 hours will have passed and you'll be good to go!

Etta - posted on 03/26/2010

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Thanks for all the help! Now I can make an informed decision on whether or not to drink and how much.

Rozalyn - posted on 03/25/2010

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If you only have one drink, it is perfectly safe to breastfeed if you wait 90 minutes to 2 hours. As long as you don't feel "drunk" your baby won't either.

Kirsty - posted on 03/25/2010

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Stephanie is right. There is no need to pump and dump as the alcohol leaves your milk when it leaves your bloodstream. So i'd allow 1-1.5 hours for each drink you consume. I've been caught out once or twice when i've had a glass of wine on holiday and then my little one decides she wants an extra feed. A tiny bit is nothing to worry about.

Emmylou - posted on 03/25/2010

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it enters milk after 30 - 45 minutes and what goes in must come out so it doesn't leave the milk you'll have to pump and dump it.

Kim - posted on 03/24/2010

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The time alcohol stays in your blood stream depends upon the amount you consume at a particular time. That being said I would pump both breasts about 3 hours after the last drink to empty any "tainted" milk. You can also buy at Babys R us these Alcohol Content tests for Breastmilk. They will tell you exactly how much Alcohol is in your milk. I would test to make sure there is not alcohol in your breast milk before offering your little one the breast again.

Honestly, it seems like a lot of work for a glass of champagne and I really think that you should for-go your desire to have a drink this time until your are no longer nursing. It is a small price to pay to keep your lil ones best interests at the for front of your reasoning.

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