Alcohol and Breastmilk? So confused

Mary Renee - posted on 07/31/2010 ( 45 moms have responded )

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Aloha,



I did not drink my entire senior year of college due to my pregnancy and now I'm not drinking because I'm breast feeding but I have had the occasional beer because my lactation consultant said that was fine.



That said I'm visiting home for the first time and am REALLY looking forward to getting to go out with old highschool friends. How can I drink safetly? How long does it take for each drink to leave your body?



What's the deal with pump and dump?



I heard that breast milk is like blood alcohol level and a few hours after you drink the alcohol will be out of your breast milk. Anyone know how this works? Is it an hour a drink?



What if I go out from 10-2 ish (when she's sleeping) and feed her the next three feedings with pumped milk?



HELP!?!? I don't want to pass alcohol to my baby but I would really like to get to feel like a twenty-something year old again for one freaking night while my parents are available to babysit!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

There is no need to pump and dump *unless* you need to pump to maintain supply or prevent engorgement. If you are safe to drive then you are safe to nurse. If you drink several drinks and wake up still feeling it then I would offer pumped milk. Here's some helpful info:
http://www.kellymom.com/health/lifestyle...

Karrie - posted on 08/03/2010

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For those of you that have an issue with her drinking just because she is breastfeeding your statements are uneducated and judgmental. If you are going to post do so in a manner that is helpful and not just you placing judgment on someone because she wants to go have a few drinks with some friends. Here is a great site that has everything to do with breastfeeding including alcohol and it is informative and educated. http://www.llli.org/FAQ/alcohol.html You are doing a responsible thing by asking for advice on the subject. Have a great evening out with your friends and thank you for being a loving and caring mother for you child.

Hannah - posted on 08/04/2010

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In response to cecilia...in one part you say you forgot how strong wine is. In another part you say you drink wine and breastfeed to sooth your baby when she's gonna be a wreck? WOW you're in no position to give advice when you are getting your baby drunk instead of mastering your parenting skills and soothing her yourself which will also build your bond with your baby.

Cecelia - posted on 08/04/2010

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Okay the wine part is no more than a glass every 3 hours sorry about that last part. I totaly forgot that wine is very strong but they recommend to have a glass of wine at night to help the baby sleep better. I personally only have one glass every so often if the baby is teething to help sooth her or else she's just a wreck.

Rebecca - posted on 08/04/2010

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Pump while drinking...if you are nursing then i assume during 1-=2 she nurses at least once so try to pump at the time she would eat to maintain supply and not have a worry. Once you get home pump and dump again and all should be fine after. I have never heard of it just vanishing from your system. Once it's in the milk, it's in the milk. We lose our "buzz" because we pee it out, the milk HAS to go somewhere. I even pumped for 12 hours after i drank while nursing and i only had 2 drinks in 4 hours. I would rather be safe then sorry.
Good luck and have fun!!!

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45 Comments

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Jamie - posted on 08/04/2010

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I say let the girl drink... just be responsible. My comment was meant to show people that poor or rich has nothing to do with it!

Christi - posted on 08/04/2010

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I am 21 Jamie, so I know about the young part. I went to college and there were trailer parks where I grew up where all you saw were the same people wasted on a daily basis. Not saying everyone there is a alcoholic. Get a grip, if you got offended then you need to put your big girl panties on.

Jamie - posted on 08/04/2010

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Well, this is a heated conversation, and I don't want to make it worse. I, however, wouldn't trust the strips. I would advise you to give your baby frozen breastmilk. You could pump for a few days before to make sure you have an ample supply or buy a small container of formula for her to drink for a few days. Then pump and dump afterwards. Better safe then sorry! Oh, the reason I wouldn't trust the strips is because I got married at 21, and was using ovulation strips (I know it's slighty different) to help us avoid getting pregnant before we graduated from college. They were an expensive brand and were faulty. The strips said I was not ovulating that month (and I tested 3 times to make sure). Well, my husband and I ended up pregnant because the strips were wrong. I don't regret it at all, but it was a huge shock! :) I wouldn't want you to experience a faulty strip that could make your baby sick. I am sure it is rare that the strips are faulty, but it still happens!

Oh, I was raised in a trailer park until I was 6. My mom got pregnant at 16, worked 2 jobs, and raised me until an amazing man came along when I was 6. He married her and adopted me. First, I never knew someone who drank everyday. Just because you are poor doesn't men you drink! That comment is quite offensive. Second, I attended 2 colleges and have a bachelors degree in History. I did NOT know a person who drank everyday, and I had many friends. I know people drink, I know there are alcoholics, but it is very naive to assume that trailer park people, and college students/young people drink obsessively. It is not the case. In fact, I am 24, and I don't drink at all.

Cecelia - posted on 08/04/2010

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My Doc told me the same thing you can drink but don't drink till your buzzed and you will be fine. Beer is okay, wine no more than a whole glass an hr. after then it's okay. I space out all my drinks I love to take shots n didnt want to worry about the pump n dump thing you know?

So I take a shot wait an hr or more n then take another one later so that I'm having a good time but not really getting anything in my breastmilk...More so it makes me feel like part of the crowd by the time I've had my 3 shot everyones pretty much done so I'm still just LOL it up at them.

If you do plan on getting pretty wasted I would recommend to have enough milk to supply the baby till about noon time to next day to play it safe. Or just pump at least 2 whole times fromthe moment you wake up to get it all out if you are not all that drunk. I've only gotten buzzed once and hated the fact of pumping n dumping the next day so needless say you kinda get over it lol. But make sure you drink plenty of water to wash it out of your system and use those test strips if you are not sure they work great!

Stacy - posted on 08/04/2010

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The more you drink the longer it takes to leave your system and the test strips are the best invention. Use those before feeding the baby again. You will have to pump to use the strip, but I am not too sure about pumping and dumping. Really you just need enough to test and then wait for a little and try again.

Kristy - posted on 08/04/2010

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Christi - I personally do not know 1 person who drinks daily... none. Trailer park ???? (confused) bar, I don't go to, college, finished with that, family... back to the I do not know anyone who drinks daily. I have no problem with people who drink, none of my business, BUT children come first. :)

Oh and I never said she was a bad mother. And I too became a mother unexpectedly. Of course mine was a medical issue related thing. I too was using bc and comdoms. But that is not the issue. Once you are pregnant and have a child your life changes, point blank, how you or another person raises their child is none of my business. I just want her to be careful, her baby is to cute (from her pics) to be hurt.

Oh and I agree with Hannah, she should ask her dr... that advice is better then any website

Hannah - posted on 08/04/2010

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If she's concerned she needs to ask her Dr. Different websites offer different information

Christi - posted on 08/04/2010

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I meant having a drink once in a while makes us just like any other person out there. And really, where do people drink daily? You must be blind because it is everywhere. Go to a trailer park, bar, college or even your own family. There are people that drink wine daily!

The pressure to drink and party and bullshit when you are young is there and cudos to her for being a good mother and raising her child. I said, if you read my first post, that she should pump enough clean milk for that night and the next day and then pump and dump the rest. I have seen the effects of Fetal Alcohol Poisoning, as I am a nurse as well. All she was asking, is if she goes out for a couple of drinks, what she should do milk wise. She didn't need you judging her and making assumptions.

And the whole, I got all the partying out of my system comment, good for you. Not all of us was dealt the same hand of cards. Personally, I became a mother unexpectadly. I was using bc and condoms and still became pregnant. I was 19 and I ocassionally have a drink, say if it's my birthday or my husband's.

Kristy - posted on 08/04/2010

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I understand Christi, but have you ever seem the sde effects of alcohol to baby, especially at 2 m. I have.

'It just makes us like every other person out there.' thats an odd statement. Where do people drink daily?

And irresponsibility, depends. Each person has their own view of what is responsible. I, on the other side, seeing children suffer from alcohol because of breastfeeding (and before birth) is NOT pretty. It is the saddest thing in the world. And seeing them as well as the drug addicted babies die is not pretty either, which I have seen. I have a responsibilty to my son, to see him grow, mature and be healthy so he can make something out of himself. I do not feel it is wise to be a critic of mothers who wish that.

If she wants to drink, go ahead, I would suggest formula at least, just for the safty of the child

Christi - posted on 08/04/2010

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And to all of the judgemental moms out there, just because she is young doesn't mean she is a raging alcholoic that drinks all the time. She said so herself, she has a drink every now and then and who doesn't? People well into their geriatric years and beyond drink daily!!! Just because we are young and choose to have a drink once in a while for girls night out, if we are lucky to get one, does not make us irresponsible. It just makes us like every other person out there.

Christi - posted on 08/04/2010

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Personally if it were me, I would pump enough for the night and the next day for my son just to make sure that all the alcohol is out of my system. I would pump and dump the milk at each feeding that my son would normally get to make sure all of it is out. I think it is too risky to not pump and dump and let your child getting any sort of alcohol in their system.

Kristy - posted on 08/04/2010

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I agree with 'Hannah Reagan' because medically it can take up to 48 hours for food or liquid to completely leave the body. Just ask any Pharmaceutical Biochemist. I learned it in one of my past classes ('course it was along with the discussion of living off your urine if stranded in a desert - long story) If you have to drink, formula might be the answer

Heather - posted on 08/04/2010

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you can buy strips that test your breastmilk at home.... you just pup and test then dump until the alcohol is all out. That said, if you are that concerned, the solution is to not drink.

Rachel - posted on 08/04/2010

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My best friend breastfeeds and she went out drinking and all she did was.. She pumped out both breast and dumped that milk out then the rest was okay.. Liquor doesn't take that long to get out of your system but to be on the safe side bump and dump then everything should be ok.. Have fun

Kathryn - posted on 08/04/2010

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if you are truley concerned i would recommend seeking advise from a lactation consultant... the majority are free of charge or bulk billing and can be contacted thro your gp... enjoy your night

Jacqueline - posted on 08/03/2010

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if ur really truely that concerned either pump and dump dont drink or start the baby on formula i know breast milk is the best thing but its mainly the first two weeks of it that count the most and besides all 3 of my kids were on formula and man were they fat babies LOL youngest(7 months) weighs 3-4 pounds or more then my son whos 20 months lol

Ann - posted on 08/03/2010

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Everyone said everything educational and all that you need to know bout alcohol...all i wanna say is...get out there...have fun n be guilt free for what u r gonna do! you deserve it..how responsible a mom u r is clear from the fact that you have inquired so much before doing something that could be harmful for the kid. Please don't let anyone make you believe otherwise...you desrve the treat...ENJOY!

Hannah - posted on 08/03/2010

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it takes 24 hours for alcohol to leave your bloodstream. so you need to pump enough milk for her to drink for the hours you are gone and then the 24 hours following the last minute you had your last sip. there's no need to pump and dump. If you are feeling scared about the time period alloted then just feed her formula bottles. or dont drink out at all. being 20 has nothing to do with drinking. i see plenty of 50 year olds out drinking. good luck

Jennifer - posted on 08/03/2010

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I'm sorry if my statement sounds rude..... but number one just because the alcohol is out of your system it does not mean it is out of your milk, number two everyone's body is different so just because the alcohol was out of someone elses body in 8 hours doesn't mean it will be out of yours, and finally as to what kristy jones said I agree if you choose to drink and breast feed you are putting your child at a very high risk for complications later.... if you want to drink and "have fun" maybe you should have used birth control. I am 23 and have 2 kids... I got pregnant at 19 with my first. I made the choice to breastfeed and not drink and I gave up alot of my "drinking nights" because of the choice I made for my daughter. She is now 3 and I have drank since she was born just not while I was breastfeeding. I am not saying that it is wrong to have fun or drink but that it is irresponsible to put your baby at risk because you want a buzz... stop breastfeeding if it's that important to drink or breastfeed and find an activity that is fun without the alcohol. Both are possible. Oh and one more thing I would never put the fate of my child into some strip I am familiar with them but nothing is one hundred percent.

Ashley - posted on 08/03/2010

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My sister was nursing when she turned 21 and went out and had 1 strawberry daiquiri. Anyways they have these test strips ( I have seen at target) and you can pump and test your milk to make sure there is not any alcohol in it. I also had a friend who uses these strips and sometimes she pumps 3 or 4 times before the strips say it is safe and she is not a huge drinker. I would suggest getting these instead of just assuming it is ok if you are ok to drive. Just my opinion though:)

Amanda - posted on 08/03/2010

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I've always heard that it's better to pump at least 3-4 feedings before you go drinking that way the baby will be set to go in case you have one drink too many and can't feed her due to the alcohal still being in your system. Of course, you'd need freezer space.
That would probably be your best bet, that way you can safely feed her without having to worry about whther she's getting the alcohal or not.

Cristal - posted on 08/03/2010

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There are test strips at walgreens to test your breast milk... Thats the safest way to breast feed if you ahve had drinks

Angela - posted on 08/03/2010

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i was told that if it just one or two drinks (glass wine, bottle beer etc) then you could feed as normal after a few hours but if you were going to have a heavy night then you should give an expressed bottle and dump what would otherwise have been the 1st feed.
that said, i followed this rule with my 1st and not my 2nd. if i felt fine enough to get on with the day and was safe to drive etc then as far as i was concerned i was safe to nurse. it hasn't done my kids any harm. hope that helps. enjoy your night off!

Sherilyn - posted on 08/02/2010

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If you want your night off Pump and freeze your milk. When freezing your milk it can last upto 1 month in a regular freezer and 3 months in your Deep freezer.
The best place I know of to buy supplys for this would be Toy'R'Us. hope it helps and have fun!!

Kathleen - posted on 08/02/2010

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I breast fed both my girls. Make sure you drink plenty of water. Before you go out, while you are drinking, and when you get home. You can have one drink an hour. I would stick to beer or wine. I would not drink anything too hard. I would try to pump enough milk to feed baby 4 times. Depending on how old she is, how much milk you are producing, I would even consider bringing a manual pump with you, and you can pump/dump when you are out. I know this sounds obsurd, but I had to relieve myself one night in the ladies room b/c I was so engourged. I didn't have a pump handy, so I had to milk myself like a cow! Lol.
Like I said, just make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Limit your self to 1-1.5 drinks a hour, no more than 4 drinks, nothing hard. Stick to beer or wine, and you will be fine.

Megan - posted on 08/01/2010

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They have test strips you can buy after you pump to see if your breastmilk is safe for your baby. I know they have them at Babies R US.

Rene - posted on 08/01/2010

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No worries, just pump before you go out or breastfeed. Don't worry about pumping and dumping because the milk will kind of re do itself (I hope that makes sense). Have someone feed her your pumped milk through the night and in the morning too. And you probably should not get trashed to where you are sick in the morning either, just a couple drinks. You should be all clear by the early afternoon feeding. I did this a couple of times when my son was 7 or 8 months old and I breastfed for 13 months. You could also have someone feed her formula if she is ok with that. My son never seemed to notice a difference, I gave it to him very rarely. Oh, one more thing, you can pump and dump if you need to so you don't get too engorged. Good LUCK!

[deleted account]

Hi Mary Renee,
So what if you get absolutely hammered drunk. Once you have someone to take care of the baby. For me, my mother knows that when i say babysit, i really mean babysit for the night and the next day too. LOL. I rarely go out but when i do, I let my hair down. You'll soon learn that going out is not worth the sore head in the morning LOl. No one is going to look at you like your a bad mum for enjoying yourself. I hope you have a great night.

Mary Renee - posted on 08/01/2010

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@ Everybody: Thanks for the advice! Does anyone know where I can get those test strips? I only plan to drink 3 or 4 drinks so does 8 hours sounds good? I'll feed her expressed milk for her middle of the night feeding and her morning feeding and then resume breastfeeding.

@ Kristy: If what I've heard is accurate and the alcohol content of breast milk is like that with blood alcohol level and it is completely flushed out after some time... then how would it hurt my baby? I've heard only 2% of what you drink ends up in breastmilk anyway. How would it be any different than if I was just gone on business and she was drinking expressed milk? I'm just asking how long it takes to be flushed out of the breastmilk. I'm not "partying" like a lifestyle. I'm enjoying one night out with my old friends from highschool while I'm home and my parents can babysit.

@ Olwen, thanks for the understanding! I think I'll probably have to pump and dump at least once because my nipples hurt if I go more than 3.5 hours.

[deleted account]

You can still be a responsible parents and still have a drink. My god you don't have to change your whole life just because you have a baby. For me i always pumped my breast milk after i have a drink. just to be safe. it's not as if your going to run out. Go out and enjoy yourself and don't feel guilty at all.

Kristy - posted on 07/31/2010

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In my opinion I would just not drink, being in the medical field I know what it can do not only to my childs CNS, but his development. It does not always happen, but I COULD never live with my self if I hurt my child in anyway, I guess thats why I got all my parting out of me before I became a mother

Kasey - posted on 07/31/2010

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Wait 2 hours after per drink, if you loose track of drinks, wait 8 hours after your last drinks. I highly recommend the test strips, it just makes you feel better when you breastfeed after drinking, because you know. My daughter was like 2 or 3 months on my 21st birthday and the test strips really helped.

[deleted account]

What I tend to do is pump and dump during drinking...and 12-24 hrs after if I am buzzed/drunk. If I just have a drink or two then I will breastfeed as normal 2 hrs after my last drink has been ingested.

Kate - posted on 07/31/2010

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If you are really concerned, they also make strips that test your milk for alcohol. But I agree with Sara and Jennifer. I also think you can trust your intuition, if you think you've had too much to nurse, then don't! Enjoy your "night off"!

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