breastfeeding and drinking

Erica - posted on 11/19/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )




i was told that it was ok to have a drink now and then as long as i pumped and dumped. the other night i drank 1/2 of a margarita, i thought i pumped enough of it out, but i think some of it still passed on to my daughter. she was very lethargic and slept alot and her cry was very weak. does anyone know how long i should wait to pump after a drink and howmuch i should pump? i don't drink very often, but i don't want this to happen again.


Sylvia - posted on 11/22/2009




From Dr Jack Newman's website:

[Breastfeeding Myth #]5. A mother should not drink alcohol while breastfeeding. Not true! 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 breastfeeding mothers.

Half a margarita is not a lot of alcohol (unless someone was mixing the drinks with a very, very free hand) for an adult; if you'd given her that much alcohol directly, obviously it would be very bad for her, but you didn't: the concentration of alcohol in your milk would be approximately the same as in your blood, so you'd have to drink enough to give yourself alcohol poisoning in order for the alcohol concentration in your milk to be as high as even something really innocuous like American beer (sorry, Americans...).

I agree with whoever said that your baby's behaviour is almost certainly unrelated to your margarita (and if it continues, I'd get it checked out).

Meghan - posted on 11/22/2009




Beer will actually increase supply, which is great.... done in moderation!

Beth - posted on 11/22/2009




when my son was first born, i had a beer once in a while. Always made sure to wait about an hour before feeding him again. But i really don't think it affected him. I kept a good eye on him and he never acted strange or seem like it afected him. There are strips you can get at wal-mart that you can put in your milk to tell you if you have any alchol in your milk.
I don't know about you, but it was nice to have an alchol beverage once in a while, exspecialy after being pregnant. And also i never seen a decrease in my milk either.


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Jessica - posted on 11/21/2009




I am with the "no pump and dump" crew on this one. I was actually told by my doctor to have a drink a day to 'help' my supply (more to help my stress!). If you're not buzzed, your baby is going to be fine.

Crystal - posted on 11/21/2009




My lactation nurse told me it was ok to have 1-2 drinks and continue breastfeeding with out dumping by drinks I mean wine not hard liquor or wait a couple of hours be fore feeding. She said if you drink liquor 2 or more drinks wait 1-1/2 hr per drink up to 6-12 hrs and dump once.. I was vary paranoid as well more then likely she wasn't as lethargic do to the drinking but was acting lethargic due to u feeling guilty are paranoid that ur vary little intake of alcohol could effect her. And she was responding 2 ur subconscious vibes.

Emmylou - posted on 11/21/2009




i agree that you should just not drink, if it doesn't feel right dont do it.

Diana -n Craig - posted on 11/19/2009




The tv show The Doctor's just did a show on this a few days ago and we've talked about it at La Leche League as well. There is no need to pump and dump. Your breastmilk does not 'hold' the alcohol in it. How ever long it takes your bloodstream to metabolize alcohol is exactly the same as your milk. You can indeed get your baby drunk and/or sick from drinking and then feeding them while you are still intoxicated. If you drink and then pump and then feed your child, the new milk you produce will still contain alcohol if your bloodstream does. The first answer from Carla Grant was good as well :)

Ahyze - posted on 11/19/2009




it is better not to drink while no worries at all...... all that we eat and drink are passed into our breast-milk into our babies.... be careful!!

Emmylou - posted on 11/19/2009




whatever you eat or drink goes to the milk so depending on how often your baby feeds like if its every two hours you need to pump about 1hr after you've had drinks when the alcohol has had time to work it's way in, but one glass of wine would be fine as long as you have it straight after you feed. i was told this by a lactation consultant.

Minnie - posted on 11/19/2009




Only about 2% of the alcohol you consume gets to your milk. No need to pump and dump.

Pretty sure your daughter's behavior was unrelated to the margarita.

Carla - posted on 11/19/2009




You dont need to pump and dump unless for comfort. The milk evaporates from your milk just as it does your blood so if you are sober enough to drive you are sober enough to breastfeed. Just be careful as spirits keep you drunk for longer than the likes of wine or beer. Also drinking alcohol can reduce your supply by 20%.

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