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Alcohol while breastfeeding

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July 8th, 2006, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 123
Sorry, I understand that some members are tired of seeing breast feeding/bottle feeding debates, but I feel this topic is a little different!

Do you think its safe for a mother who is breastfeeding her child to drink alcohol? If any, what amount and how often do you think it is ok? Do you think a child is affected by the alcohol a mother intakes while breastfeeding them?
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July 8th, 2006, 04:38 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,496
A lot of women think they can "pump and dump" because there is misinformation and knowledge out there about how the body processes alcohol. Even if you pumpo and dump, the milk in the breasts and the milk made after the pump/dump has the same alcohol content as before. It leaves the breast in teh same way and at almost the same rate as it leaves the blood. Thus, breastfeeding can be compatible with having a few drinks if you feed the baby with stored milk and don't depend on milk after a pump/dump session.

By all means, pump and dump to relieve engorgment, but do not think that the milk after that is alcohol free.

YOu can read about this on kellymom and many other sites...hopefully the pump/dump fallacy will cease to exist.
taking jm breaks if you don't see me around much
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July 8th, 2006, 04:41 PM
Cereal Killer's Avatar Aiming for mediocrity
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: in my house
Posts: 7,374

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.

Adult metabolism of alcohol is approximately 1 oz in 3 hours, so that mothers who ingest alcohol in moderate amounts can generally return to breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal.[/b]
Current research says that occasional use of alcohol (1-2 drinks) is not harmful to the nursing baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs classifies alcohol (ethanol) as a “Maternal Medication Usually Compatible With Breastfeeding.”
Many experts recommend against drinking more than 1-2 drinks per week.
It is recommended that nursing moms avoid breastfeeding during and for 2-3 hours after drinking (Hale 2002).
There is no need to pump & dump milk after drinking alcohol, other than for mom's comfort -- pumping & dumping does not speed the elimination of alcohol from the milk.
Alcohol does not increase milk production, and has been shown to inhibit let-down and decrease milk production.
If you're away from your baby, try to pump as often as baby usually nurses (this is to maintain milk supply, not because of the alcohol). At the very least, pump or hand express whenever you feel uncomfortably full - this will help you to avoid plugged ducts and mastitis.
In general, if you are sober enough to drive, you are sober enough to breastfeed. Less than 2% of the alcohol consumed by the mother reaches her blood and milk. Alcohol peaks in mom's blood and milk approximately 1/2-1 hour after drinking (but there is considerable variation from person to person, depending upon how much food was eaten in the same time period, mom's body weight and percentage of body fat, etc.). Alcohol does not accumulate in breastmilk, but leaves the milk as it leaves the blood; so when your blood alcohol levels are back down, so are your milk alcohol levels.[/b]
Wife, Mother of 4, Homeschooling, and wine drinking.

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July 8th, 2006, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 123
The only reason I brought this up was because I've over heard mothers (out in public) nagging hardcore about breastfeeding mothers who are drinking alcohol.
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July 8th, 2006, 05:00 PM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,496
Yeah, I actually went to see a soccer game with my husband while I was still breastfeeding my second. The kids were home with their aunt sleeping over and she had 3 bottles of EBM. I was having one drink and a friend from my husban'd company happened in and started asking me about BFing and alcohol (extremely loudly) and all the other people around us started looking at me funny.

I wanted to carry around a laminated copy of LLL's page on breastfeeding and alcohol to pass around to all the uneducated!!!!
taking jm breaks if you don't see me around much
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July 8th, 2006, 06:58 PM
Tanya G's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Quebec
Posts: 3,929
Here after you have a baby they send a nurse to your home a few days later. That nurse told me a glass of wine now and then was fine. She said it was best to drink it just after nursing so that it would have more time to leave my system, but that the worst it wold do was make my baby sleepy. Keep in mind I am talking one glass. I dont think it would be a smart choice to go on a bender and then breastfeed your baby. But I do think if you want to have a night off, and you have plenty of expressed bm (or ... eek should I say possibly formula lol), sure go for it, bfing moms deserve a break too!

Thank you Rawisner for the Siggy!

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