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How is Breastmilk Made?

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:07 PM
  • 9 Replies

Okay, this may sound like a stupid question but I'm trying to understand.  I've read that if you drink alcohol, you are okay to BF as long as you are okay to drive.  My question is. . .where does the alcohol go?  If you don't "pump and dump" wouldn't there still be alcohol in your breastmilk until you empty your breasts and new milk is made?  My confusion is probably b/c I just don't understand the production process. 

For example, if I have a drink and a few hours later, my breasts are engorged with milk, isn't there alcohol in that milk even if my "buzz" has worn off?

I'm no boozer, I'm asking b/c I'm going out for a "girls night" for my birthday, and I'd like to have some kind of drink while I'm out.  I'd only have one and probably would need to BF my 3 month old anywhere from 1-3 hours later, without having pumped in between. . .if there's any chance it could have any kind of effect on my LO, I just won't have a drink.  Thanks for any info you guys have!

by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:07 PM
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Replies (1-9):
piwife
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:09 PM

the rule is safe to drive safe to nurse. i had a beer when ds was 1 week old and i pump for him 2 hrs later and that milk was fine. now if you are gonna drink a 12 pack then is better to pump and dump

i am a sahm and not loving it that much, prolife,progay marriage, immigration supported, gun supporter, feed your baby what you want, erf,spanking non cio, co-sleeping, photography lover kinda of mom in love with a u.s marine.
Pishyah
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:15 PM

I was always told to pump & dump and then I met women who  breastfed longer and better than all the people telling me to P&D and they said that there's no point in P&D.  I'm not comfortable with really drinking and nursing but I don't drink often adn when I do I don't drink much.  As long as the alcohol is in your blood, though, my understanding is that it is in your milk. 

DragonRiderMD
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Look at it this way: The alcohol enters your bloodstream, which is what makes you intoxicated. After a while, you're not intoxicated anymore. You didn't have to bleed the alcohol out of your body, it just got filtered out of your blood. It's the same concept with breastmilk. There's not a reservoir of milk in your breast with the nipple acting as a straw. The engorgement is caused by excess fluid buildup (water and blood, milk isn't made until the ducts are sent the message by a stimulated nipple); the extra fluid is what's used to make the milk, and that fluid is sent to your breasts in response to a signal saying, "It's time to feed." But like I said before, you don't have to get rid of that fluid completely to rid it of alcohol; it gets filtered out and re-circulated until there's no longer alcohol in it.

So when you're fine to drive, you're fine to breastfeed. One drink won't hurt your baby. :)

tabi_cat1023
by Group Admin -Tabitha on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:22 PM


Quoting mombloggerJ:

Okay, this may sound like a stupid question but I'm trying to understand.  I've read that if you drink alcohol, you are okay to BF as long as you are okay to drive.  My question is. . .where does the alcohol go?  If you don't "pump and dump" wouldn't there still be alcohol in your breastmilk until you empty your breasts and new milk is made?  My confusion is probably b/c I just don't understand the production process. Do you have to pump and dump your BLOOD for the alcohol to be out of your bloodstream??  Your milk is the same way.

For example, if I have a drink and a few hours later, my breasts are engorged with milk, isn't there alcohol in that milk even if my "buzz" has worn off?if its worn off in your bloodstream, its worn off from your milk

I'm no boozer, I'm asking b/c I'm going out for a "girls night" for my birthday, and I'd like to have some kind of drink while I'm out. go for it! I'd only have one and probably would need to BF my 3 month old anywhere from 1-3 hours later, without having pumped in between. . .thats perfectly fineif there's any chance it could have any kind of effect on my LO, I just won't have a drink. no chance really,  Thanks for any info you guys have!

This can explain alot about alcohol in your milk

http://www.kellymom.com/health/lifestyle/alcohol.html

LeanneC
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:22 PM

Your breasts are production facilities, not storage units.    The milk doesn't get stored so much is it gets replenished... basically, your body is always producing.  What doesn't get used right away gets reabsorbed and fresh is made.  Much of the actual production happens right before letdown.

This is what I understand... it might not be 100%, I'm no expert.  In any case, from what they have studied, the alcohol level of milk is directly related to the alcohol level in your blood.  

If you eat right before/during drinking... you should be 100% fine to nurse whenever.  Enjoy your birthday!  (mine's in couple weeks!)


gdiamante
by Gina on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:38 PM
Quoting mombloggerJ:

For example, if I have a drink and a few hours later, my breasts are engorged with milk, isn't there alcohol in that milk even if my "buzz" has worn off?

Nope. It disappeaers from EVERYWHERE. Including the milk.


I'm no boozer, I'm asking b/c I'm going out for a "girls night" for my birthday, and I'd like to have some kind of drink while I'm out. 

One drinnk, two...dandy. Getting sloshed? Not really smart in any event. (I like to be the sober one who takes blackmail pictures, myself.)

I'd only have one and probably would need to BF my 3 month old anywhere from 1-3 hours later, without having pumped in between. . .if there's any chance it could have any kind of effect on my LO, I just won't have a drink.  Thanks for any info you guys have!

Even if you had had a drink ten mintues before, no immpact. Alcohol is that well filtered.


Gruntlings
by on Jan. 25, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Breastmilk is just another bodily fluid that your breasts create. It's not stored in the breasts, it's created by the breasts. It's like blood. Our bodies are constantly filtering stuff out of our systems and the various fluids in our body.

http://parenting.ivillage.com/baby/bbreastfeed/0,,6pmn,00.html

This article explains in particular that very little milk is stored in the breasts and most is made from the blood as baby nurses. So combine the fact that very little alcohol will make it into the milk that is stored in the breast, and then the fact that very little milk is stored in the breast, and that the amount of alcohol in the milk that is in the breast will rapidly decrease.. It sort of makes sense. :)

------------------------------
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mombloggerJ
by on Jan. 26, 2010 at 12:29 AM

Okay, now it makes total sense.  THANK YOU so much for responding ladies!  I guess I can enjoy my strawberry daquiri without a worry!  This is hysterical b/c I have one drink like twice a year and I couldn't get comfortable with it until you guys gave me this info!  Thanks again! 

mommawhite08
by on Jan. 26, 2010 at 12:38 AM

I've nursed while drinking a beer, lol, this crazy lady threatened to call CPS on me.  I told her I'd like to call CPS and let them know I saw her feeding her baby poison (ok so it was just soy formula, but close enough)   one or two drinks is ok, but I never thought about what others might think, it was pretty eventful!

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