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drinking and breast feeding.

Posted by on Dec. 24, 2012 at 4:28 PM
  • 29 Replies
Can someone tell me how it works when you want to drink while breast feeding because I could use a drink right about now.
Thank you
by on Dec. 24, 2012 at 4:28 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MsRkg
by on Dec. 24, 2012 at 4:31 PM
You can drink whenever you like. Just make sure that you pump at least a days worth of milk prior to drinking for baby and then get the alcohol testing strips for a few bucks and test your breast milk (usually about 8-10 hours) after your drink to make sure there is no alcohol left in your system before your breastfeed baby.thats what I would do.
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melindabelcher
by mel on Dec. 24, 2012 at 4:32 PM
5 moms liked this
nope.
As long as you can drive you can nurse. Those test strips give false results.


Quoting MsRkg:

You can drink whenever you like. Just make sure that you pump at least a days worth of milk prior to drinking for baby and then get the alcohol testing strips for a few bucks and test your breast milk (usually about 8-10 hours) after your drink to make sure there is no alcohol left in your system before your breastfeed baby.thats what I would do.

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MsRkg
by on Dec. 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM
I never went by that safe to drive safe to nurse method because of the way alcohol metabolizes. Even though you might feel sober enough to drive there might still be alcohol in you system. I would just do the estimate math with alcohol and weight , wait two hours after that calculated time. and then use the strips.


Quoting melindabelcher:

nope.

As long as you can drive you can nurse. Those test strips give false results.




Quoting MsRkg:

You can drink whenever you like. Just make sure that you pump at least a days worth of milk prior to drinking for baby and then get the alcohol testing strips for a few bucks and test your breast milk (usually about 8-10 hours) after your drink to make sure there is no alcohol left in your system before your breastfeed baby.thats what I would do.


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larissalarie
by Platinum Member on Dec. 24, 2012 at 4:37 PM
8 moms liked this
This is very incorrect information.

It's simple, if you are drunk don't breastfeed. Once you're sober again, it's fine to nurse.

For most people a drink or two is totally fine, no need to delay nursing at all. If you have more than that, follow the above guideline.


Quoting MsRkg:

You can drink whenever you like. Just make sure that you pump at least a days worth of milk prior to drinking for baby and then get the alcohol testing strips for a few bucks and test your breast milk (usually about 8-10 hours) after your drink to make sure there is no alcohol left in your system before your breastfeed baby.thats what I would do.
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melindabelcher
by mel on Dec. 24, 2012 at 4:40 PM
2 moms liked this
You can do what you feel comfortable with but it's not necessary and not a recommendation to give to other bf moms.


Quoting MsRkg:

I never went by that safe to drive safe to nurse method because of the way alcohol metabolizes. Even though you might feel sober enough to drive there might still be alcohol in you system. I would just do the estimate math with alcohol and weight , wait two hours after that calculated time. and then use the strips.




Quoting melindabelcher:

nope.


As long as you can drive you can nurse. Those test strips give false results.






Quoting MsRkg:

You can drink whenever you like. Just make sure that you pump at least a days worth of milk prior to drinking for baby and then get the alcohol testing strips for a few bucks and test your breast milk (usually about 8-10 hours) after your drink to make sure there is no alcohol left in your system before your breastfeed baby.thats what I would do.



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larissalarie
by Platinum Member on Dec. 24, 2012 at 4:41 PM
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Just because you did or didn't do something doesn't make it correct information. A day of bottle feeding unnecessarily could ruin a breastfeeding relationship for no good reason.

I researched extensively before I was ok with drinking and breastfeeding. You are completely wrong about needing a days worth of milk pumped.

*IF* you even drink enough for it to enter your milk, only about 2% max of the alcohol you drink gets into your milk. So even if you're drinking strong drinks, say 10% alcohol content, 2% of 10% is .2%. That's not enough alcohol do anything, let alone if you wait until you feel clear headed again and the number would be even further reduced.
Quoting MsRkg:

I never went by that safe to drive safe to nurse method because of the way alcohol metabolizes. Even though you might feel sober enough to drive there might still be alcohol in you system. I would just do the estimate math with alcohol and weight , wait two hours after that calculated time. and then use the strips.



Quoting melindabelcher:

nope.


As long as you can drive you can nurse. Those test strips give false results.







Quoting MsRkg:

You can drink whenever you like. Just make sure that you pump at least a days worth of milk prior to drinking for baby and then get the alcohol testing strips for a few bucks and test your breast milk (usually about 8-10 hours) after your drink to make sure there is no alcohol left in your system before your breastfeed baby.thats what I would do.


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mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Dec. 24, 2012 at 5:13 PM
4 moms liked this
Your milk doesn't have any higher alcohol content than your tears or saliva. Each system of your body breaks it down further and further, from digestive to circulatory, before breastmilk is made. And it doesn't store in the milk. The alcohol from one drink will be dissipated in 2 hrs.

Those strips are a waste of money. Even their own website has a disclaimer that certain cleaning products' fumes can cause false results. So if you've Windexed recently, you could get a wonky result. A mom here tested the strips totally sober yet the strips "showed" alcohol.

All that said, I am comfortable with one drink in two hours.
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mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Dec. 24, 2012 at 5:20 PM
4 moms liked this
THIS!!! And we have a mom here whose breastfeeding relationship was sabotaged by dad giving the baby a single bottle so its not a dramatization to make this statement.

I am absolutely firm about avoiding alcohol while pregnant but I have complete confidence in all the research that shows how alcohol is metabolized by the body and how breastmilk is made, with respect to alcohol.

Telling breastfeeding moms that they have to avoid certain foods or drinks while breastfeeding, or the pimp and dump stories, are just myths that makes breastfeeding seem so miserably hard and sacrificial.


Quoting larissalarie:

Just because you did or didn't do something doesn't make it correct information. A day of bottle feeding unnecessarily could ruin a breastfeeding relationship for no good reason.

I researched extensively before I was ok with drinking and breastfeeding. You are completely wrong about needing a days worth of milk pumped.

*IF* you even drink enough for it to enter your milk, only about 2% max of the alcohol you drink gets into your milk. So even if you're drinking strong drinks, say 10% alcohol content, 2% of 10% is .2%. That's not enough alcohol do anything, let alone if you wait until you feel clear headed again and the number would be even further reduced.
Quoting MsRkg:

I never went by that safe to drive safe to nurse method because of the way alcohol metabolizes. Even though you might feel sober enough to drive there might still be alcohol in you system. I would just do the estimate math with alcohol and weight , wait two hours after that calculated time. and then use the strips.



Quoting melindabelcher:

nope.


As long as you can drive you can nurse. Those test strips give false results.









Quoting MsRkg:

You can drink whenever you like. Just make sure that you pump at least a days worth of milk prior to drinking for baby and then get the alcohol testing strips for a few bucks and test your breast milk (usually about 8-10 hours) after your drink to make sure there is no alcohol left in your system before your breastfeed baby.thats what I would do.


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mostlymaydays
by Group Mod-Stacy on Dec. 24, 2012 at 5:23 PM
4 moms liked this
From kellymom.com:

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By Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC

Guidelines

Current research says that occasional use of alcohol (1-2 drinks) does not appear to be harmful to the nursing baby.
Per Hale (2012), “mothers who ingest alcohol in moderate amounts can generally return to breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding notes: “ingestion of alcoholic beverages should be minimized and limited to an occasional intake but no more than 0.5 g alcohol per kg body weight, which for a 60 kg mother is approximately 2 oz liquor, 8 oz wine, or 2 beers. Nursing should take place 2 hours or longer after the alcohol intake to minimize its concentration in the ingested milk.”
Many experts recommend against drinking more than 1-2 drinks per week.
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 (see below).
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.

Always keep in mind the baby’s age when considering the effect of alcohol. A newborn has a very immature liver, so minute amounts of alcohol would be more of a burden. Up until around 3 months of age, infants detoxify alcohol at around half the rate of an adult. An older baby or toddler can metabolize the alcohol more quickly.

Effects of alcohol on breastfeeding and the breastfed baby

Alcohol does not increase milk production. In fact, babies nurse more frequently but take in less milk in the 3-4 hours after mom has had a drink, and one study showed a 23% decrease in milk volume with one drink (Mennella & Beauchamp 1991, 1993; Mennella 1997, 1999).
2+ drinks may inhibit let-down (Coiro et al 1992; Cobo 1974).
One study showed changes in the infant’s sleep-wake patterning after short-term exposure to small amounts of alcohol in breastmilk — infants whose mothers were light drinkers slept less (Mennella & Gerrish 1998).
Daily consumption of alcohol has been shown in the research to increase the risk for slow weight gain in the infant.
Daily consumption of alcohol (1+ drinks daily) has been associated with a decrease in gross motor development (Little et al 1989).
Additional information

LLL FAQ on Alcohol & Breastfeeding

Alcohol and breastfeeding, from The Breastfeeding Network, by Wendy Jones PhD, MRPharmS

Beer as a Galactagogue – A Brief History by Hilary Jacobson

Malt as a Galactagogue – A Brief History by Hilary Jacobson

Alcohol and Motherhood by Carol Huotari, from Leaven, Vol. 33 No. 2, April-May 1997, pp. 30-1

Breastfeeding & Drugs: Alcohol from Breastfeeding Basics, an academic, noncommercial, short course on the fundamentals of breastfeeding.

Social Drugs and Breastfeeding: Handling an issue that isn’t black and white by Denise Fisher, BN, RN, RM, IBCLC. Discusses nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, marijuana, heroin, and methadone.



References

[most recent references listed first]

Hale, Thomas. Medications and Mothers’ Milk, 2012 edition. Hale Publishing, 2012: 417-419.

AAP Section on Breastfeeding. Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. PEDIATRICS Vol. 129 No. 3 March 2012, pp. e827 -e841.

Health Council of the Netherlands. Risks of alcohol consumption related to conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding. The Hague: Health Council of the Netherlands, 2005; publication no. 2004/22. (Paper is in Dutch but the executive summary is also in English.)

Koren G. Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding: Will it harm my baby? Canadian Family Physician 2002;48:39-41.

Little RE, Northstone K, Golding J; ALSPAC Study Team. Alcohol, breastfeeding, and development at 18 months. Pediatrics. 2002 May;109(5):E72-2.

AAP Committee on Drugs. Policy Statement: The Transfer of Drugs and Other Chemicals Into Human Milk. PEDIATRICS Vol. 108 No. 3 September 2001, pp. 776-789.

Mennella JA. Alcohol’s Effect on Lactation. Alcohol Research & Health 2001; 25(3):230-234.

Mennella JA, Garcia-Gomez PL. Sleep disturbances after acute exposure to alcohol in mothers’ milk. Alcohol. 2001 Nov;25(3):153-8.

Mennella JA. The transfer of alcohol to human milk: Sensory implications and effects on mother-infant interaction. In: Hannigan JH, Spear N, Spear L and Goodlett CR, eds. Alcohol and Alcoholism: Brain and Development . New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 1999. pp. 177-198.

Mennella JA, Gerrish CJ. Effects of exposure to alcohol in mother’s milk on infant sleep. Pediatrics. 1998 May;101(5):E2.

Mennella JA. The human infant’s suckling responses to the flavor of alcohol in mother’s milk. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 1997;21:581-585.

Coiro V, et al. Inhibition by ethanol of the oxytocin response to breast stimulation in normal women and the role of endogenous opioids. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh) 1992 Mar;126(3):213-6.

Mennella JA, Gerrish CJ. Effects of Exposure to Alcohol in Mother’s Milk on Infant Sleep. Pediatrics 1998 (May);101(5): e2.

Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK. Beer, breast feeding and folklore. Developmental Psychobiology 1993;26: 459-466.

Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK. The transfer of alcohol to human milk: Effects on flavor and the infant’s behavior. New England Journal of Medicine 1991;325: 981-985.

Little RE, Lambert MD, Worthington-Roberts B. Drinking and smoking at 3 months postpartum by lactation history. Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol. 1990 Jul;4(3):290-302.

Cobo E. Effect of different doses of ethanol on the milk-ejecting reflex in lactating women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1973 Mar 15;115(6):817-21.

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shortyali
by Alicia on Dec. 24, 2012 at 5:24 PM
Those strips can show a sober moms milk as having alcohol in it. Even the box says they aren't completely reliable and can give false readings.



If you are safe to drive you are safe to nurse. I personally go by age of baby too. My 1 month old I wouldn't drink at all but when I was nursing DD when she was closer to 6 months and older I would have a drink or 2.


Quoting MsRkg:

I never went by that safe to drive safe to nurse method because of the way alcohol metabolizes. Even though you might feel sober enough to drive there might still be alcohol in you system. I would just do the estimate math with alcohol and weight , wait two hours after that calculated time. and then use the strips.





Quoting melindabelcher:

nope.



As long as you can drive you can nurse. Those test strips give false results.









Quoting MsRkg:

You can drink whenever you like. Just make sure that you pump at least a days worth of milk prior to drinking for baby and then get the alcohol testing strips for a few bucks and test your breast milk (usually about 8-10 hours) after your drink to make sure there is no alcohol left in your system before your breastfeed baby.thats what I would do.


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