I drink and breastfeed - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

I drink and breastfeed

IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Right. What's important (and I think mis-understood back in the day) is that we don't pump the alcohol out of the breastmilk. So, if can't wait to pump until alcohol is out of your system (perhaps you're engorged) dumping may make sense if a mother is concerned but if you are pumping when your blood alcohol is back to normal, it makes absolutely no sense to dump that milk. It is that fallacy that is important to clarify for mothers who are being given dated information. 


mamazee's Avatar mamazee
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Even if you're drunk, the alcohol level of BM will be only the alcohol level of your blood, which isn't far off the alcohol level of fruit juices, or "alcohol free" beer.

And then your body metabolizes alcohol very quickly, in your breastmilk at the same rate as in you blood.
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

Even if you're drunk, the alcohol level of BM will be only the alcohol level of your blood, which isn't far off the alcohol level of fruit juices, or "alcohol free" beer.

And then your body metabolizes alcohol very quickly, in your breastmilk at the same rate as in you blood.

:truedat:


dinahx's Avatar dinahx
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There are statistically higher SIDS rates on NYE & 4th of July. Correlation =/= causation, but I don't consider drinking & Breastfeeding a super idea.
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

There are statistically higher SIDS rates on NYE & 4th of July. Correlation =/= causation, but I don't consider drinking & Breastfeeding a super idea.

I did drink and BF but I didn't think it was a super idea either. ;-) But there's not much to this that can help us understand if there is a correlation between higher SIDS rates and drinking moderately and safely while BFing.  Like the OP, I think an abstinence message is very much a deterrent to BFing for a great many women whose children will benefit much more from a mother who enjoys her life while she BFs. For many adults that means having a drink every now and then. And, besides many women BF for long (years!) after SIDS risk has passed, let's not forget that. 


MichelleZB's Avatar MichelleZB (TS)
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Yes. I'm breastfeeding my 2.5-year-old right now. SIDS isn't really a thing for toddlers.

 

I think the message is that we shouldn't be putting everything in our life on hold while our kids are infants, and then rush to wean in 3 or 6 months to "get our life back". If you want to have a drink, it's going to be fine.


ali171's Avatar ali171
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My prof a few months ago told my clinical medicine class that drinking and breastfeeding was fine so at the very least there should be a more accepting generation of naturopathic doctors if a few years time. Many in the class seemed surprised when she said it. 


mamazee's Avatar mamazee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

There are statistically higher SIDS rates on NYE & 4th of July. Correlation =/= causation, but I don't consider drinking & Breastfeeding a super idea.

I would guess that to be related to drinking or staying up late and being overtired, and co-sleeping. Death by overlaying, which can happen when drunk or overtired, are part of the SIDS statistics in the US.
dinahx's Avatar dinahx
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Could be? Maybe, but that is part of drinking, just like Hale rates Cannabis an L5 (IMO this is incorrect but) not for clinical affect on the infant but for possible affect on parenting.
mamazee's Avatar mamazee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

Could be? Maybe, but that is part of drinking, just like Hale rates Cannabis an L5 (IMO this is incorrect but) not for clinical affect on the infant but for possible affect on parenting.

I think there's a much greater threat to babies that moms will decide not to breastfeed or to only breastfeed for a short amount of time because breastfeeding is seen as too much trouble or something you have to significantly alter your life for, than this speculated risk without evidence that there is any link, when a more likely cause for the correlation exists. There is so little alcohol in breastmilk that it is very unlikely it has any effect on babies at all. Unless it was a very small baby and a mother so drunk she'd be unable to hold and carry her baby.
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

Could be? Maybe, but that is part of drinking, just like Hale rates Cannabis an L5 (IMO this is incorrect but) not for clinical affect on the infant but for possible affect on parenting.
 
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post


I think there's a much greater threat to babies that moms will decide not to breastfeed or to only breastfeed for a short amount of time because breastfeeding is seen as too much trouble or something you have to significantly alter your life for, than this speculated risk without evidence that there is any link, when a more likely cause for the correlation exists. There is so little alcohol in breastmilk that it is very unlikely it has any effect on babies at all. Unless it was a very small baby and a mother so drunk she'd be unable to hold and carry her baby.

Yes. And I would add that the association between having a drink and "getting drunk", is not something that the average adult makes. If someone has those associations, it makes a whole lot of sense that they consider waiting to begin drinking until they are not caring for young children - whether they are BFing or not. I drink like a civilized adult when caring for my kids.  I also have another side of myself where I like to really indulge, got out to clubs and etc. I stay up late and am overtired the next day. I do that when I'm not in charge of my kids. :p  And, may I say, I am overdue. :irked


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Also, if quoting Hale, doesn't it make more sense to look at what he ways about drinking instead of what he says about other drugs? confused.gif  

 

Quote:
 

Thomas W. Hale, R.Ph. Ph.D., member of the LLLI Health Advisory Council, says this in his book Medications and Mothers' Milk (12th ed.):

 

Significant amounts of alcohol are secreted into breastmilk although it is not considered harmful to the infant if the amount and duration are limited. The absolute amount of alcohol transferred into milk is generally low. Beer, but not ethanol, has been reported in a number of studies to stimulate prolactin levels and breastmilk production (1, 2, 3). Thus it is presumed that the polysaccharide from barley may be the prolactin-stimulating component of beer (4). Non-alcoholic beer is equally effective.

In a study of twelve breastfeeding mothers who ingested 0.3 g/kg of ethanol in orange juice (equivalent to 1 can of beer for the average-sized woman), the mean maximum concentration of ethanol in milk was 320 mg/L (5). This report suggests a 23% reduction (156 to 120 mL) in breastmilk production following ingestion of beer and an increase in milk odor as a function of ethanol content.

Excess levels may lead to drowsiness, deep sleep, weakness, and decreased linear growth in the infant. Maternal blood alcohol levels must attain 300 mg/dl before significant side effects are reported in the infant. Reduction of letdown is apparently dose-dependent and requires alcohol consumption of 1.5 to 1.9 gm/kg body weight (6). Other studies have suggested psychomotor delay in infants of moderate drinkers (2+ drinks daily). Avoid breastfeeding during and for 2 - 3 hours after drinking alcohol.

In an interesting study of the effect of alcohol on milk ingestion by infants, the rate of milk consumption by infants during the 4 hours immediately after exposure to alcohol (0.3 g/kg) in 12 mothers was significantly less (7). Compensatory increases in intake were then observed during the 8 - 16 hours after exposure when mothers refrained from drinking.

Adult metabolism of alcohol is approximately 1 ounce in 3 hours, so mothers who ingest alcohol in moderate amounts can generally return to breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal. Chronic or heavy consumers of alcohol should not breastfeed.

http://www.lalecheleague.org/faq/alcohol.html


dinahx's Avatar dinahx
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Right, so he says that infants purposely avoid BreastMilk with alcohol in it & there are both short. & long term affects? And that mothers should avoid nursing while drinking & for a few hours afterwards?

That is really in contrast to the idea being promoted on this thread that there is no significant clinical affect & couldn't possibly ever be.

I am a huge fan of mothers living their life while BF & have been BF for nearly 8 years. However, I am somewhat more critical of alcohol's acceptance in US culture. I just don't think the science, that there is always less alcohol in BreastMilk than in juice, is accurate.
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Yes, and he says a lot of other things too.  Hale, LLL, and KM all suggest to me that women can feel comfortable with moderate drinking during BFing.  


dinahx's Avatar dinahx
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That's true, however, I don't think the information here that the content of alcohol in milk is = to the mother's BAL is accurate. It is related to it, but that does not mean equivalent. Hale says it is less than 16% of the adult dose, peaking @ 1 hour. That seems way more accurate.
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

Right, so he says that infants purposely avoid BreastMilk with alcohol in it & there are both short. & long term affects? And that mothers should avoid nursing while drinking & for a few hours afterwards?

That is really in contrast to the idea being promoted on this thread that there is no significant clinical affect & couldn't possibly ever be.

I am a huge fan of mothers living their life while BF & have been BF for nearly 8 years. However, I am somewhat more critical of alcohol's acceptance in US culture. I just don't think the science, that there is always less alcohol in BreastMilk than in juice, is accurate.

You edited after I responded...

 

This thread was a light thread about moms who choose to drink and BF, a choice that is acknowledged as an "ok" choice by many respected BFing advocacy groups. Probably the same ones that you may look to do advise on issues like drinking while pregnant and etc. Sometimes it seems to me that if the science says what we want we're happy to trot it out but... 

 

I doesn't surprise me to learn that you have a general concern for acceptance of drinking.  I'm sure a lot of people agree with you about that and that there are a lot of people who either choose to never drink or who do not drink during BFing. Maybe it would be good to have a thread about that?  


IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

That's true, however, I don't think the information here that the content of alcohol in milk is = to the mother's BAL is accurate. 

It seems like an exceedingly easy thing to test. Maybe you would like to post some studies that contradict this rather than just sharing your opinion that you just don't think this could be true. 


dinahx's Avatar dinahx
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Hale says it is related to BAL & that it does not exceed 16% of maternal DOSE. If it was equivalent to BAL, I would guess he would say that. I think the claim that it is equivalent to BAL & does not exceed it is what needs a link to support it, because it could lead to excessive exposure in an infant.
IdentityCrisisMama's Avatar IdentityCrisisMama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinahx View Post

Hale says it is related to BAL & that it does not exceed 16% of maternal DOSE. If it was equivalent to BAL, I would guess he would say that. I think the claim that it is equivalent to BAL & does not exceed it is what needs a link to support it, because it could lead to excessive exposure in an infant.

And 16% of the maternal dose of 5% (the percent of alcohol in a beer) - getting us pretty close to BAL, right?  

 

ETA: Here is Hale's description: 

Quote:
Remember that the levels in the mother’s milk are actually only a fraction of the amount the mother actually ingested. So in reality, the dose of alcohol in milk is rather low (<16% of mom’s dose), but this is a function of how much the mother consumed. (1) Alcohol is rapidly metabolized in most humans. An average adult decreases blood alcohol levels by 15 to 20 mg/dL/hour.  

MommaKuhel's Avatar MommaKuhel
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In addition to everything said here...

I drink wine on weekends during family game night parties and kids running around, out to dinner etc. or when I go to weddings, watch out! Partying, dancing momma comes out ... Well I used to buy those alcohol test strips for breast milk and every single time they were negative. It didn't matter if I had one glass of wine or I was at a wedding without my kids hammered. (With my tolerance , that's about 2 glasses of wine and a beer innocent.gif
Only once did the test strip show a tiny glimmer of hope that there was significant alcohol in my milk. Didn't matter which brand so either those strips are ineffective or I am a serious lightweight.

People feed their young toddlers mcdonalds, pop, Doritos, and sugary cereals that are just as bad for their growing bodies but hey, it's your kid, your life, your consequences you live with. Breastfeeding mothers already sacrifice so much for our children to have a healthy life, we can't be perfect all the time too.

And whomever said America is more accepting of alcohol than other countries... Well they must not have ever been to Europe where some women openly drink while pregnant and it is not looked down upon like it is here.

I don't know what's going on with the bold text, haha sorry.

newmum35's Avatar newmum35
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This is a good thread.. I'm a non drinker, I've only had wine a few times... and once DH got a bottle of wine when my son was 2 or 3 and I wondered if it would be ok to have a glass, and then worried the entire time (because I was still breastfeeding him, although not a whole lot at that point).. now I feel silly.

 

Has everyone seen this article? Even I was completely shocked. I can't even believe its true, if it really is true. Wow.. Is this really law in some states? It can't be "illegal" .. can it?  Crazy.  I don't believe it.

 

http://abcnews.go.com/US/mom-jailed-breastfeeding-drinking-waitress-fired/story?id=21622331&google_editors_picks=true


Ulan's Avatar Ulan
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this is an amazing thread. I have had a couple of friends have terrible experiences breastfeeding their babies and both gave up and started bottle feeding because of lack of support and information. It goes to show that there are some reasonable health authorities out there who are willing to treat us as intelligent reasonable human beings and not go around scare mongering. I am saving the link regarding breastfeeding myths to show to my friends. thank you!


Magali's Avatar Magali
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Yes!  This is my hill to die on!  Just the other day my sister was told by a hcp that if she was going to drink even 1 beer, she needed to pump and dump and wait 2 hours to nurse.  Whoa!  


EineMutti's Avatar EineMutti
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I went to a pub and had an alcohol-free children's cocktail while breastfeeding. The LOOKS I got!!!

 

Will never do that again.


redbettie's Avatar redbettie
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I love this thread (well most of it). I've been stressing my upcoming birthday celebration in wine country because my 8mo hates bottles. When we planned the trip I thought she'd be fine taking one by now but I was so very wrong. I've bf her after a few after trying to force bottles on her and ALWAYS feel absolutely horrible the next day. I don't habitually drink, have only over done it a few times at big celebrations (abd hubs was sober). I love a good glass of vino or a nice cold beer every now and then and rarely go over a 1-2 limit but when I have the mom guilt kicks in and I beat myself up like crazy. Glad to see I'm not a horrible mommy and I'm not alone.
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