I drink and breastfeed - Mothering Forums

I drink and breastfeed

MichelleZB's Avatar MichelleZB (TS)
06:15 PM Liked: 3529
#1 of 85
05-08-2012 | Posts: 1,018
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I have had two glasses of wine as I type this, and I am typing with one hand because I am breastfeeding my son.

 

I believe very strongly that telling women that they can't drink while nursing is yet another way of undermining breastfeeding. When you breastfeed, apparently, you're supposed to sit around your house all day and do nothing and see no-one. Screw that.

 

 

I don't drink every day and I rarely get drunk. But I do drink. Since giving birth, I drink to the point of drunkenness about once a month or so. And I have just nursed my baby as normal. I decided I am personally okay with my son occasionally getting 0.06% alcohol (or whatever it is) in his milk, and have no intention of compromising my supply or my nursing relationship by bottle feeding.

 

I know one mother who quit breastfeeding at 3 months because she said she wanted to have occasional nights out with her husband. She was quite sad to discover that you can drink and breastfeed, and I was very sad to learn that her son won't get the benefits of breastfeeding because of misinformation.

 

So I think I should not only spread the word, but do my part to normalize moderate drinking and nursing! After all, I'm going to be nursing for two years and beyond.

 

Lactivation: I'm an enthusiastic collector of single malts and maintained my membership in my local scotch tasting club even through my pregnancy. While pregnant, I sniffed the scotches. Now that I am nursing, I bring my baby, nurse him as needed, and drink those scotches! (The bachelor gentlemen in my club have softened to my baby and now all want to have children because "it's easier than they thought." LOL hahaha try waking up 4 times in the night.)

 

Lactivation: I have a picture of me breastfeeding one week postpartum on Facebook, holding a delicious dram of Lagavulin.

 

Lactivation: I go to restaurants, order drinks, and whip out my boobs to nurse my son. I have gotten a few double-takes from servers, but only one server said anything to me. She said, "I'm due in three months myself and I'm so happy to see you out and ordering a Manhattan! Makes me feel better about what I got myself into."


Rrrrrachel's Avatar Rrrrrachel
06:23 PM Liked: 1506
#2 of 85
05-08-2012 | Posts: 3,145
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Hear hear, ita.
Youngfrankenstein's Avatar Youngfrankenstein
07:44 PM Liked: 629
#3 of 85
05-08-2012 | Posts: 2,225
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I don't think you'll find much disagreement here at MDC.


BlueStateMama's Avatar BlueStateMama
11:40 PM Liked: 19
#4 of 85
05-17-2012 | Posts: 3,329
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Agreed


Asiago's Avatar Asiago
10:07 AM Liked: 2220
#5 of 85
05-19-2012 | Posts: 1,804
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I have to give credit to New Jersey Health and Senior Services for debunking many of the breastfeeding myths, and as OP stated can uneccesssarily deter a woman from breastfeeding. They discuss the alcohol myth, among others:

 

http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/wic/breastfeedingmyth.shtml


*GreenMama*'s Avatar *GreenMama*
06:20 PM Liked: 33
#6 of 85
06-01-2012 | Posts: 1,151
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That is an awesome link!  Thanks so much!
 


loveandgarbage's Avatar loveandgarbage
06:39 PM Liked: 93
#7 of 85
06-01-2012 | Posts: 1,619
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Right on!


anjsmama's Avatar anjsmama
07:59 PM Liked: 56
#8 of 85
06-02-2012 | Posts: 490
Joined: Apr 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

I have had two glasses of wine as I type this, and I am typing with one hand because I am breastfeeding my son.

 

I believe very strongly that telling women that they can't drink while nursing is yet another way of undermining breastfeeding. When you breastfeed, apparently, you're supposed to sit around your house all day and do nothing and see no-one. Screw that.

 

 

I don't drink every day and I rarely get drunk. But I do drink. Since giving birth, I drink to the point of drunkenness about once a month or so. And I have just nursed my baby as normal. I decided I am personally okay with my son occasionally getting 0.06% alcohol (or whatever it is) in his milk, and have no intention of compromising my supply or my nursing relationship by bottle feeding.

 

I know one mother who quit breastfeeding at 3 months because she said she wanted to have occasional nights out with her husband. She was quite sad to discover that you can drink and breastfeed, and I was very sad to learn that her son won't get the benefits of breastfeeding because of misinformation.

 

So I think I should not only spread the word, but do my part to normalize moderate drinking and nursing! After all, I'm going to be nursing for two years and beyond.

 

Lactivation: I'm an enthusiastic collector of single malts and maintained my membership in my local scotch tasting club even through my pregnancy. While pregnant, I sniffed the scotches. Now that I am nursing, I bring my baby, nurse him as needed, and drink those scotches! (The bachelor gentlemen in my club have softened to my baby and now all want to have children because "it's easier than they thought." LOL hahaha try waking up 4 times in the night.)

 

Lactivation: I have a picture of me breastfeeding one week postpartum on Facebook, holding a delicious dram of Lagavulin.

 

Lactivation: I go to restaurants, order drinks, and whip out my boobs to nurse my son. I have gotten a few double-takes from servers, but only one server said anything to me. She said, "I'm due in three months myself and I'm so happy to see you out and ordering a Manhattan! Makes me feel better about what I got myself into."

 

 

I stopped BF my first DC at 5 months for this reason. I had a glass of wine and broke down in tears realizing I would no longer be able to breastfeed him. I called my OBGYN the next day who confirmed my fear that I should not continue to breastfeed after resuming drinking alcohol. 

 

That was 3.5 years ago. I now have a 16 month old DD whom I am still nursing and of course, I drink wine like I normally would. I drink to the point of drunk once every month or two when we're visiting friends/family out of town, and I drink a glass at night 2 or 3 times per week. When I think about my nursing relationship with my DD, and how easier my life is in general with her than it was with DS as a baby, and how much healthier she is than DS was (and frankly, is).. it just breaks my heart. It makes me both mad at myself for being so clueless, and mad at my doctors for bad information. 

 

When friends and family observe me drinking, they say things like, "Oh, have you weaned (DD)?" and I say, "No, of course not. I won't consider weaning her til she's 2. Breastfeeding women can drink, you know."


MichelleZB's Avatar MichelleZB (TS)
08:19 PM Liked: 3529
#9 of 85
06-02-2012 | Posts: 1,018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anjsmama View Post

 

 

I stopped BF my first DC at 5 months for this reason. I had a glass of wine and broke down in tears realizing I would no longer be able to breastfeed him. I called my OBGYN the next day who confirmed my fear that I should not continue to breastfeed after resuming drinking alcohol. 

 

That sucks, anjmama! I'm sorry that happened to you.


Kaydove's Avatar Kaydove
08:31 PM Liked: 140
#10 of 85
06-02-2012 | Posts: 892
Joined: Jul 2010
Love this post! Drink and breastfeed!

We co sleep and for my own peace of mind, I got DD used to sleeping in the arms reach co sleeper for the first sleep until she wakes to nurse so I can feel comfortable having that 2nd glass of wine.

Sent from my Kindle Fire using Tapatalk 2
BabySmurf's Avatar BabySmurf
06:26 PM Liked: 562
#11 of 85
06-03-2012 | Posts: 1,224
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biggrinbounce.gif

I thought I was all alone! I feel so much better having read this! Thanks for posting thumb.gif


Becky Wheeler's Avatar Becky Wheeler
03:57 AM Liked: 3149
#12 of 85
06-04-2012 | Posts: 1,272
Joined: Jun 2011

OMG!!!! I sooooo thought I was alone!!! I would have gotten flamed anywhere else. I drink occasionally and breastfeed as I normally would. My son won't take a bottle and I've read several studies, suggesting that it's best to continue breastfeeding as normal because it's more beneficial to continue than to bottle feed. Thank you for posting!


hildare's Avatar hildare
07:39 AM Liked: 382
#13 of 85
06-04-2012 | Posts: 2,680
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cheers!  champagne.gif


blessedwithboys's Avatar blessedwithboys
07:52 PM Liked: 3399
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06-04-2012 | Posts: 3,561
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I didn't drink whil enursing ds1 but that was only bc I was 17 when he was born  heehee  I was 25 when I had ds2 and had drinks only very irregularly due to extreme poverty.  I don't think it's a big deal at all to drink moderately while nursing a baby of any age.

 

But...I should hope that it goes without saying that if a mama intends to drink to the point of drunkeness, she will have a sober adult there to take care of the baby, and that she will also refrain from sharing a bed with her baby that night.


kblackstone444's Avatar kblackstone444
08:42 PM Liked: 612
#15 of 85
06-04-2012 | Posts: 3,735
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I'm so glad I found this thread.  I have a martini or a daquari two or three times a month... and have been feeling very guilty because I wasn't sure whether it affects my son's breastfeeding.  I'm glad it doesn't.


Becky Wheeler's Avatar Becky Wheeler
09:36 AM Liked: 3149
#16 of 85
06-05-2012 | Posts: 1,272
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blessedwithboys View Post

 

 

But...I should hope that it goes without saying that if a mama intends to drink to the point of drunkeness, she will have a sober adult there to take care of the baby, and that she will also refrain from sharing a bed with her baby that night.

Exactly! I got drunk and had to put my son in his bassinet that night. The only stories I've heard of babies dying while co-sleeping was when mom or dad was intoxicated.


TiredX2's Avatar TiredX2
12:47 PM Liked: 720
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I generally didn't drink alcohol while nursing because alcohol is just not a big part of my life (I did drink at BIL's rehearsal dinner because that was a train wreck of a marriage!).  That said, I really encourage people to try and put the "risks" of alcohol to a baby in perspective.

 

An average beer has about 5% alcohol.

 

When you nurse, your milk has approximately the same alcohol concentration as your blood.  If you were drunk, that would mean about .08% alcohol.  If you're drinking lightly, then, let's call that .05%.

 

You know what has .5% alcohol content?  NON-alcoholic beer.  So, your milk after drinking has about 1/10th the alcohol has a non-alcoholic beer.

 

If you were legally drunk, a single beer would still have 63 TIMES the alcohol content as 12 ounces of your drunken milk.  Since most children don't drink 12 ounces at once, a single beer would have approximately 200 TIMES the alcohol as a 3-4 ounce serving of breastmilk.

 

There are 6 teaspoons in an ounce.  There are 12 ounces in a standard beer.  So, 72 teaspoons in a standard beer bottle.  So, nursing your child *while drunk* is equivalent to giving them around 1/3 teaspoon of standard beer. 


And that is while drunk.

 

Alchol is metabolized from breastmilk at approximately the same rate as from the blood.  For many people, you can have a drink and your blood will be virtually alcohol free an hour later.  If you have a drink, it is virtually guaranteed that your breastmilk will be alcohol free two hours later.

 

It always amazes me how people will accept the known risks of formula without a second thought but would look down on someone for having a couple of drinks and nursing four hours later. 


Mami_Feliz's Avatar Mami_Feliz
03:03 PM Liked: 13
#18 of 85
06-05-2012 | Posts: 94
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Cheers indeed! I came across this thread just as I am sitting here enjoying one very well-deserved post-partum beer. Great reading.


Becky Wheeler's Avatar Becky Wheeler
03:11 PM Liked: 3149
#19 of 85
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Congrats on the new addition, by the way, Mami Feliz. :)


Mami_Feliz's Avatar Mami_Feliz
04:43 PM Liked: 13
#20 of 85
06-06-2012 | Posts: 94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky Wheeler View Post

Congrats on the new addition, by the way, Mami Feliz. :)

 



Thank you :)


lilbsmama's Avatar lilbsmama
06:07 PM Liked: 2346
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06-06-2012 | Posts: 592
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Yay! I'm not alone!joy.gif


phathui5's Avatar phathui5
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08-28-2012 | Posts: 17,019
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TiredX2, I'm going to be quoting you often.


Jennyanydots's Avatar Jennyanydots
02:23 AM Liked: 7210
#23 of 85
08-28-2012 | Posts: 1,374
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Awesome thread! I thought I was the only one!
I'm pg now and in the throes of morning sickness, so even the thought of alcohol turns my stomach, but after this passes I'll still enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine... And I totally agree that moderate drinking is fine while bf smile.gif
spughy's Avatar spughy
12:20 PM Liked: 82
#24 of 85
10-01-2012 | Posts: 5,249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennyanydots View Post

Awesome thread! I thought I was the only one!
I'm pg now and in the throes of morning sickness, so even the thought of alcohol turns my stomach, but after this passes I'll still enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine... And I totally agree that moderate drinking is fine while bf smile.gif

 

While I was having major nausea in my first tri (I'm nearly 16 weeks now, nausea gone thank goodness!) sometimes the ONLY thing I wanted was beer.  Something about the light dose of carbs and the bitterness really helped settle my tummy, especially while I was cooking dinner - a task that otherwise made me want to hurl.  So I would have a half bottle of beer and leave the rest for my DH.  It wasn't enough to even feel it, alcohol-wise, but it sure felt good going down.  I really doubt that half a bottle of beer once or twice a week would do my baby any harm, and if it let me eat a more nutritious dinner, then it probably even did some good.

 

And after my DD was born, many years ago, I had bad PPD - but one thing that saved my sanity was post-baby-group "luncheons" at a friends house.  We would sit in her living room, dump all our babies in the middle of the floor, and drink wine and giggle at their antics.  It was SUCH a great release.  We were all breastfeeding, too.  Thank goodness for a great municipal transit system!


miilemons's Avatar miilemons
12:55 PM Liked: 12
#25 of 85
10-24-2012 | Posts: 24
Joined: Aug 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by TiredX2 View Post

I generally didn't drink alcohol while nursing because alcohol is just not a big part of my life (I did drink at BIL's rehearsal dinner because that was a train wreck of a marriage!).  That said, I really encourage people to try and put the "risks" of alcohol to a baby in perspective.

 

An average beer has about 5% alcohol.

 

When you nurse, your milk has approximately the same alcohol concentration as your blood.  If you were drunk, that would mean about .08% alcohol.  If you're drinking lightly, then, let's call that .05%.

 

You know what has .5% alcohol content?  NON-alcoholic beer.  So, your milk after drinking has about 1/10th the alcohol has a non-alcoholic beer.

 

If you were legally drunk, a single beer would still have 63 TIMES the alcohol content as 12 ounces of your drunken milk.  Since most children don't drink 12 ounces at once, a single beer would have approximately 200 TIMES the alcohol as a 3-4 ounce serving of breastmilk.

 

There are 6 teaspoons in an ounce.  There are 12 ounces in a standard beer.  So, 72 teaspoons in a standard beer bottle.  So, nursing your child *while drunk* is equivalent to giving them around 1/3 teaspoon of standard beer. 


And that is while drunk.

 

Alchol is metabolized from breastmilk at approximately the same rate as from the blood.  For many people, you can have a drink and your blood will be virtually alcohol free an hour later.  If you have a drink, it is virtually guaranteed that your breastmilk will be alcohol free two hours later.

 

It always amazes me how people will accept the known risks of formula without a second thought but would look down on someone for having a couple of drinks and nursing four hours later. 

 

thank you so much for this


MrsGregory's Avatar MrsGregory
01:47 PM Liked: 219
#26 of 85
10-24-2012 | Posts: 1,030
Joined: Dec 2011

I never posted when I originally saw this thread, but I just want to say that because of this thread, I am now enjoying large, large glasses of wine at night.  This may have saved my marriage.  (That last bit is a slight exaggeration.)


thegoodearth's Avatar thegoodearth
04:02 PM Liked: 69
#27 of 85
11-15-2012 | Posts: 222
Joined: Jun 2011

I just want to say I think this thread is great. Thank you for starting it. I'm doing things so much differently this second time around. Cheers


eirual's Avatar eirual
07:15 PM Liked: 33
#28 of 85
11-15-2012 | Posts: 4,314
Joined: Mar 2006

I was at a wedding and nursing just before dinner came and the champagne dude passed right over me. I was sitting next to a kid, so initially I wondered if he got our glasses confused, but then I realized he skipped me because I was nursing. The next server who came around went to do the same an I piped up that I would, in fact, like some wine.

 

I didn't realize this was actually something people would consider wrong. Competent parenting would be more of a concern than tainted breastmilk.


BabySmurf's Avatar BabySmurf
06:41 AM Liked: 562
#29 of 85
11-16-2012 | Posts: 1,224
Joined: Apr 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by eirual View Post

I was at a wedding and nursing just before dinner came and the champagne dude passed right over me. I was sitting next to a kid, so initially I wondered if he got our glasses confused, but then I realized he skipped me because I was nursing. The next server who came around went to do the same an I piped up that I would, in fact, like some wine.

 

I didn't realize this was actually something people would consider wrong. Competent parenting would be more of a concern than tainted breastmilk.


I would give that a pass though; most people aren't going to be familiar with the logistics of things unless they themselves are nursing, or have been nursing recently thumb.gif


Krystallina's Avatar Krystallina
04:55 PM Liked: 0
#30 of 85
11-17-2012 | Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2012

I used to drink a lot before I got pregnant. For many months during my pregnancy and first months of breastfeeding, I didn't drink at all. Now I occasionaly have one-two beers or one-two glasses of wine. It feels great to share it with my man. It reminds us of how we met. It feels good to know other women do this too!
 


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