is it true that the alcohol content of your milk is the same as your blood? so if you are tipsy, the baby will be, also? and once you are sober, your milk is clear? i have only ever drank once while breastfeeding a child, it was one mixed drink(buttery nipple, yummy!) and my daughter slept through the night for the first time. she was about 16 months old. this baby is 8 months old and i really want a drink occasionally but it is ingrained in me not to while nursing. there are no long stretches between nursing so there are no "safe" times. are there true guidelines for this? i don't drink beer or wine, i drink liquor.
drowning in hormones with 4 daughters and an understanding, loving hubby. also some dogs. my life is crazy and we are always learning.
Nope, not at all. Think about it this way: the alcohol content in liquor is about, say 40% (depending on the drink). In wine, it's about 8%. When you get too drunk to drive, your blood alcohol level rises to about 0.08%, which is 100 times less than wine. So while 0.08% is quite high for blood, it isn't a large amount of alcohol to drink, get it? If you were drinking a drink with an 0.08% alcohol content, it wouldn't get you drunk, or even tipsy.
If you just have one drink, depending on your size, your blood will be looking more like 0.02%, which is the alcohol content of the breastmilk your baby would be drinking. That is not very high.
I feel comfortable nursing my baby as normal after one or two drinks.
HOWEVER, if you are totally against your baby getting any alcohol, you just have to wait until your body clears the alcohol. So if you no longer feel the alcohol in your system, it's evaporated from your blood, and that means it has evaporated from your milk, too, and everything is back to normal.
I am an avid scotch drinker and have dram of scotch a few times a week. I often have wine with dinner. And I clusterfeed my son with no problems. But don't take my word for it!
Dr. Jack Newman:
La Leche League:
Have your occasional drinks, Mama, and enjoy!
To get the longest time for the alcohol to clear your bloodstream and milk I've seen others suggest that you drink your adult beverage while nursing. That way baby is getting alcohol free milk (as the drink hasn't metabolized yet) then you get as long a stretch as you can between having your drink and the next time you nurse. (Did that make sense? Pregnancy brain is killing me and that seemed much harder to word that it should have.)
Personally I drink very occasionally and don't worry about it. I probably wouldn't drink with a very newborn. But the babe I'm pregnant with now will be be 3 months old at Thanksgiving and I might have a small glass of wine at the family dinner, then nurse as normal.
Also I found that I seemed to be more sensitive to alcohol's effects while lactating. Maybe a hormonal thing?
Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.
One or two drinks on occasion is not going to affect your child. Even a glass of wine a day would be fine.
Get a little too tipsy? Honestly, I'd be more concerned about the alcohol affecting your parenting than your babies blood alcohol content. Drinking too much regularly though is not a breastfeeding issue, but a parenting issue. No parent should regularly be getting drunk and then taking care of children. (Not that I am saying you are). And drinking and cosleeping are definite no-nos. No one should be tipsy and sleeping with a baby.
But really, do not feel guilty about having a couple and then nursing your child. It seems our society makes nursing mothers feel guilty for doing this. People are so poorly educated on this issue which leads to premature weaning, because mother's already went 9 months without drinking, now they don't want to have to go longer. It is much better and healthier for your baby to be getting breast milk. Discouraging nursing mothers from drinking just causes them to wean their babies earlier, which is much worse for babies than the occasional 0.08% alcohol boob full of breast milk.
Vanilla extract is almost all alcohol. And we put that in baby's birthday cake and no one bats an eye. People cook with alcohol and give it to kids. (And cooking really doesn't "burn off" the alcohol, it's still mostly in there, depending on how it's prepared).
So often it seems people think that drinking while nursing is equivalent to drinking while pregnant. It is not at all the same. So have a beer and nurse your baby. Spread the word to other mothers that you can drink (in moderation) and nurse your baby. If you are safe to drive you are safe to nurse.
I have found the same thing this time around, but was thinking it had more to do with not drinking for 9 months, and then easing back into it.
MichelleZB, I really like how you explained it. That makes total sense. So far I have had one drink at a time and sometimes dd sleeps better because of it. Sometimes it doesn't seem to make a difference.
Rachel, massage therapist and single mom :to Keanu 7/29/04 and Juniper 11/18/11! Loving
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