Alcohol and nursing - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 03-23-2008, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Inspired by the poll I saw on here about MJ and bf'ing, I have to ask. It's been piqueing my interest for a while now. What is the correct answer about alcohol and breastfeeding? Every now and then (okay, maybe more like 1-2 times a week), I'll have a beer or a glass of wine. Where does it stand with my baby? Do I need to "pump and dump?" I never have, but I've often wondered if I'm *harming* him. By no means am I "drunk" afterwards, but maybe a "slight" buzz (I'll admit I'm a bit of a lightweight). Should I hold off nursing for a while after having a drink?

 

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#2 of 16 Old 03-23-2008, 09:42 PM
 
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I'm comfortable nursing after 1 drink. I use the rule of thumb that if I'm ok to drive, I'm ok to nurse. I usually wait until after she's gone to bed though, and won't be up for several hours.
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#3 of 16 Old 03-23-2008, 09:52 PM
 
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Pumping and dumping isn't necessary and has no effect. As your liver cleans the toxins from your bloodstream, they're immediately removed from your breastmilk at the same rate. So while you're tipsy, there's alcohol in you bm, but once you're sober, your bm is clear of the alcohol again, too.
The human body is just groovy like that.

I think you're probably fine, but if anything, tank the baby up on milk before you have the glass of wine, and then try to wait an hour or two before bf'ing again.
If what I learned in my ABC class was correct, you clear one drink in about one hour, two in 2 hours, etc on average. So if you want to reduce exposure for the baby, time it out from the last sip of the drink like that.
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#4 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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I have a beer every evening. I drink it slowly and usually around dinner time. My midwives said it was fine and even recommended it for relaxation. I really enjoy it. Don't worry too much!

Catherine - Born at home 01/08/08
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#5 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 02:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalaith View Post
I have a beer every evening. I drink it slowly and usually around dinner time. My midwives said it was fine and even recommended it for relaxation. I really enjoy it. Don't worry too much!
Same here. My DH is a homebrewer so I like to think that the unfiltered all grain beer I drink is also providing a little nutrition; midwives used to rx stout to nursing mothers
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#6 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 02:35 PM
 
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Before I was pregnant I very much enjoyed one beer, or less, with supper a few times a week. I've never noticed any impact on dd (she's ahead of the curve on most things), and there were definitely some days where that little indulgence helped me be a more patient mother.
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#7 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 02:47 PM
 
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I'm also fine with alcohol in moderation-- and yeah, I think being a little bit tipsy with an older baby is ok, too... wouldn't do it with a newborn, but I think it is less harmful than many of the prescribed painkillers, anesthetics, etc I had when i had my wisdom teeth removed.
My rule of thumb is if I'm "just barely feeling it" then kiddo isn't getting much at all... I wouldn't nurse sloshed, though.
And I might have a drink or 3... uh, once a month, if that. So I'm not worried about dd becoming a lush

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#8 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much, guys! It's something that I've been unclear about for a while now, so I appreciate the replies. I feel much better about it.

 

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#9 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 04:26 PM
 
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I attended a lecture by Dr. Jack Newman (the lecture was aimed at healthcare providers) and he was VERY clear that unless mom is getting too tipsy to safely care for the baby, or unless there are other mitigating factors (perhaps the baby is a small preemie, or otherwise especially fragile), drinking alcohol is a non-issue and this whole topic ends up being one more reason why women find it difficult to nurse.

See #5 on this page:

http://www.drjacknewman.com/index.ph...d=52&Itemid=79
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#10 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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I was pretty careful in the first few months and would only have one once she was down for a long sleep, but once DD was on solids and not nursing quite as frequently I would have two or three glasses of wine with no problems. Just enough to feel slightly tipsy but not drunk. I have a pretty high tolerance to alcohol though.

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#11 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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blood alcohol content = alcohol content in your breastmilk. So generally speaking, a drink or two is just fine.

The only thing I will caution you about is drinking alcohol can really dehydrate you! I know when I was nursing DS when he was quite small, I'd need to drink a ton of water after drinking my beer or wine, just b/c it made me so incredibly thirsty
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#12 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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It was just my 21st birthday and I went out. I had 5 drinks I had my last drink at 12:30 and went and picked up my baby at 2:30 and cared for her just fine. at 5:30 she was ready to nurse and I was VERY full so I nursed her. I wasn't drunk, and barely tipsy by that point. I could have driven. So I wasn't worried.

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expecting our miracle babies around 5.12.10- praying that baby B grows healthy and strong!
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#13 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 07:11 PM
 
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I second the dehydration comment. That is what I think about the most -- I just make sure to drink extra water if I have any beer or wine. I find that alcohol makes me thirsty regardless so the extra water intake isn't hard to do.

Erin sharing life with a burly husband and two rad boys 7/06 & 5/09 : : Zone 9-ish
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#14 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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I think I read this on MDC: "Nurse your baby while you nurse your beer." In other words, if you have a drink at the same time as you're nursing, the alcohol hasn't gotten into your milk anyway. But, I agree with pp's: one or two really has no effect. I always hated the idea of "Pump and dump" because it seems so wasteful!!
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#15 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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I've had a galss of wine (or two) in the evening since my DS was a month old and we were fine. I also don't think it's necessary to pump and dump. I was careful not to get too tipsy thoguh because we co-sleep and that was more of a concern to me.


 
 

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#16 of 16 Old 03-25-2008, 09:37 PM
 
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I think it all boils down to what you are comfortable with. I personally wasn't comfortable drinking at all while I nursed DD. Then again, I'm not a drinker. One beer is enough to get me
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