The Alcohol Question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 18 Old 01-30-2010, 11:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Previously to becoming preggo I was super in love w/ my 2 glass of wine a day happy hour. I didn't miss wine at ALL during my pregnancy but now that I've started to have a glass now and then I am rekindling the love affair!

Am wondering what ppl's attitudes are towards drinking; how often you do it; what you drink and how much; and what you do re: milk? I've heard pump&dump is unnecessary, the alcohol is out of your blood in a couple hours so the only reason to pump woudl be re: discomfort.

I've also been told that as long as one has a clear head they can be confident there is no alcohol in their milk.

I've been having hubby give baby bottles on evenings when I have a glass or two to be safe - but just thought I'd take a general poll and see what others were thinking/doing.

Also - something that should also be asked, maybe it is a stupid quesiton - what are the negative effects if baby DOES get tainted breast milk? Is it mere fussiness/bad tasting milk or is there possible brain cell loss going on?
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#2 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 02:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Truckerdoo View Post
Previously to becoming preggo I was super in love w/ my 2 glass of wine a day happy hour. I didn't miss wine at ALL during my pregnancy but now that I've started to have a glass now and then I am rekindling the love affair!

Am wondering what ppl's attitudes are towards drinking; how often you do it; what you drink and how much; and what you do re: milk? I've heard pump&dump is unnecessary, the alcohol is out of your blood in a couple hours so the only reason to pump woudl be re: discomfort.

I've also been told that as long as one has a clear head they can be confident there is no alcohol in their milk.

I've been having hubby give baby bottles on evenings when I have a glass or two to be safe - but just thought I'd take a general poll and see what others were thinking/doing.

Also - something that should also be asked, maybe it is a stupid quesiton - what are the negative effects if baby DOES get tainted breast milk? Is it mere fussiness/bad tasting milk or is there possible brain cell loss going on?
Omg I am in the exact same frame of mind as you. I absolutely love wine and other alcoholic drinks too and I have been having the occasional glass here and there. I have been making sure I always have a big glass of water next to me and I try to drink a ton of water with the drink. I also try to time it so I feed him first and then drink right after and I just hope that in the few hours that he naps I am safe again.

No idea about the last question but am also curious.....I am trying to be as safe as possible when I do drink.

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#3 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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Alcohol does transfer into breastmilk quickly, but it also leaves breastmilk quickly. There is no research to prove that there is harm to the baby from the occasional drink or even a drink a day. I am not a big drinker, but will have some alcohol on occasion while breastfeeding. I do not feel the need to pump and dump when I do. My babies have not suffered any noticeable ill effects from nursing after I have alcohol. I don't excessively drink so I can't speak to the effects of that.

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#4 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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DDC crash from Feb...saw this in new posts and since I just finished a (small but lovely!) glass of wine, it piqued my interest....I'm obviously still pg, but I have a glass of wine a couple nights a week...wouldn't be adverse to a small glass nightly if it didn't tend to aggravate my heartburn!

But WRT nursing, just wanted to say that MANY lactation consultants recommend a glass of wine or beer for moms--it can help with supply, with relaxation, with let-down. As long as the portions are moderate and you stay WELL hydrated, I really don't think there's any harm....personally, I wouldn't even be too concerned with timing the glass.

Scientifically speaking, what I've been told (but I don't have a source to back me up...probably kellymom.com would have info) is that your breastmilk/alcohol level will be identical to your blood alcohol level. And obviously if you aren't drunk, that's a very small percentage to begin with, so if it has ANY effect on a baby, it's likely to just help him/her settle and relax, too!

I have a friend whose daughters both suffered from serious colic for the first 5 months, and her pediatrician actually advised her to drink a glass of wine each night, just to help the baby relax so they could all get a tiny break. Good doctor, IMO!

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#5 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 03:14 AM
 
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Oh man! I have just been thinking about this.

I haven't had a drink since before I was pregnant, but I would love to have the occasional glass of wine with dinner again. I was looking it up today on Kellymom, and the advice was: if you're sober enough to drive, you're sober enough to breastfeed. (Which I thought was kind of odd way to phrase it, since lots of people think they're sober enough to drive...)

I'm not sure why I haven't yet (aside from the fact that it's not like I get a lot of calm sit-down dinners these days.)

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#6 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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I have a friend who is a biochemist who explained the science of it to me. Unfortunately I am scientifically challenged so I can't explain it well, but basically, alcohol is one of those substances (not all are) that shows up the same in blood as in breast milk (as PP mention).

But I also realize that my tolerance has gone WAY down since getting pregnant and that those alcohol metabolism charts never applied to me because I am well below the averaged sized person they consider. The last week when my MIL was here (she drinks several glasses of wine a night) I had a glass of wine almost every evening (kind of more because of her than with her) and feel almost pickled, like I don't want any for a few days at least. While I was pregnant, I would have a small glass sometimes twice a week, sometimes not for 2-3 weeks at a time, and I always felt fine. It didn't taste so good to me though and the first glass I had after having the baby (about 2.5 weeks PP) tasted SO good.

Anyway, I figure as long as I drink enough to remain below my drunk feeling and not feel the effects, I figure it's fine. Once I feel comfortable giving her a bottle (though I'd want to "save" the bottles for when I have to teach or yoga classes, which is 5 bottles a week, at least until she is older) I may drink more in one sitting. But let's see if I even want too...

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#7 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 06:47 PM
 
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NAK but with ds 1 i was super parinoid and pumped and dumped but OB said no need to waste perfectly good milk.

this time i've just been very light on drinking i limit myself to one glass.

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#8 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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I enjoy the Dr. Jack Newman advice for breastfeeding - use common sense but don't overly restrict yourself, because if you feel restricted you may stop BFing sooner and the benefits of long term breastfeeding outweigh any negatives of the tiny bit of whatever that will get into the breastmilk. I will have a glass or two of wine or a couple beers maybe once or twice a week. I'm not comfortable with BFing while buzzed, so I'll wait until Elliot is older and sleeping a more consistent schedule before having more than a couple. I've only been drunk a handful of times in the 3 years since Libby has been born, and most of those were after she was already a toddler and not nursing much at night.
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#9 of 18 Old 01-31-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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I saw at Target, of all places, a litmus tape to dip into the milk that would change colors if there was too much alcohol in the breast milk. My own experience years ago after having too much to drink at a wedding was that my son refused to drink the milk as it tasted different - poor little guy! I learned my lesson...engorgement soon followed and I never made the same mistake again.

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#10 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 02:53 AM
 
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Well here's to a glass of wine tonight!?!? Cheers ladies! lol

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#11 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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yeah, my tolerance is waaaay down and I can have a few shwills of DH's beer (albeit strongly alcoholic PNW beer ) and feel the way I would have felt after consuming a whole drink to myself.

I do drink 1/2 a beer or glass of wine if I have to put all the kids to bed by myself. For some reason that is the absolute most stressful time. So I put everyone in their beds with books (after teeth are brushed, and they're bathed, etc.) and I'll go have my drink. Then I'll read the littles a quick story, as a much calmer and friendlier mama. Then it is lights out.

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#12 of 18 Old 02-01-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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DDC crashing, new posts.

Alcohol in breast milk will present the same as alcohol in the blood. I found a site when I was BFing DD that broke it down really well (can't find it now of course). Basically, take the example of your blood alcohol level being at 0.08% (the legal limit to be able to drive). Most people become tipsy at .10%, and it takes an average of 3 beers/drinks to get there. So than think about the level of alcohol in each beer. About 5%. That is 5.0. So that is quite a bit of actual alcohol going into your body to make you reach a level of blood alcohol that produces a feeling of being impaired. My point is that, even if your actually tipsy and decide to BF, babe is only getting .10% alcohol into it's body which then matabolizes that amount. That is only 1/50th of a single beer. You would have to be pretty intoxicated to actually get baby intoxicated.

On the flip side babe is a lot smaller with a less experienced metabolism and liver. There aren't really any studies that show how much exposure is needed to be harmful, or even what the actual long term effects would be if any. I would assume it could compromise development if baby was getting a very frequent and large amount of alcohol exposure. I guess better to err on the side of caution and follow recommendations to count one hour per drink before breast feeding again. Personally, it isn't something I worry too much about.

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#13 of 18 Old 02-02-2010, 12:24 AM
 
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I've heard if you are drunk (genuine drunk....not tipsy) then the baby has a liklihood of the effect of being tipsy. I wish I could remember where I read it but it helps keep portion size in my mind. I have no problem with the occassional drink myself. My kids have never reacted to my intake (food or drink) so it's never been an issue for me. Keep in mind that the restrictions in America are a tad on the.....anal retentive side. We seem to lack the self control to limit things so most people are on the all or nothing bandwagon.

Oh, I tend to be partial to a greyhound every now and then (vodka and grapefruit juice...salt the rim and it becomes a salty dog. )

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#14 of 18 Old 02-04-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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I will have one or two drinks with no pumping or dumping involved, but generally not when I'm actually having to use my brain to care for the child or children involved.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#15 of 18 Old 02-05-2010, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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but generally not when I'm actually having to use my brain to care for the child or children involved.
Yeah, I actually feel like thats the greater risk!
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#16 of 18 Old 02-05-2010, 09:52 AM
 
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yes, or having too much to drink before bed when you co-sleep.

I remember joining in a discussion on the Pregnancy forum about the occasional drink while pregnant and some people got very upset, indicating that even minimal drinking could cause fetal alcohol syndrome.

I suppose I feel more comfortable drinking more often than I did while pregnant (when it didn't taste that great anyway) but I think it's also because I'm on the full elimination diet and I feel like I deserve it! Still it's only 2-3 glasses a week.

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#17 of 18 Old 02-05-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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I probably do- at most- 1 drink a week- but that is also what I did before I was pregnant and did during pregnancy.

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#18 of 18 Old 02-11-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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I havent had a drink since very early in pregnancy (3-5 weeks), before I received the news, but I'm looking forward to starting soon.

My girlfriend bought me some of the test strips at my baby shower. I'm a social drinker, so I rarely drink at home. The plan is if I'm going to a happy hour, I'll use a manual pump in the car before I go in and empty myself. Go have a good time, try to drink what I plan to have within the first hour of being there, and then just socialize until time to go home. By the time I'm around DD, I'll probably be fine, but I'll test first.

We have alcoholism HEAVY on both sides of our family, so I'm really paranoid about DD getting any through BM.

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