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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure if this is the correct board for this question but my ds is only 5 1/2 months old so I don't consider myself an extended bfer yet.

My question is do you ever drink alcohol while you are bf? I don't mean while your baby is actually nursing. I occasionally have an alcoholic drink but I never have more than 2 and I never have alcohol more than twice a week (both of those are very rare). Usually I may have one drink once a month when we go out to dinner. All the info I've read says that one or two drinks every once in a while should be safe. What do you think? Please don't make this a moral issue.

I've also read that, if you are going to drink alcohol, you should drink either just before or just after you bf because the alcohol content in bm peaks about 30-90 minutes from when you drink. However, I'm not clear if this is 30-90 minutes from when you started the drink or finished the drink. I mean, if it takes me an hour to drink one drink and I start it right after I bf and my baby bfs every 2 hours, is the alcohol gone or just peaking in my bm? Does anyone know?
 

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I don't ever have any alcohol, mainly because from what I understand there is no research to show that any amount is safe and I guess it's just not that important to me that I would risk it. One of the things about alcohol in your system and subsequently in the baby's system is that it takes longer for baby to metabolize it. So in effect not only is baby much more drunk in relation to you because of their weight, but for longer(someone correct me if I'm wrong here). As far as when to drink if you do, I have heard that you should pump your first milk after consuming alcohol as a precaution. So I would say definitely not to drink before you nurse. You might reduce the effect by drinking after you nurse and then expressing that milk and dumping it(I'm not saying immediately after you have the drink, maybe some time later, I'm no expert so don't quote me). Personally I just play it safe.

Just the other day I was joking with my husband about whether we would ever get drunk together again(I'm not saying you're getting drunk) and I think we just came to the conclusion that the day will come, just like the day of uninterupted sex will come again too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Marinewife-- Thanks for posting those links. I copied a couple passages that I found interesting:

"Alcohol (ethanol)
With large amounts, drowsiness, diaphoresis, deep sleep, weakness, decrease in linear growth, abnormal weight gain; maternal ingestion of 1*g/kg daily decreases milk ejection reflex"

This may be ignorance on my part, but is the type of alcohol in beer ethanol?

"Dr. Cheston Berlin advises "delaying breastfeeding for about six to eight hours after a night out with a few drinks." (1992)"

"Dr. Hale suggests waiting for two to three hours after drinking before resuming breastfeeding."

"Schulte recommends waiting at least two hours for every drink consumed. (Riordan, & Auerbach 1999)"

Although the advice on the timing is conflicting they conclude that no alcohol is the safest choice for both mother and baby.

"Always keep in mind the baby's age when considering the effect of alcohol. A newborn has a very immature liver, so minute amounts of alcohol would be more of a burden. Up until around 3 months of age, infants detoxify alcohol at around half the rate of an adult. An older baby or toddler can metabolize the alcohol more quickly."

This was what I was refering to in my first post.

I found the point about not pumping and dumping interesting, makes sense if it leaves the milk as it leaves the blood.

Most of my references are on alcohol during pregnancy, which seems to be a slightly different story, but my personal conclusion from the links you sent is still that abstaining is safest. Please don't think I'm judging you, I'm no saint myself. I have occasionally taken a swig of my husbands beer on a hot day when it just looks sooo refreshing, but one sip is usually enough to satisfy that urge for me. That's how I deal with it anyway and I have found that the longer I go without drinking the less I care about it, I'm not trying to say you're wrong though.
 

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Hmm, I turn 30 next month and I am dying to go to the bar and have fun wiht my friends. You only turn 30 once. I am trying to think of ways to drink a little and still be able to nurse. Like have a few and then wait and have pumped milk ready. I doubt that will happen though, he does nto take a bottle really well, and will not take it at all to go to sleep. He nurses back to sleep at night and I dont see that happening with a bottle. Sooo, I probably will no celebrate my 30th the way I want to. I am soooo bummed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Mami, Ethanol is the type of alcohol that is in all alcoholic drinks. There are more links at the bottom of the kellymom page. I didn't look at all of them. The LLL link was very vague.

The info on drinking more than 2 drinks or to intoxication is quite clear. Again, I am not talking about drinking to intoxication (unless one beer gets you drunk
). That 2nd link that I posted that states waiting 2-3 hours to bf clears up one of my questions. I had not read that one before. I take that to me 2-3 hours after you have finished your drink. It is important to note that infants metabolizing alcohol slower than adults. It also says that only a very small amount of the alcohol actually gets into the breastmilk in the first place. I wish there were more hard and fast numbers on this, like, if you drink one beer, this much alcohol is in your blood, and of that, this much gets into your bm. I guess they can't really do that because everyone metabolized alcohol at different rates.
 

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I heard this stat with respect to medicines but I think it applies to alcohol as well. When the levels peak in your breast milk, about 1/100th of what you have ingested is in the milk.

So if you drink a glass of wine it is like baby having 1/100th of a glass.

I've had the occasional glass of wine or beer and have been told by my ped and various LC's that this is okay while breastfeeding. I won't tell you what to do, but I'm comfortable having an occasional (less than one a week) alcoholic beverage - especially now that my DD is approaching a year old.
 

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I don't have time to read through all of the responses, but this is what I've learned.

Once you no longer feel the effects of the alcohol, it's no longer in your milk. AND.... the level of alcohol that is passed to your milk WHILE you are feeling the effects is MINIMAL... I think the exact statistics were like .06% or something to that affect.
 

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I have a beer or a glass of wine a couple times a week. I have read that the amount of alcohol in your milk is equivalent to the amount in your blood...meaning if your blood alcohol level were 0.08% (the minimum considered "intoxicated" in most states) then the alcohol level in your milk would also be roughly 0.08%. That is tiny! As dawndup said, it is equivalent to about 1/100th of the alcohol that you ingested. If you are not drinking more than 1-2 drinks on an occasional basis, I just don't think it is anything to worry about.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wakeUpMama
I have a beer or a glass of wine a couple times a week. I have read that the amount of alcohol in your milk is equivalent to the amount in your blood...meaning if your blood alcohol level were 0.08% (the minimum considered "intoxicated" in most states) then the alcohol level in your milk would also be roughly 0.08%. That is tiny! As dawndup said, it is equivalent to about 1/100th of the alcohol that you ingested. If you are not drinking more than 1-2 drinks on an occasional basis, I just don't think it is anything to worry about.
This what I've read as well. BTW, this is less alcohol than non-alcoholic beer contains. Infant cough syrup contains more. I have a glass of wine 1 or 2 times a week and a ber or mixed drink once in a while and I'm not worried about it at all. Drinking while pregnant is another thing altogether.
 

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I enjoyed beer and wine throughout my nursing relationship with both children. Never drunk- if I felt too much effect I knew it was strong in my milk. I did not pump or dump or deny my child a nursing if I happened to have just had a beer.
Moderation and montior your baby for any reaction. Some babies react strongly to alcohol in milk, even in small amounts ( gas, fussiness, etc).
 

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"alcohol will not be stored in the breastmilk and passed to the baby at a later feeding if that feeding occurs when the blood alcohol level is down.

An occasional drink -- one glass of wine, one beer or one mixed drink -- would not necessitate interrupting breastfeeding. However, daily drinking would not be recommended because it can inhibit milk let down and cause slow weight gain in the infant."
http://www.parentsplace.com/expert/l...a=adid=9369334

and
"The Subcommittee on Nutrition During Lactation (1991) found "there is no scientific evidence that consumption of alcoholic beverages has a beneficial impact on any aspect of lactation performance." They recommended that if alcohol was used by the nursing mother it be limited to no more than 0.5 grams of alcohol per kg. of body weight, which for a 132 pound woman (60 kg) would allow no more than 2 beers, 2 ounces of liquor or 8 ounces of wine per day. "

http://www.parentsplace.com/expert/l...ival_freqCap=2
 

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I do occasionally have a drink or two, and I do not change my nursing habits if I have had a drink. I also read (Dr Jack Newman) that the amount of alcohol in your blood is the amt in the milk, which is a small percentage.

I personally dont worry too much about it.
 

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I drink on occasion as well. If we go out to a restaraunt that serves mixed drinks I will have one or two. I don't get drunk or even tipsy, I just like a good drink every now and again. From what I have read and been told if you don't feel the effects of the alcohol then your baby isn't going to feel the effects. As long as you aren't "drunk" then your baby isn't getting enough to make any difference at all. I support this opinion and I won't "get drunk" but I will drink.

I have also read that pumping and dumping doesn't do anything, it's along the lines of if you don't feel it then your baby isn't getting it. If there is alcohol in your system your body will just keep producing milk from what is in your system (hope that makes sence).

If you decided to drink I would reccomend drinking plenty of water.
 

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Well I'm preggers at the moment (35 weeks) so no alcohol at the moment.... but i drank a beer or a glass of wine at least once/week while nursing dd.

In fact, I think I drank a beer while nursing her a few times. Oh don't go wagging your
at me, I'm sure someone is out there.
: I don't see an issue with one beer or whatever.

It's not like I sat and hooked myself up to a margarita machine for the night.

It's all about moderation.
 
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