Alcohol and Breastfeeding

FAQ on Alcohol and Breastfeeding

Can I drink alcohol while breastfeeding?

Research says that the occasional drink, about twice a week, is acceptable.

Less than 2% of the alcohol that you have consumed is transferred through your milk to your baby. Many mothers think that they need to pump and dump milk after drinking alcohol, but pumping does not speed up the elimination of alcohol from your breast milk.

Breastfeeding and drinking alcohol should be avoided altogether until your baby is at least three months of age. The reason for this is that an infant's liver cannot metabolize alcohol as efficiently


Effects of Drinking Excessive Alcohol during Breastfeeding

drinking wine and breastfeeding
  • More than one drink can affect milk let-down (the flow of your milk).
  • Drinking while breastfeeding can cause a decrease in milk production. 
  • Babies have been noted to sleep less if they receive small amounts of alcohol via the breast milk.
  • Alcohol when breastfeeding low weight: Slower weight gain has been noticed in infants, whose mothers drink alcohol.
  • Daily consumption of alcohol has been related to a decrease in motor skill development.
  • Your milk might taste differently, which could cause your baby to drink less.
  • Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding can result in drowsiness, excessive sleeping and mental problems in your baby.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can increase your baby’s chances of SIDS "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome."
  • Excessive alcohol consumption while breastfeeding won't just hurt your baby physically, but also affects a mother's ability to look after her baby.

Can you Drink Wine while Breastfeeding?

Wine is good for you and will not harm your baby (considering the above three months rule) if consumed in moderation. Sensible alcohol consumption should be practiced to avoid problems.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding

~Interesting fact~

Some people believe that drinking alcohol and nursing a baby afterward, will make him/her sleep better, but research has shown that a baby will  sleep less, not more.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding Rules to go by

  • If you feel tipsy, do not breastfeed.
  • If you are going to drink, try drinking after you have breastfed your baby.
  • Avoid alcohol during the first three months of your baby’s life.
  • Breastfeeding after drinking alcohol: Wait at least three hours after drinking before breastfeeding.
  • Store your breast milk for Baby, if you know that you will be drinking.
  • Moms that are on pain medication after delivery should never drink alcohol while breastfeeding. 

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