Can I drink while Breastfeeding?

Can I drink while Breastfeeding?

It is very understandable that as a mum you you may want to enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. While breastfeeding it is currently recommended that its is safest not to drink. However, there is a lot of misinformation when it comes to alcohol & breastfeeding- fear not, we are here to clear these misconceptions up!

Here are some helpful things to keep in mind:

*The alcohol breastmilk content will typically peak around 30mins-1 hour after your first drink. It is best not to feed your baby during this time

*It typically takes 2 hours for 1 standard drink to be metabolised through your liver and not be present in your breast milk. However, this can be dependent on the type of alcohol, your body weight, your general metabolism etc. This cannot be applied to everyone

*Pumping and dumping will not reduce the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk.The alcohol content in your breastmilk will match your blood alcohol content. If you pump milk while you still have alcohol in your blood, the breastmilk will also contain alcohol. It is up to you what you want to do with this pumped breastmilk- however if you have had more than a couple of drinks, it may be best to throw this breastmilk away.

* Time is the only thing that will reduce the alcohol content in your breastmilk

Photo Credit: tationathomas (instragram)

*If you are drinking, make sure to plan ahead! If you are taking your baby with you, make sure to bring a bag of expressed milk with you. Also, make sure to pump before you have your drink that way your breasts will not become engorged

*Alcohol, similarly to caffeine may cause changes in your little one's behaviour. In these cases it's best to always have stored breastmilk on hand and feed baby this. 

*If you are drinking, make sure to drink responsibly! This is not just for bub, but also for you. Excess alcohol consumption can increase anxiety, lower mood and impair absorption of nutrients essential to supporting both breastfeeding and postpartum period

* The affect of alcohol on baby is directly linked to how much the mother drinks. It's best not to be drinking bottles of wine or having shots.. Remember, and we will stress this again: ALWAYS drink responsibly. 

At the end of the day mama, it is ultimately your choice if you would like to enjoy a drink!

Written by Meagan, Clinical Nutritionist & Founder of Maternal Essentials

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