Alcohol and Breastfeeding: Is It a Good Mix?
For those first-time parents, they may be overly cautious about everything when it comes to the care of their child. That's completely understandable! Especially when it comes to the food that your child is getting. Sometimes, however, even some moms who have been veterans at breastfeeding seemed not to know the answer to this question:
Can a breastfeeding mom drink alcohol?
Picture this: you're a new mom who's still been adjusting to the mom life. You had injured nine months of strictly no alcohol intake when you were pregnant, and now that you think you can finally be able to drink even just a glass of wine, you're still unsure if you really can do it.
So the answer is this - yes you can drink alcohol when you're breastfeeding but only if you take into consideration these three things.
The amount of your alcohol intake
How much will you take? Is a can of beer too much for a breastfeeding mom? The general rule of thumb is this. The more alcohol you intake, the more time alcohol would stay in your bloodstream. When you have too much alcohol in your blood, it can go to your mammary glands and mix with your breastmilk. With that, it is advised to limit your drink with just one glass. If you can go with the alcohol that has lower concentration, the faster it would be dissolved in your system.
Should you find trouble in estimating if one cup isn't enough for you, then you shouldn't worry. There's no such thing as a fixed distribution time of alcohol in the bloodstream. In fact, it will depend on your height and weight. Say, for example, you are a 120-pound woman who's around 5'8", for your given height and weight, it would take about seven and a half hours for your breastmilk to be alcohol-free while for a 175-pound woman of the same height would take about six hours.
There's really no general equation or standard to
be followed here. But just to be safe, one glass of an alcoholic drink is more than enough.
Your milk supply
Not all moms have an abundant amount of milk. Some moms couldn't even produce breastmilk enough for the baby to feel full. If you're one of those moms, then we suggest that you don't drink more than one glass of alcohol. Alcohol lowers down the production rate of your breastmilk by twenty percent. That's already a great deal of an amount when it comes to a baby's milk supply!
The time you drink alcohol
You can't drink alcohol and breastfeed your child an hour after. Alcohol is still in your bloodstream, and there's a high chance that it could sip into your breastmilk. By doing this, you're only going to give your child breastmilk with alcohol, and you shouldn't undermine this because several studies say that alcohol could affect a baby's eating and sleeping patterns.
If you're planning on drinking alcohol, pump your milk first or if it's not possible, try to wait for at least two hours before you breastfeed your child after consuming alcohol. It's not unsafe to drink a minimal amount of alcohol when you're breastfeeding.
However, it's also not recommended for the sake of your child. Especially if your baby's less than three months old, it is suggested that you skip drinking any amount of alcohol.
You're a mom - congratulations on that! But with great power comes and even greater responsibility. In this case, it's caring for your child. Abstinence wouldn't surely hurt, and it isn't taboo to resist drinking alcohol especially if your breastfeeding. You've managed to endure to abstain from drinking alcohol for about nine months, and an additional three wouldn't seem to hurt.