Drinking Alcohol While Breastfeeding

Drinking Alcohol While Breastfeeding? OK or No Way?

September 1, 2011


Good Question, hot topic

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Alcohol while breastfeeding
Alcohol while breastfeeding? The answer has been easy for me because in a nutshell, I don’t really drink. Yes I’ll have an occasional glass of wine at a dinner party or a margarita on date night, but for the most part, I’m a virgin drink kind of gal.

And I’m glad I don’t drink because there’s so much conflicting information out there about how much alcohol is considered “safe”, how soon you can safely breastfeed after having a drink, and so on.

For example, according to La Leche League: “One glass of wine should be fine only if you breastfeed one to three hours after drinking.” On the other hand, they state that “it takes up to 13 hours for a 120 pound woman to eliminate the alcohol from one high-alcohol drink.”

So not only do you have to be aware of the amount of alcohol you drink, but also the kind of alcohol you consume, your weight and the clock. Sounds like a lot to remember especially after a night of drinking.

So my advice? No, I’m not going to tell you to give up the alcohol completely. Enjoy your drinks…you deserve it. But when you get home, take the rest of the night off and the next day, too—hey, it’s better to be safe than sorry. And instead of breastfeeding, give your baby formula or breast milk you have stored in the freezer. Better yet, have baby’s Daddy take care of the feeding.

What do you think?  Do you think it’s ok to drink alcohol while breastfeeding?  Sound off in the comments below.

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  • Skyler Mann
    September 2, 2011

  • I think it’s okay to have one glass of wine when breastfeeding. I don’t see what the problem is as long as one isn’t getting hammered. Be responsible, be reasonable, and let a new mom have one nice glass of wine to kick back and relax after the babe goes to sleep. Jeez.

  • mamabird
    September 2, 2011

  • For me, I just waited until I was finished breastfeeding before drinking again. I had gone through all of pregnancy without alcohol, what’s another year? It’s probably not a big deal, but I try to follow the advice “There’s so much in this life we cannot control; but what we can control, we MUST control.” No judgement, I just chose not to.

  • Susan
    September 2, 2011

  • Times have changed so much. What was right when I had my children is wrong now. My doctor actually recommended a glass of wine occasionally when I was pregnant. I’m not much of a drinker but I don’t think a glass occasionally is bad at all. I had a glass of wine with several of my pregnancies and my children were fine. I don’t think it’s bad when you’re nursing either. They drink a lot more in Europe and don’t seem to have the problems we do in the states. Common sense has long been forgotten. If people went back to using it we wouldn’t be so quick to judge.

  • brenda-"real" Texas Woman
    September 6, 2011

  • Had my yoUngest in Germany where it isnt Uncommon to see those both preggers and nUrsing savoring a glass of beer/wine, the OBG sipping a lager dUring yoUr appt, or him encoUraging a patient to comsvme as many as three beer drinks a day to increase baby’s birthweight in the last months for those of Us whose thyroid goes bizerk in the last trimester. I mUst say I did not follow that advice not being a person that enjoys the common favs and having the western mindset already drilled in. BUt I will say, my babe weighed 5poUnds 14.5 oz and stayed iin the hosp 10 days and my german neighbor had a 13 poUnd babe and was home in three. So, maybe they are onto something. I agree common sense has left the bUilding- in life, in govt, in jvst aboUt everything lately. Kind of a silly post considering yoU dont even know if she was on a break from baby, if it was actUally an alcoholic beverage in the glass, or if she is even nUrsing- if I were her I woUld be a bit po’d at yoU…. jUst sayin.