Consuming While Breastfeeding What’s OK, What’s Not

 

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The American Academy of Pediatrics does not tell nursing mothers they must give up alcohol completely. Instead, they advise that the “ingestion of alcoholic beverages should be minimized or limited to an occasional intake to no more than 0.5 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight.”. Not drinking alcohol is the safest option for breastfeeding mothers.

Generally, moderate alcohol consumption by a breastfeeding mother (up to 1 standard drink per day) is not known to be harmful to the infant, especially if the mother waits at least 2 hours after a single drink before nursing. Breast-feeding and alcohol don’t mix well. There’s no level of alcohol in breast milk that’s considered safe for a baby to drink. When you drink alcohol, it passes into your breast milk at concentrations similar to those found in your bloodstream. Although a breast-fed baby is exposed to just a fraction of the alcohol his or her mother drinks, a newborn eliminates alcohol from his or her body at.

Drinking while breastfeeding is a common practice—half of women in Western countries do it. Here’s what you need to know about alcohol and breast milk. Alcohol passes through your breast milk to your baby, so the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends avoiding drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.

What You Should Know: Drinking beer does not increase your milk supply, as urban myth (s) suggests. Consuming alcohol of any kind may decrease the amount of milk your baby drinks. If you’re a breastfeeding mom limit yourself to an occasional alcoholic drink, and no more than one a day.

For a 130-pound woman that means no more than 2 ounces of liquor, 8 ounces of wine, or two beers in a 24-hour period. If you have too much to drink and become. While some herbal supplements may be safe to take during pregnancy, there are far more that might not be. Although some herbs can help with common pregnancy ailments like nausea and upset stomach. Anything you eat or drink while you’re breastfeeding can find its way into your breast milk, and that includes alcohol.

An occasional drink is unlikely to harm your breastfed baby. But never share a bed or sofa with your baby if you have drunk any alcohol. Doing this has a strong association with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Raspberry leaf, peppermint, ginger, and lemon balm tea are the only ones currently deemed as potentially safe. However, women may benefit from avoiding the first two during their first trimester.

In most cases, the answer is, perhaps surprisingly, no! The most common offender is cow’s milk proteins, and this rarely causes a sensitivity or allergy in solely breastfed babies. Babies who are sensitive or allergic cry at all times of the day for several hours after breastfeeding.

They may also have a rash, diarrhea, or blood in their stools.

List of related literature:

Dietary Guidelines advises: Breast-feeding women should be very cautious about drinking alcoholic beverages, if they drink at all.

“American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised and Updated 4th Edition” by Roberta Larson Duyff
from American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Revised and Updated 4th Edition
by Roberta Larson Duyff
HMH Books, 2012

We could see little harm in permitting an upper limit of two drinks a day for men but just one for women (because women metabolize alcohol less rapidly, demonstrate a higher risk of breast cancer with even small amounts of alcohol, and if pregnant, can induce alcohol toxicity in the fetus).

“Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health” by Marion Nestle
from Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health
by Marion Nestle
University of California Press, 2013

An occasional beer or glass of wine is also acceptable while breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers” by Nancy Mohrbacher, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Jack Newman
from Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers
by Nancy Mohrbacher, Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Jack Newman
New Harbinger Publications, 2010

A nursing mother who drinks a glass of wine or beer a day is not harming her baby.

“Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care, 9th Edition” by Benjamin Spock, M.D.
from Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, 9th Edition
by Benjamin Spock, M.D.
Skyhorse, 2012

Breastfeeding experts are unanimously agreed that moderate drinking when nursing does not affect your baby.

“The Positive Birth Book: A new approach to pregnancy, birth and the early weeks” by Milli Hill
from The Positive Birth Book: A new approach to pregnancy, birth and the early weeks
by Milli Hill
Pinter & Martin Ltd, 2017

Although research hasn’t shown that consuming the occasional drink is harmful, it’s generally best to avoid drinking alcohol or drink only occasionally until after your baby is weaned.

“Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide” by Janet Walley, Penny Simkin, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham, April Bolding
from Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
by Janet Walley, Penny Simkin, et. al.
Meadowbrook, 2016

But drink within limits (a couple of glasses a week, preferably taken right after you breastfeed, rather than before, to allow a few hours for the alcohol to metabolize and for far less to reach your baby).

“What to Expect When You're Expecting 4th Edition” by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
from What to Expect When You’re Expecting 4th Edition
by Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
Simon & Schuster UK, 2010

Ample evidence indicates that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is associated with severe risks of poor pregnancy outcome, which is preventable by abstinence, but the risks of consumption of alcohol during breast-feeding are not as well defined.

“The Science of Drinking: How Alcohol Affects Your Body and Mind” by Amitava Dasgupta
from The Science of Drinking: How Alcohol Affects Your Body and Mind
by Amitava Dasgupta
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2011

But nursing moms should keep in mind that because alcohol enters the bloodstream, it enters the breast milk too, so moderation is essential.

“Dad's Guide To Pregnancy For Dummies” by Mathew Miller, Sharon Perkins
from Dad’s Guide To Pregnancy For Dummies
by Mathew Miller, Sharon Perkins
Wiley, 2014

Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics considers maternal alcohol use to be compatible with breastfeeding, although it recognizes that adverse effects can occur (American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement, 2001c; Mennella, 2001).

“Comprehensive Neonatal Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach” by Carole Kenner, Judy Wright Lott
from Comprehensive Neonatal Care: An Interdisciplinary Approach
by Carole Kenner, Judy Wright Lott
Saunders Elsevier, 2007

Oktay Kutluk

Kutluk Oktay, MD, FACOG is one of the world's foremost experts in fertility preservation as well as ovarian stimulation and in vitro fertilization for infertility treatments. He developed and performed the world's first ovarian transplantation procedures as well as pioneered new ovarian stimulation protocols for embryo and oocyte freezing for breast and endometrial cancer patients.

Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: +1 (877) 492-3666

Biography: https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/kutluk_oktay/
Bibliography: oktay_bibliography

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21 comments

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  • i love your parenting style. My little one is 5 months now & I was so stressed at the beginning, obsessing over routines etc. Watching your videos has totally helped me de-stress & not get worked up about the little things. Now I just seee where the day takes us. We’re actually planning to have another baby next year, so it’s lovely to listen to your advice on raising 2 kids. Look forward to your next video <3

  • I live for the day when I don’t notice the night feeds! My bb is so freaking wiggly. And kicky. And now, he’s learning to crawl so he never stops moving in his sleep and he’s fully waking up several times. He still eats every 90 minutes, too. That’s why we decided to bedshare nursing keeps him asleep. Thank heavens for boobs. For real. Life saver (even with being aware of night feeds).

    Lookin’ good! Welcome back to Canada (from Victoria, BC)!

  • hi…i dnt produce enough milk supply fr my first child…:'( i dnt wnt to repeat fr my secnd one too! is there any food to produce more milk supply in pregnensy itself? an heart broken mom:(

  • lol, nature doesn’t always work, I wasn’t particularly sick of nauseous, but I never put on any maternal fat stores whilst pregnant and I didn’t have many to start of with. I was soooooo hungry whilst breastfeeding!

  • Hey I’m breastfeeding for 6 months now and I wanted to lose weight so I wanted to intake apple cider vinegar but I’m a little scared whether it will affect the baby can you please let me know if I can take it or not or if I cAn please tell me how to prepare it

  • I totally agree with getting to the store before children! I miss just being able to run out because I forgot something! OH those good ol days

  • Once you see the damage done a child whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy you will be appalled. DON’T LET IT HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD. Plus you will have to raise your child until it can take responsibility for itself if it ever can.

  • When my kids were little I quickly learned that breastfeeding on command was the best solution to my problems. I learned that after trying to really schedule my first daughters meals…it was such a struggle that I threw the concept out the window and changed my strategy for baby 2 and 3. 

  • Thank you so much for this video. Everyone scolds me for eating spicy foods. My baby isn’t fussy at all when eat spicy foods. Thank you for reassuring me.

  • Hello. Now that you live in cold weather, do you lubricate cream on the face to your children before you go out to the cold. and if what…
    Love from Oslo

  • Just did day #1 of the yoga challenge and I must say, good choice! It was so relaxing and opening, really enjoyed it. I have chronically super tight hips so it was a nice gentle flow to work through: )

  • You can get your supply elevated to the optimum by drinking “healthy nursing tea”. the tea is available in different flavors. I have found it really well in doing a good job for my supply to increase.

  • i’m totally a pregnant/nursing drinker as well. wine is therapeutic and healthy (in moderation of course!). I just keep myself in check on the amount in each serving, especially while pregnant. depending on the age of my baby while nursing/when they’ll nurse again next, ect… the volume of liquor can be flexed a bit more. dumping is completely avoidableboobs don’t need to be cycled out to clear the liquor, the blood in your body clears them over time just like the rest of your body… so I will always wait a long time (despite the engorgement) and pump when I feel clear. I approx. 1drink=1hr but leave it mostly to my most responsible judgment.

  • I’m 18 years old I have this cute video of my daughter eating an orange for the first time its hilarious I’m gonna upload more soon check My channel out like my video and I’ll upload more about me and my adorable little daughter

  • Do you have any videos on how to prepare for pregnancy? Foods to eat etc… We are not trying to conceive right away but doing our research. Ahh!

  • Love your videos I too follow your rule of thumb with nursing and drinking:). Hope you guys get your date night soon my baby is 9 weeks old and I have yet to do a date night with hubby. Ok so we all wanna know what lipstick are you wearing? it’s so pretty!

  • I live in Fargo, ND with no auto start and no garage. Last winter I had 2 under 2. Seriously, winter is a bitch with little kids. Seriously. Swearing at that is totally acceptable!

  • I love that you’ll have a drink every now and then!  It’s not something that should be absolutely forbidden.  I even had a small glass of wine at my baby shower! lol 

  • OMG I thought I was the only woman that didn’t love being pregnant.. I have three kids my daughter was born nov2007 I just hate being pregnant the whole summer in Chicago.. She was just the worst then my son was born in May 2009 wasn’t as bad. This July I had my third child the last one I am having.But still hate being pregnant

  • Amanda! You are a life savior. I’m currently alone here in Canada (expat) and my baby daddy’s in the US so right now I’m 34 weeks pregnant by myself! I watch your videos to prep me for my baby girl. I was wondering what kind of breast pump you used?

  • I love how laid back go with the flow you are. I’m similar with my parenting as well. Maybe it’s because we’re Canadian but it’s very refreshing!