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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4 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!