April from Mama on a Green Mission and Courtney from Joy of Momma Joyner host this breastfeeding meme every Tuesday and the topic is always different. I love linking up and reading what others have to say.
This week the topic is Nursing and Drinking Alcohol.
Any amount of alcohol that enters mom’s system and bloodstream, also enters the baby through the breast milk. This being known, I would only be comfortable consuming a drink or two and waiting a couple of hours before feeding the baby. I think I would possibly pump and dump the first bottle also. Just so that **I** could feel comfortable.
I do know that there are ingredients in beer (barley, hop) that do help the milk production, but those ingredients are also in non-alcoholic beer, so that isn’t a good enough reason for me to be okay with drinking alcohol while nursing.
Baby Center says, that even if you have one drink, your baby has an immature liver which means she or he can’t process the alcohol as well as you can. This makes sense to me and makes me sad that someone might need to drink without realizing this. Baby Center goes on to say that there are studies that show that alcohol can affect babies’ eating and sleeping. During the four hours after a breastfeeding mother consumes an alcoholic beverage such as 4 ounces of wine, one mixed drink, or one can of beer – babies who nurse consume about 20 percent less milk. And while breastfed babies may become drowsy and fall asleep more quickly after their mother drinks alcohol, they also sleep for a shorter amount of time. Alcohol in breast milk may also hinder babies’ development. In a landmark study of 400 breastfed babies, gross motor development at 1 year of age lagged in infants whose mothers drank at least one drink daily during the babies’ first three months of life.
Le Leche League says alcohol passes freely into mother’s milk and has been found to peak about 30 to 60 minutes after consumption, 60 to 90 minutes when taken with food. Alcohol also freely passes out of a mother’s milk and her system. It takes a 120 pound woman about two to three hours to eliminate from her body the alcohol in one serving of beer or wine…the more alcohol that is consumed, the longer it takes for it to be eliminated. It takes up to 13 hours for a 120 pound woman to eliminate the alcohol from one high-alcohol drink. The effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding baby are directly related to the amount the mother consumes.
A recent article stirred up some chaos. A Half Moon Bay restaurant refused to serve a nursing mother alcohol. I’m not really sure how I feel about that. I am not sure if I would be able to serve a nursing mother alcohol without feeling really horrible about it. I guess we are to assume she would be responsible about her next feeding. But what if she wasn’t? I am not sure if I would want that on my conscience.
I just can not feel comfortable consuming alcohol myself while breastfeeding. I just can’t. This is how I feel, and you may feel just fine consuming a glass of wine while nursing and that is fine. I am just stating how I feel.
I couldn’t do it.
What about you?
What’s your opinion about consuming alcohol while nursing?