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ALCOHOL & NURSING
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ALCOHOL & NURSING

I had roughly six glasses of beer. My wonderful baby angel, who will be 11 months old on Friday, still nurses pretty heavily and I am DESPERATE to find out exactly when I can nurse him again!!!! He usually sleeps through the night but woke up screaming to nurse this morning and I couldn't... :'(

I weigh 168 pounds, about average height (5 feet 8 inches)
and these drinks were consumed before 2 AM this morning. It's 9 AM now. I haven't slept because I've been so worried...

Help????????? Thank you!!!!!!!!!!
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35 Comments Post a Comment
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1528695_tn?1360585920
They told me if you were intoxicated (trashed) then pump and dump for 24 hours.
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1346146_tn?1299364097
Pump and dump doesn't work for alcohol.  As long as the alcohol is in your bloodstream then it will stay in your milk.  So if you were legally intoxicated(.08 blood alcohol content(bac) is the limit in Texas) it takes approximately 1 hour for your bac to go down by. 02 for most people however some people metabolize things slower than others so it can take up to 3 hours.  Since you have no way of know your bac (unless u have a pbt(personal breath tester) or intoxilizer machine lol)or the rate u metabolize alcohol you can only guess so having 6 glasses of beer your should wait approx. 12-18hours after.  And while you wait be sure to drink lots of water to flush out the system.  Good luck.
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1548028_tn?1324616046
You can feed when you no longer feel any of the effects of alcohol in yourself.  This can take awhile for some.  Dump until it is out of your system.  Stay well hydrated.  If you know you are going out you can always pump after the baby has nursed and store for that use.  Goodluck.
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179530_tn?1368940203
You sound like a really good mom for breastfeeding and being concerned about your alcohol consumtion. The alcohol will metabolize. I tell mom's it usually takes about 2 hours for every HARD drink. You can pump and dump (just for comfort measures) but it will not speed up the metabolism.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Six beers are kind of a lot. But you should know that one of the treatments for inadequate breast milk is Guinness Stout (our grandmothers and great grandmothers knew all about it). I couldn't stand stout so instead I drank two glasses of beer a day. No harm to baby - and lots of milk. But six beers is an awful lot and I wouldn't breastfeed baby until it was out of my system.
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127529_tn?1331844380
Current guidelines are that there is no known 'safe' amount to drink whilst nursing, it is best to wait until all the alcohol is metabolises out of your system which is on average 1 hour per unit of alcohol ( 1 12oz beer ). Yes maybe back in the day moms were advised by doctors to have a beer to help with supply issues but alcohol free beer has just the same milk boosting properties without any risk no matter how small.
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757137_tn?1347200053
I grant you that there is no known safe amount to drink whilst nursing, but there is a tendency to go overboard on "prohibitions." A glass of wine with dinner is common throughout a large part of the world. So is alcoholism. But one does not equate with the other. Surely my family, being of Italian descent, is used to a cordial now and again, or wine with dinner, pregnant and nursing women not excluded. But we are, like most people, moderate in our habits - not drunks. There has never been an ill-formed child in the family and there has never been a mentally retarded child in the family.

Absolutism has its flaws.

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93532_tn?1349374050
I am going to agree with Mum2BeAgain. I find it reckless to offer advice on a breastfeeding forum to drink any amount of alcohol while nursing. Show me again where the APA, Le Leche League, even WIC suggest Guiness for nursing mothers? I am sorry, I cannot seem to find it.

Look, this is a forum for sound advice. This advice you have repeatedly offered is dangerous, both for mother and baby. I will gladly post articles where nursing mothers have killed their child by passing out after drinking while nursing their child. There have been plenty. I will also post articles and studies that point out alcohol passing through breastmilk will have an immediate effect on a nursing infant. Would you give your child whiskey in a bottle? Maybe a little beer? Absolutely not. If your supply is low, there are many natural ways to boost it, nursing around the clock is the most reliable. There is a long list of options that do not include drinking alcohol.

Please do not continue to come on here and offer "advice" that could very well be harmful to not only our members, but their infants as well.

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171768_tn?1324233699
Historically, being a medical support forum, I believe that posts advocating the consumption of alcohol while breastfeeding or pregnant have been removed. There is a great liability there, and it is important to remember that these forums are frequented by people of different backgrounds from around the world. Subjective terms like "some" or a "little" alcohol can easily be misinterpreted. There is also a difference between saying "I did ___" and "it's harmless to ___" but many readers and posters fail to distinguish the difference. Many people also assume that just because they did something and had a favorable outcome that it is proof that something is safe.  

To the original poster- I know it's too late now and I'm sorry that you were so stressed out. My LC told me that once I couldn't feel the effects, it was out of my system. The problem for me was that between pregnancy and breastfeeding, my tolerance plummeted and it took a lot less for me to be effected. 6 beers would have had me unconscious under the table and I would have felt the effects for a very long time, especially because of dehydration. As you can see, there really isn't a consensus on when it would have been "safe". For the future, can you have a small pumped amount stashed away so you don't have to have these concerns? It figures that the one night you choose to drink the little guy would wake up hungry. Another option is whole milk if you're in that bind. While I am against introducing whole milk as a replacement for breastmilk or formula before 12 months because it could never meet a baby's nutritional needs alone, if he has had it and tolerates dairy, he may be close enough to 1 to have it when you are in a bind like this.
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179530_tn?1368940203
:)
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757137_tn?1347200053
I have not advocated drinking. What I have said is that Guinness Stout was used to increase milk production, Whether or not people drink is none of my business. But my experience is as valid as anyone else's. Censorship is not the road to wisdom.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think someone lost their last marble.....
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Avatar_f_tn
if I said snorting coke could help with a new moms lack of energy, that would also be a valid point?
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btw I in no way suggest doing that!
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93532_tn?1349374050
I believe you have implied multiple times that drinking Guiness increases milk supply. Applying semantics to this serious situation does not absolve you from responsibility for comments you have made.

Despite the warnings displayed throughout MedHelp advising new people from using us in place of providers, people still come here seeking the advice and wisdom of members.We carry a great responsibility to provide SAFE and current information to those people. I do not believe this to be censorship if it means we are eliminating the dangerous advice to ensure that members can avoid risking their health or the health of their nursing infant.

So again, I beg of you to stop advising, be it directly or indirectly, the use of alcohol-containing products to increase milk supply.
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks andij for reminding everyone. for the op, mistakes aes made and im sure you will make the right choice next time.
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Avatar_f_tn
Does that also mean it's not ok to rub brandy on a child's gums when they are teething?  I've heard it from my grandmother and mother - of course, they also told me that if I get a wart, I should cut a potato in half, rub it on the wart and then bury the potato at a crossroad under the full moon light....
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Avatar_f_tn
I also think to say "my family drank and all kids are ok" is about as intelligent as saying "i text while driving and ive never had an accident".
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Avatar_f_tn
Ok - well now I will argue with you on that one.....when my husband and I are driving around in the RV with the kids - I do text sometimes while driving - and we've never had a wreck one.....I have learned though that I can't play Angry Birds...that's too hard to do
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93532_tn?1349374050
I am sure I am going to regret even bothering to answer this, but in the off chance someone Googles and comes up with this as a result...No, I do not advocate the whiskey on the gums. For a nursing mom, even Ambesol can be difficult to use as it can interfere the latch at times, causing frustration on top of the teething pain.

I used to recommend teething tablets by Hyland, but I am not sure if they have improved their quality control as a year or so ago the FDA discovered much higher amounts of belladonna than they had said it contained. They had infants developing neurological problems, though short term, but it is still a concern.

Cold washcloth or a clean knuckle are still my best suggestions.
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Avatar_f_tn
Should I bleach the washcloth before putting it in my baby's mouth?  And whose knuckle should I use?
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1966562_tn?1339823126
As I am currently in school studying child death. Alcohol.bb is harmful to children nursing. We cannot use remedies that were used many years ago even if it was a family tradition. As you shouldn't use a wash cloth for teething because some children have  asphyxiated from it. My mentor has, privileges to a lot of coroners reports and these are facts.
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179530_tn?1368940203
Alcohol is not a contraindication to breastfeeding, BUT I certainly WOULD NOT advice that a mother drink it. Especially for the purpose of increasing her milk supply, as this will most certainly decrease supply by dehydration before increasing it w/ brewers yeast which there are no studies that prove help w/ supply either.

If you have or choose you are going to drink alcohol, DON'T stop breastfeeding altogether... DO talk to your doctor or LC (As AndiJ78 said) about safe ways to do it. (Even if a mother doesn't have a perfect diet or lifestyle, her milk will be optimal to formula, but we should always consider our little life and try to make our milk as suitable for our precious baby as much as we can handle)

Personally, I don't even drink milk since my son has a milk protien allergy. I have a very restricted diet, but that's what I can handle personally w/ my lifestyle. Sometimes I feel like I need a break, and my idea of a break is going on a shopping spree. That's not the most healthy and wise thing I can do but everyone has their "faults", don't let them be barriers to breastfeeding. And as AnjiJ78 is suggesting, we must not be a danger to ourselves and our babies which goes above all. :)

Sorry this has been so confusing. There are ways to do things safer, but don't drink to increase supply, and don't breastfeed WHILE drinking (which is most certainly not what you did). Find out from your doctor about how long the alcohol is in your system w/ your BMI, age, and then you will truly know how long it takes for the alcohol to metabolize so that you can continue to nurse safely. :)
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1428239_tn?1333460653
I drank at a christmas probably probably 5-6 drinks but i had enough milk pumped for the night and the next day to b esafe.. i also had alcohol test strips.. Just for your information, I had my last drink around 12am and I was till testing positive at 10am.. but was testing negative by 2pmish.. So it can take quite a while
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171768_tn?1324233699
wow... thanks for sharing your example. Of course, all of us metabolize differently, but your experience certainly shows how long alcohol can remain detectable.
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1528695_tn?1360585920
my gyn's o ffice told me to try wheat beer when my supply dropped.

just putting that out there!
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179530_tn?1368940203
:( Poor doctors... I wish they were trained in breastfeeding. They have such a wide scope, it's hard for them to keep up. Although they are well meaning, they may not always be right. I'm trying now to get a few doctors on our task force. It would be great if we could get them all certified in lactation (although unrealistic)... or simply give them resources to make referrals.
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Avatar_f_tn
You can buy test strips at wal Mart, so each time you pump it will tell you if there is alcohol in the milk...so keep our trash will be made easy...Very affordable!
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Avatar_f_tn
You can buy test strips at wal Mart, so each time you pump it will tell you if there is alcohol in the milk...so keep our trash will be made easy...Very affordable!
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1330108_tn?1333680904
Alcohol leaves your system at the rate of 1 drink per hour, 1 beer, wine or shot so if you drink your last beer at 1am by 7am you are legally sober. This is an approximation obviously but what I go by when nursing.

Yes some LC's still recommend a beer to boost supply, it is the brewery yeast that seems to do it which is also in "lactation cookies". Don't let anyone make you feel guilty forgoing out and having a good time. You are a great mama, keep up the awesome nursing :D
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Avatar_n_tn
I would have pumped some out for him in a heartbeat! However, my baby boy refuses a bottle, pacifier, etc. He doesn't like anything out of a sippy cup/straw cup except water. Also, he is highly allergic to milk/milk proteins. I have always had a high tolerance and I was just buzzing after the 6. Maybe its the German in me?...*poor attempt at humor* Anyway, I will not drink again while I am nursing and I made entirely sure it was out of my system. I did hours of research to ensure that I would not be breastfeeding my son under the influence. I have not had any alcohol prior to this night whilst pregnant or nursing. Also, I have been trying to break my son of nursing at night, as we are also trying to completely break him of cosleeping as well.

I will never advocate "drinking" while nursing to help increase production and that is not what I was trying to do. I will never forgive myself for this, though I do pride myself on making sure I did all the research I could to rectify the situation. I love my son, far more than my own, and I was just trying to something for myself for the first time in 2 years. However, simplistic and instant gratification isn't worth it in the long run.

I appreciate all the understanding and helpful advice. You women are absolutely amazing and I appreciate your time. <3
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Avatar_n_tn
Also, I will not be drinking again until I am done nursing! AMEN. :)
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179530_tn?1368940203
You're such a good mama. :)

If you do "fall" into temptation during a special occasion, remember that your milk will not be permanently "tainted" and you can continue breastfeeding again. Drinking occasionally isn't a reason to quit nursing.

And about the bottle, have you tried offering a cup of breastmilk? This can be done at any age. (Google "spoon/cup feeding")

Sounds like a plan sister! :)  
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127529_tn?1331844380
Good to see it all worked out in the end. :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I see that you have completely avoided answering the question so that you can trumpet your own opinions. You write as if you are a very educated person yet the content shows differently. There are articles for every side of the argument, most of which are far from peer-reviewed clinical journal article, which really are the only reliable bases for information in a world full of opinionated strongarms. Alcohol will metabolize out of your bloodstream if you'd like to have some cocktails. Mothering is probably the most selfless endeavor one can undertake and there is nothing wrong with taking some time to let loose on occasion so long as the baby is safe. Have a trusted sitter care for him/her if you want to be a little more than buzzed. Otherwise, evidence shows that after one standard drink, there isn't any harm in breastfeeding (it takes most mothers so long to do things that it'll likely be an entire hour before you finish that drink anyway! :-) ). For each drink within short spacing, allow a good 2 hours. Do your homework instead of trying to find real information on a forum where your subject to any Joe's opinion and crusade. Honestly if you are as concerned as you seem to be about this matter, you are a good mom and little chance of hurting your baby. It's ok to have some adult fun and I hope your research allows you to plan for a stress-free good time for both you and your baby!
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