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Drinking and Breast feeding
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Drinking and Breast feeding

If I want to drink a beer with dinner is it ever acceptable while breast feeding my baby. I have read that if I feed my baby, it is okay to have a drink if I don't feed for the next hour or two to give the alcohol a chance to work its way out of my system.  I have heard many different things from different people. I don't want to harm my baby girl. I just wanted to hear what different people have done, and what advice yal could offer. Thanks.
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171768_tn?1324233699
well, this is a touchy topic. i know we all have different views on it. Andi and I have different views. I'll share mine, and I'm sure she'll share hers :)

I had the same questions when dd was born. I do not ever follow the my-mother-and-grandmother-did-it-and-we-turned-out-ok" theories so I asked 3 different lactation consultants and my OB. They all told me that an occasional drink is OK. I also looked it up on government websites. Noone endorses the occasional drink, but all said that an occasional drink would not be harmful.

This is a personal decision. If you choose to have a drink and notice any change in your baby, obviously don't do it again. Basically I was told to do what you said- have a drink right after a feed (or in my case, pumping), and then the alcohol would be out of my system by the time it was to feed/pump again. One reason why many people have concerns is that newborns often feed more often than every 2-3 hours, and that you should be available to nurse on demand. I supposed you could get around that by having a pumped bottle on hand (assuming your baby has been introduced to the bottle already). Other concerns are that your tolerance is very low after not drinking for so long.

my new thing on every controversial topic is to say that it all boils down to risk vs. benefit. take a look at the potential risks and potential benefits and decide. i educated myself before making my decision, and information i was given said it was ok for my baby. honestly, for me there were some noticable benefits. benefits included physical- i was more relaxed and produced oodles more milk; and psychological. Another person may not see it that way. for her, even a sliver of a risk may be too much. Or, she may not see any benefit to her.

By the way, i didn't drink often and I often knew that i was simply too exhausted to have that beer, or that my pumping schedule wouldn't allow for it. For me, the very first sip of my husband's ice-cold beer satisfied that craving. Even when i did have a beer, i would rarely finish more than half. i think it was the sugars and the cold crisp-ness that i was craving.
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638579_tn?1233018064
thank you for your quick response, yeah i've read similar information that said an occasional drink would be okay. its nice to hear someone else who don't make me feel like i'm doing something wrong. my mom was livid when i mentioned drinking one beer after feeding even though I didn't feed for several hours after.  I guess shes just old school.
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652621_tn?1235461563
An occasional drink should not cause harm. It's best to opt for a low in alcohol drink like a light beer or wine as opposed to harder drinks like whiskey, vodka etc..

You're right - it's safer to have the drink after feeding your baby. It takes 2 to 3 hours for a grown woman to pass one serving of beer or wine out of her body and as long as 13 hours to completely rid of high alcohol content beverages from the body.

You asked for personal stories... I am a mommy to 4 young children and I have been either pregnant, breastfeeding or BOTH steadily for nearly 8 years! When pregnant I avoid alcohol though I will take a sip from my husband's drink and that is all. While breastfeeding a newborn who could want to nurse at any moment I avoid alcohol altogether. Once my baby is on a pretty reliable sleeping schedule where I know she or he will sleep for a long period in the evening... like 5 hours or more... I will enjoy an occasional drink of wine, beer, or light drink.

Happy mommying!
:)
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171768_tn?1324233699
that's funny, because so far my impressions of most old school people is that an occasional drink is ok. even my grandmother, who we hide every drop of alcohol from normally, made a comment about it helping milk supply. like i said though, i never go by old school ways. if i did my baby would have been 2 weeks old, sitting on my lap in the front seat of the car while i fed her meatloaf :)
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638579_tn?1233018064
ROTFLMAO :)
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93532_tn?1349374050
The alcohol doesn't help the supply, it is the hops in the beer. I am pretty anti-alcohol in my life due to personal issues with it growing up. I also co-slept while nursing, so drinking was never an option. I have also seen a few stories of women who had a drink or two and passed out while nursing their babies and suffocated them. It wasn't the alcohol in the milk, it was the effect the alcohol had one them.

My personal opinion is to avoid it while nursing. It is such a small period of time in your life. You abstained from it while pregnant, what is a little while longer? There is no health benefit to it so there is no need for it.
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Avatar_f_tn
i just wanted to add that you just never know when the baby will change from its normally 6 hour straight sleep schedule and suddenly want to nurse for hours on end.  i have read and researched (i really enjoy a glass of wine with dinner from time to time) and everything i read said it was ok if you were to go a few hours untill next feeding.  it said if you felt buzzed at all then you shouldnt feed your baby.  i will admit i did have a beer or a glass of wine a few times, but i just didnt enjoy it.  i believe it was because i knew i wanted another ;)

research then make up your mind what you see as the right choice for you AND your baby.
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287071_tn?1365196113
I was told by the lady that taught my 'preparing for childbirth' class that one drink an hour is fine...  There's always the 'pump and dump' method!
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93532_tn?1349374050
Pump and dump is not effective for drinking, that is a misconception of sorts. The general rule is waiting 1 hour or more if you feel the effects of the alcohol, but that does not mean you can have several drinks if you wait long enough. As mentioned, you cannot plan for when your baby will want to nurse. I know that after a few years of going without a beer, halfway through one and I am buzzed. Pumping that breastmilk and dumping it does not mean I can nurse right away if I am still feeling the buzz. I have to wait until that feeling passes completely before nursing. Some people metabolize alcohol very slowly, others faster.

I don't advocate drinking while nursing, but if you must, i would wait until the baby is 6 months or older to increase the chances of having enough time between nursing sessions.
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