This is my first post. I have a 3 week old baby girl who is doing great breast feeding. This weekend we are going to a pool party and I might have a couple glasses of wine. I am not sure if I will because I am worried because I have read conflicting reports of how to feed after the alchohol consumption and conflicting reports on how long it stays in your milk supply. I was wondering if someone could set the record straight for me. This is what I have heard: It stays in your system for 2 hours and that you should pump also. But my question is when do you pump? Before the 2 hours or after? Also, if I have 2 glasses does that mean I have to wait 4 hours or only 2? Any insight would help. Thank You.
this is a touchy subject on here. i will tell you what i was told, but i can almost guarantee that several people will disagree with me.
by the way, my information came from 3 lactation consultants, the paperwork my hospital sent home with me, my OB, and my ped.
AAP's policy: "Breastfeeding mothers should avoid the use of alcoholic beverages, because alcohol is concentrated in breast milk and its use can inhibit milk production. An occasional celebratory single, small alcoholic drink is acceptable, but breastfeeding should be avoided for 2 hours after the drink." (http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;115/2/496)
I found a site that sums up what I was told, so I'll just cut and paste that. I feel it sums it up nicely.
"While fifty years ago you may have seen a pregnant woman sucking down a martini and puffing on a cigarette with little fanfare, today we all know better (or at least we should know better). As for nursing mothers, the medical community is a bit less restrictive. While smoking is still a big no-no, a few drinks on occasion are allowed. This may be a nice reward for mothers who missed the last celebratory toast because she was pregnant.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) regards occasional alcohol use as compatible with breastfeeding. Do note the operative word, “occasional”. So, the question is, how much is too much? Well, there are medical recommendations for that, too, although good common sense should come in handy as well.
Less than 2% of the alcohol a mother drinks actually enters the breast milk. If you are planning on having a drink, breastfeed your baby first. After the drink(s), wait a few hours before nursing again. There used to be a term known as the “pump and dump” method. This isn’t necessary, as alcohol doesn’t accumulate in the milk- it leaves the milk as soon as it leaves the bloodstream.
The general idea is that if you are within the legal limit to be driving a vehicle, then breastfeeding your infant should be safe. It really shouldn’t be a common habit, though, as it can reduce your milk supply. Wives’ tales have beer increasing the milk supply, but it simply isn’t true. It should also be stated, because many nursing mothers are co-sleepers, that you should never sleep with your baby in the bed if you have had anything to drink. This could impair your sense of the baby next to you.
Always exhibit good judgment about these situations. If you are going out to have a few drinks and will be away from baby, pump some milk beforehand. That will solve the problem of worrying about too much alcohol in the milk later. Keeping a backup supply of expressed milk in the freezer is always a good idea, just in case an unforeseen situation arises." (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/19851/can_i_drink_alcohol_if_i_am_breastfeeding.html?cat=25)
So, if you want to have one drink, you should nurse first, then have it immediately. it should be out of your system by the time you have to nurse again, assuming you nurse every 2-3 hours. if your baby is nursing more often, then you may want to give your baby a pumped bottle to ensure that she won't be getting alcohol. i went to a wedding when i was 4 weeks post partum. my lactation consultant encouraged me to go and have a good time. She told me to go ahead and have a drink or 2, and then pump 3 hours later as long as i wasn't feeling the effects of the alcohol. (she also smiled and told me to go ahead and have another drink after pumping because i deserved it!) keep in mind your tolerance probably isn't what it used to be. if you plan on giving a bottle of pumped milk while you are out, don't wait until then to see if the baby is willing to take a bottle. remember though, that many people recommend not introducing a bottle so soon.
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