Being a mother is one of the best things that can happen in a woman’s life. It’s also one of the most confusing sensations in life. And what goes along with motherhood is breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding can be a delightful moment of bonding with your child, but often it can be overwhelming. New mothers don’t know what to do, and some of them even have trouble breastfeeding.
We would love to help you with some thoughts that have been troubling you.
One thing that many mothers are not sure what do to about it is breastfeeding and alcohol. There are many stories about what you should do and what not, but a lot of them are conflicting and confusing. Some old customs say that it’s okay, while nowadays people say it isn’t. The thing that everyone knows is future mothers shouldn’t drink alcohol while being pregnant because it can do serious harm to an unborn child. But what about drinking alcohol while breastfeeding? Is it okay or no?
The damage that can be made by consuming alcohol while breastfeeding is still unknown. But we will try to cover everything that you need to know on this topic, here in this article.
CDC on Breastfeeding and alcohol consuming
When it comes to Breastfeeding and alcohol consumption, the CDC is very straightforward. The safest option possible for mothers that are breastfeeding is not drinking alcohol at all. But when it comes to moderate alcohol drinking, which means one drink per day, there isn’t any proof that it can harm an infant.
CDC states that if a mother had one alcoholic beverage, she needs to wait at least 2 hours before breastfeeding her child.
What happens to us when we drink alcohol?
Are you aware of what happens to you when you are drinking? The alcohol is absorbed into the blood, and the effects hit you after 5 to 10 minutes. The influence of the alcohol on you and your body has its peak after approximately 30 to 90 minutes.
That means that the alcohol is there in your body for an extended period, and it’s influencing you and your behavior.
If you drink a large amount of alcohol, you can feel weakness, drowsiness, and sleepiness. It’s crucial for mothers that have been drinking to not sleep in the same bed with their babies because their reflexes are affected.
When it comes to long periods of alcohol consumption, there is a possibility of decreased milk-ejection reflex, and the baby can gain abnormal weight.
How much alcohol is normal for a mother that breastfeeds?
Many mothers have waited for nine months to drink one glass of wine, but what now when they need to breastfeed? But you shouldn’t worry.
You can still have a glass of your favorite alcohol; you need to stop at one glass. And a good thing to know is that very little alcohol comes to the milk. But that still doesn’t mean that you should drink just before breastfeeding. The safest way is to wait at least 2 hours before breastfeeding after an alcoholic beverage.
Things you need to know and consider
There are some things that you should consider before deciding on the amount of alcohol you will want to drink.
First, you should consider your size. Just like in high school, stronger and bigger girls could drink more. Why is that? Because the more you weight, you can metabolize alcohol quicker.
A crucial thing you should know is that a newborn is born with immature organs. The organs and what’s more important are the liver being developed, which means that it can be more affected by alcohol.
The more alcohol you consume, the more is likely to come out into milk and affect the baby. The more alcohol you drink, the more time it needs to pass before you are safe to breastfeed your baby because it takes more time for alcohol to clear the body.
A good thing to do while drinking alcohol is to eat. It’s because if you consume alcohol with food, it decreases its absorption.
Myths about alcohol consumption and breastfeeding
There have been some stories that drinking alcohol can stimulate milk production. And that’s not true. Drinking alcohol won’t stimulate milk production. Babies even drink less milk if the mother has been drinking in a period of 3 to 4 hours before breastfeeding.
Pumping and dumping milk if you’ve been drinking is not a thing. The alcohol is not located in your breast milk and pumping and dumping it won’t speed up the process of it leaving your body. The alcohol level declines over time, and that’s the only way it will leave the body. Nothing can speed this process, so it’s best just to wait.
If there is an occasion where you’ve drunk a lot of alcoholic beverages, you shouldn’t breastfeed at all. Mothers need to be completely sober, which means the alcohol has left the bloodstream, capable of breastfeeding.
Advice on breastfeeding and alcohol consumption
If you want to have one drink to relax or when you go out with your girls it’s totally fine. You have deserved it, and you should go. Just remember to wait a few hours before nursing.
If you have a party or a celebration planned and you want to drink, the best idea is to pump out the milk and store it away so you can feed your baby. Also, your breasts may become full, and in that can you can pump the milk and dump it.
But the best advice we can give you about breastfeeding and alcohol is not to breastfeed and drink at all. It is also the safest way and the only case that your baby will be a hundred percent safe and not affected by alcohol.
It’s just like “don’t drink and drive”, or should we say “don’t drink and breastfeed”.
It’s essential to be responsible, to know your boundaries, and always first think about your child’s safety.