BFing moms should not drink

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
BFing moms should not drink
50
Tue, 09-06-2011 - 2:53pm

Some say it is better that moms continue to BFand only drink in moderation - some wonder if mom should be drinking at all while she is BFing?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Wed, 09-07-2011 - 6:58pm

Symptoms of FAS that can not occur from nursing and alcohol:

  • Distinctive facial features, including small eyes, an exceptionally thin upper lip, a short, upturned nose, and a smooth skin surface between the nose and upper lip
  • Deformities of joints, limbs and fingers
  • Vision difficulties or hearing problems
  • Small head circumference and brain size (microcephaly)
  • Mental retardation and delayed development
  • Heart defects

Maybe these could, but to me it is clear that the above symptoms are serious:

Abnormal behavior, such as a short attention span, hyperactivity, poor impulse control, extreme nervousness and anxiety

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
Wed, 09-07-2011 - 9:30pm
nisupulla wrote:

I don't think i did that

No, no. You didn't do that. It is just that when there are strong blanket statements made about drinking and nursing (such as the headline or the March of Dimes), I think it is important to note that drinking and nursing is not on par with drinking while pregnant.

Maybe someday a study will show that even a little alcohol while breastfeeding has consequences, but they are not going to be as large as the consequences of not breastfeeding at all. I imagine it is possible that somehow a little alcohol could prime the pump and lead to excessive adult drinking, but I think it is very unlikely.

BTW. I sorta made a "there will never be any issues with alcohol and breastfeeding" statement. But really it was lazy writing. I think I was unclear then. We can not say unequivicably that nursing and alcohol is perfectly fine, but we can say with certainty it can't be as bad as nursing while pregnant (FAS) or not breastfeeding (formula).

Additionally, I think we both agree that not drinking and nursing is better for the baby than drinking even a little and nursing.

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 10:21am
witch_power wrote:
teresagem wrote:
witch_power wrote:

"0.0013 Ounces of alcohol may not sound like much, but studies have shown that babies sleep less and eat, on average, 20% less when there is any detectable level of alcohol in the breast milk."

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 10:45am
gespenst wrote:


I would propose we balance the harm of mom drinking a small amount of alcohol on an occasional basis and breastfeeding against the harm of moms deciding to formula feed (either from the beginning or after a short time of nursing) b/c they don't want to have to continue to abstain completely in order to BF.

I would wager advising BFing mothers that they can drink moderately (or less) would be the less risky option for babies.

This would refelct my own thoughts on the matter as well. The issues with formula use are well-researched. I wonder if there is a lot of information on the very occasional consumption of alcohol and the effects on the baby. eg a mother who has the equivalent of one or two standards drinks no more often than once a week? Surely, if the mother enjoyed a social drink on that basis, and also fed the baby just prior to drinking the alcohol, so that by the next feed the alcohol would have been cleared or mostly cleared from her system, then this would have to be a lot better than the known risks of formula.

Teresa

Community Leader
Registered: 10-01-2010
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 11:24am

My concern is that we not hide the risks of alcohol and BFing in fear of frightening off women from BFing at all. I do understand that it is a real fear, and yes, some may feel that they cannot BF if they must restrict their alcohol intake in any way.

But that is still not reason enough to hide or downplay any risks involved. Some do feel that one drink a day is moderation and would not harm a baby. I think that the research is saying that yes, it could do harm.

Women have come to accept that it is not safe to drink while pregnant, but they have continued to get pregnant. Hopefully one day they will feel the same about BFing, putting their baby's needs first and not simply opting to use formula instead.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 8:14pm

some may feel that they cannot BF if they must restrict their alcohol intake in any way.

Well, that person probably has a problem with alcohol, so they probably shouldn't nurse. No one has suggested that more than moderate drinking is compatible with breastfeeding.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-11-2006
Fri, 09-09-2011 - 2:28pm

At risk of beating that ole horse, I found this link just now when I finally got around to reading the Mama Bear article (which was very interesting).

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2005
Fri, 09-09-2011 - 8:24pm
I like it! Thanks Nisu!

 


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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-17-2007
Sun, 09-11-2011 - 6:27pm

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Actually, I disagree with this on a couple levels. One, there is not agreement that drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy is inherently harmful. That may be conventional wisdom in the U.S. and I think Canada as well but many other developed countries disagree. In fact, if you look at the studies that apparently prove that any alcohol is harmful, their are a lot of questions that go unanswered. And two, I know tons and tons of women, even in the U.S. where there is "no known safe level of consumption," who go ahead, get pregnant and drink anyway. I did, about two ounces of wine around Christmas at both pregnancies. When the conventional wisdom is that you shouldn't take even one drop while pregnant, you're going to have a whole lot of people who don't comply. And in fact, my OB when I was pg with E and my MW when I was pg with F advised me that an occasional drink would very likely be fine. So that goes back to the idea that it's not accepted as the rule across-the-board.

And I disagree with the idea that there is always some obvious choice for "putting their baby's needs first." I agree with your conclusion, but not the way it's drawn. Without conclusive evidence that consuming a reasonable amount of alcohol while nursing is harmful, it does not make sense to say that women who do are not putting their baby's needs first. So I feel it is unnecessary to either encourage women to stop all alcohol consumption while nursing OR to push them to ff instead.

Also, frankly I have a word to describe people who drink ten drinks on an average week: alcoholics. I don't mean people who go on vacation and drink more often than they would usually. But I've never known anyone who drank that often on a week-to-week basis who didn't have an alcohol problem.




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Thanks

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Mon, 09-12-2011 - 4:41am
hollyelizabeth2007 wrote:

<>

Actually, I disagree with this on a couple levels. One, there is not agreement that drinking any amount of alcohol during pregnancy is inherently harmful. That may be conventional wisdom in the U.S. and I think Canada as well but many other developed countries disagree. In fact, if you look at the studies that apparently prove that any alcohol is harmful, their are a lot of questions that go unanswered. And two, I know tons and tons of women, even in the U.S. where there is "no known safe level of consumption," who go ahead, get pregnant and drink anyway. I did, about two ounces of wine around Christmas at both pregnancies. When the conventional wisdom is that you shouldn't take even one drop while pregnant, you're going to have a whole lot of people who don't comply. And in fact, my OB when I was pg with E and my MW when I was pg with F advised me that an occasional drink would very likely be fine. So that goes back to the idea that it's not accepted as the rule across-the-board.

It is interesting how advice changes. When I was pregnant in the 1980s, books and all would say that bery small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy eg a glass or so on a very rare occasion, were totally fine. Foetal Alcohol Syndrome was more comprehensively studied and described a bit later I think, and then the advice became 'none at all', if you are pregnant, think you might be, or a trying, or there is a whiff in the air that it is possible.....