BFing and drinking

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
BFing and drinking
9
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 10:03am

I haven't had a drink in over a year and since I'm exclusively BFing, I haven't bothered to figure out how long alcohol stays in BM and all that. Even though some days I'd kill for a margarita, I guess I'm too lazy to pump and dump. LOL


The other day, I was at a happy hour at someone's house for my mom's group. Since I'm nursing, I just had lemonade.


One mom who has a 3 yo DD and just had a baby with a heart condition 3 weeks ago (and is exclusively BFing AFAIK) was sitting next to me and kept commenting that she hoped her baby would sleep the whole time so she could have a beer. Once she nursed the baby and put him back in his car seat, she cracked open a beer and began drinking. Of course the baby woke up and wanted to eat again so she picked him up and began nursing him and when he was done, proceeded to finish her beer!! This totally shocked me but I could be mistaken how long it takes alcohol to reach BM.


Am I just naive or is this normal??


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 10:34am

Completely fine. The amount of alcohol in breast milk is low as long as you aren't tipsy you can nurse after a drink. No need to pump and dump. I don't normally drink, but I have had drinks while nursing. I tend to keep it to one drink, but I enjoy a margarita or a martini on occasion while nursing and have nursed shortly after finishing without worrying about it at all.

There is never a reason to pump and dump, unless you are full and need relief, if you are to drunk to nurse you can just wait till you are not drunk. Alcohol enters and leaves breast milk the same way it does the blood stream so pumping and dumping does nothing but make you feel more comfortable.












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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2007
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 10:41am

So I was going to try and answer your questions, but Kellymom of course has all the info I was going to say, plus more (and more accurate)!
http://www.kellymom.com/health/lifestyle/alcohol.html

I feel comfortable having one drink every once in a while, and I do try to time it so I drink right after Barrett has nursed (for example, I went to several weddings, and Barrett stayed home with his grandparents so I knew I wouldn't be nursing him for a while). Personally, I would not have felt comfortable drinking when Barrett was 3 weeks old since you never knew when he would want to nurse again. I'm still nursing Barrett at 14.5 months, and I think part of our success was that I never felt nursing was a burden (well except the first few weeks!).

And as a side note, you don't have to pump and dump. You just have to wait until the alcohol is out of your system - it's also out of your breast milk then. And one margarita should only take a couple hours to clear out - so cheers!!!

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Avatar for sandyc299
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2008
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 10:42am
I've had a glass of wine and no problems. I wouldn't breastfeed if I had a lot more than my normal limit but if it was a glass or 2 no big deal.
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Thanks for the wonderful siggie Heather


David Nicholas 12/5/09
Expecting a GIRL 3/23/13

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2005
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 10:52am

I didnt really drink much before Maxim was a month old just because of all the cluster feedings and trying to figure out how long he can go between feeds. Now I drink a glass or two of wine after nursing him or at dinner and have no problem because he usually goes 3 hours between feeds.

On Saturday, I only had one drink during the day when Maxim was with me and then after he left, I let loose and had a shot of whiskey and two full beer cups of red wine which is the equivalent of 6 drinks. I was quite happy, lol! No hangover at all. I just pumped and dumped twice to relieve engorgement and then nursed him when we got back to the cottage at 11am.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2010
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 2:43pm

Yeah Christine, as everyone has said, as long as you aren't DRUNK while nursing the baby there is no issue with drinking and BFing. Since the Mom you are describing was in the middle of her first beer when she BF the LO, she likely wasn't even tipsy at all, so it wouldn't affect the baby at all either.

Now that Selin is older and you can probably predict when she will want to nurse, feel free to have a drink (or even two!) right after nursing her and by the time she wants to eat again you will probably be fine to nurse her.

Basically unless you feel tipsy it is totally fine, and as others mentioned, you never need to pump and dump, the alcohol will leave the BM on its own.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 8:57pm

It was pointed out to me that really the best time to have a drink is while you're BFing, since it doesn't have time to enter your bloodstream, and it'll be the longest before they have to nurse again.

Beer is even sometime recommended to new moms as barley is good for milk production, and relaxing helps your let down reflex.

Alright, I'll just take any excuse to have a drink ;-)

~Lorien





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~Lorien





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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-08-2008
Mon, 07-19-2010 - 11:39pm

"Alright, I'll just take any excuse to have a drink ;-)"

LOL, Lorien! You sound a lot like me. I think we'd be good friends if we knew each other IRL!!






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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
Wed, 07-21-2010 - 7:37pm
Thanks everyone!! Very helpful info all around. :-)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Wed, 07-21-2010 - 9:27pm
I definitely didn't let BF-ing stop me from having a beer or two or a glass of wine.

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