Alcohol consumption and breastfeeding safety

Lactation Specialist Wendy Haldeman, IBCLC, shares advice for mothers on if and when it is safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding your baby
Drinking Alcohol While Breastfeeding Safety
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Alcohol consumption and breastfeeding safety

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After nine long months, many breastfeeding moms want to know if it's possible for them to have some alcohol. And I would say to that mom yes, as long as you understand how it works. Whatever amount of alcohol is going to be absorbed into your blood and therefore into your milk will peak in about 60 - 90 minutes and then will be broken down and leave your body. So essentially your blood alcohol level is equivalent to your milk alcohol level. So if you can time your drink with your baby's sleep, it would work out quite nicely. So you would start drinking right at the end of your breastfeeding or right after you've finished nursing, and then by the time your baby wakes up in three to four hours, the alcohol is really gone from your breast milk and it's safe to put your baby back on your breast. But let's say it's gonna be your birthday or your anniversary and you're gonna celebrate and you know you're going to have more than one serving of alcohol. So what you do is you plan ahead and you pump a couple of bottles of milk and you put them in your refrigerator, go off to your event, start drinking. Around four hours your breast are going to get really full, and you don't want to give that milk to your baby. So you're gonna pump it out and dump it, and your baby will get the milk that you had previously pumped ahead of time. There's actually a product called Milk Screen where you can test your milk to see if the alcohol is present or if it's safe to go ahead and put your baby back on your breast. It's kind of a nifty product.

Lactation Specialist Wendy Haldeman, IBCLC, shares advice for mothers on if and when it is safe to drink alcohol while breastfeeding your baby

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Wendy Haldeman, RN, MN, IBCLC

Lactation Specialist

Wendy Haldeman, MN, RN, IBCLC is a co-founder of the Pump Station and Nurtury. She received both her nursing and lactation education at UCLA, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and a certified Happiest Baby on the Block instructor. She lectures frequently on human lactation at medical and nursing schools and has been identified by publications, such as Fit Pregnancy, as an expert in her field. Wendy facilitates the New Mother Support groups, and teaches the prenatal Breastfeeding and Baby Care Classes at The Pump Station. She and her husband Tim are proud of their two grown daughters and their 15 month old granddaughter.

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