FRIDAY MYTH BUSTER: “A mother should not drink alcohol while breastfeeding.”

“Not true! REASONABLE alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all. As is the case with most drugs, very little alcohol comes out in the milk. The mother can take some alcohol and continue breastfeeding as she normally does. Prohibiting alcohol is another way we make life unnecessarily restrictive for breastfeeding mothers.”      ~Dr. Jack Newman

Toasting during the holidays with occasional small amounts of alcohol does not create a need to pump & dump milk after drinking alcohol, other than for mom’s comfort — pumping & dumping does not speed the elimination of alcohol from the milk. Breastfeeding 2 or more hours after consumption is advised. The alcohol content in the breastmilk decreases at the same rate as it decreases in the blood level.

**Chronic, regular, heavy, or binge drinking of alcohol is NOT advised.

**Co-sleeping is NOT advised if the breastfeeding mom or partner are under the influence of alcohol.

**Mothers who have been drinking alcohol should never let themselves be in a situation where they might fall asleep with the baby; on a bed, chair or settee (this would also apply to other carers who have been drinking alcohol).

**Drinking alcohol reduces the ability of the mother to be aware of the baby’s needs, whether she is breastfeeding or not. It is safest to ask someone else to care for the baby. ~ The Breastfeeding Network

**Click on the link below for more facts for the breastfeeding parent to make informed decisions:

Current research says that occasional use of alcohol (1-2 drinks) does not appear to be harmful to the nursing baby.
Per Hale (2012), “mothers who ingest alcohol in moderate amounts can generally return to breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal.”                                  ~Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC @  www.Kellymom.com

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