When you're a new breastfeeding mom, you're still eating for two. And you're hydrating to boost your milk supply. But when it comes to drinking alcohol, what do today's breastfeeding moms need to know? We've scoured the interwebs so you don't have to. Here are three things to know about booze and breastfeeding.
What You Need To Know About Booze And Breastfeeding
There's no shortage of advice for new moms around just about every single topic, but the consensus is clear around breastfeeding and drinking. The key word? Moderation.
1) Occasional Moderation Is Key
Breastfeeding mamas can raise a glass and toast the experts. The research shows that while alcohol does show up in your milk supply just as it does your bloodstream, very little of it gets passed along to your baby. According to the experts, it's fine to have a drink in moderation. If you're worried, enjoy a glass after you've breastfed (rather than before or during) and wait two hours to nurse again. (To read the experts yourself, KellyMom offers a great overview of relevant studies.
2) Booze And Your Milk Supply
Exercise the same judgment you use for drinking and driving. Your body processes and metabolizes alcohol in your breast milk at the same rate as your blood stream. Contrary to some myths, drinking does not increase your milk supply. In fact, it might even reduce it because it can inhibit let-down and leave your body dehydrated. So go ahead and enjoy a drink, but be sure to drink plenty of water to replenish your fluids.
3) Pump And Dump Days Are Done
Pump and dump is a catchy phrase but may not be necessary. Alcohol in your breast milk mirrors your blood alcohol levels and both peak about 40 minutes after you've had a glass. After that, your body will start metabolizing the alcohol, clearing it from both your bloodstream and your breast milk. (Of course, different body types metabolize alcohol differently, so factor that in when you're considering your own choices). The good news? Alcohol doesn't accumulate in breast milk any more than it does in your blood, so there’s no need to pour that liquid gold down the drain.
Mamas, your body is amazing for birthing and nourishing a new being. And we think that's just one more reason to celebrate!