3 Things to Know About Holiday Booze and Breastfeeding (All Good News!)


The holidays are here and it's time to celebrate with friends and family. But when it comes to the nog, what do 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.

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1) Occasional Moderation Is Fine

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. And for more expert advice, read here.)

2) Booze And Your Milk Supply 

The key is to 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  

There's no need to pump and dump, unless it makes a mama feel better. Alcohol in your breast milk mirrors your blood alcohol levels and both peak about 40 minutes after a glass of alcohol.  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.

So this holiday season, mamas, celebrate how amazing your body is for birthing a new being and enjoy yourself in moderation!

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