When pregnant, women are told not to drink alcohol, since it has bad effect to the unborn baby. After delivery, women question whether or not they are allowed to drink some wine and beer while breastfeeding.
Acceptable Amount of Alcohol per day
Alcohol is allowed to drink as long as it does not exceed maximum amount per day, which is 0.5 gram per 1 kilogram of body weight. Converted, it is maximum 1 drink for women and twice amount for men per day. On the other words, it is two beers a day for women. This is the maximum amount safe for breastfed baby. Despite this, avoid consuming alcohol might be best for your baby.
Does Alcohol Affect Breast Milk
As for the effect of alcohol intake toward breastfeeding is quite significant. Alcohol that you have taken will circulate through the body with your blood. It is also tied to breast milk and hence, can be transferred to your child’s body. It emerges into your blood and your milk soon enough after drunk. As long as you do not drink more than the suggested amount, alcohol should be acceptable for your baby’s health although it still does have some effects.
Effects of Alcohol to Breastfed Baby
After knowing that alcohol consumed will be emerged to blood and other body fluids, you have to be really wise in taking some. Ethanol, the main substance in alcoholic drinks is reported to reduce 20 percent of breast milk production and to affect milk odor. However, the polysaccharide, the main substance of non-alcoholic beer can promote increasing production of prolactin release. Despite this, do not use alcohol or other alcohol-like substances to stimulate your breast milk. It is safe to stimulate your milk production with natural diets. Furthermore, when alcohol-exposed breast milk is consumed by baby, it will result in motoric weakness, prolonged sleep, and tiredness. It is to be concerned that one drink per day is acceptable amount of alcohol baby can take, so you should not breastfeed if you are a heavy-alcohol drinker.
Do I have to wait to Breastfeed after Drinking Alcohol?
As most substances going into our body, alcohol will be excreted through urine and sweat. Of course, it takes some time. That is why you should wait before breastfeed your baby after taking some alcoholic beverages. Despite our variations in digestive system, three hours is scientifically advised as the length of time you should wait to breastfeed after taking some alcohol. Alcohol level in women blood—as well as breast milk will commonly reach its peak within 30 to 90 minutes after taken. Hence, in around three hours our body will have to be able to digest it. Your body reaction toward alcohol can also be signs whether you have waited enough to start breastfeed again. When you are still feeling light-headed, nauseous, or hangover, you should not start your breastfeeding yet. These are the signs that the alcohol is still reaching its peak inside your body and is not digested completely yet. You also need to remember that pumping and disposing your breast milk after drinking will not fasten alcohol digestion inside your body. Instead, there are others things you can consider.
- If you really need to consume some alcohol, such as those morphine medication while you will need to breastfeed your baby soon after, be sure to store some milk before. You can pump the milk and keep it refrigerated so that you do not leave your baby starved while waiting for your time to continue breastfeeding. By doing this, you will not rush to feed your baby and end up feeding small amount of alcoholic milk to your baby.
- Pump and dump your breast milk if you feed your baby with bottled milk. Although this will not eliminate alcohol in your body, this can be a pain relief to your breasts that comes when you skip breastfeeding. It will prevent you from getting nipple soreness.
Being a breastfeeding mother will require a lot of thinking before taking something into your body. You should remember that whatever you put into your body will affect your baby’s food. Healthy diets and beverages will be the best solution.