Drinking Alcohol whilst Breastfeeding

CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL WHILST BREASTFEEDING?

YES, YOU CAN BUT DON’T GET SHITFACED, DON’T DRINK EVERY DAY AND IDEALLY PLAN AHEAD SO YOU CAN FACTOR IT IN TO YOUR USUAL TIMING OF FEEDS.

1. One standard drink (150mL 12% wine, one nip of spirits, a middy of beer) will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 60 minutes to reach your blood stream and then up to two hours to be cleared from your blood stream.

2. TIME is what will clear alcohol from your blood stream, and so it is TIME that will clear alcohol from your milk stream! Don’t pump and dump thinking that you’ve hurried it along.

3. If you are going to drink, do so as you are feeding or right after a feed so that when your next feeding session is likely to be due you ought to have cleared ONE drink from your breastmilk.

4. IF your baby wakes, rouses, fusses or needs for any reason to feed before two hours has passed, it’s OK you can still feed! The Australian Breastfeeding Association says so, go there and read it: ABA: Breastfeeding and alcohol.

5. IF you are planning on drinking more than one standard drink every two hours then pump ahead of time but unless you are shitfaced plastered and can’t stand up, it should still be OK to breastfeed on the isolated occasion that you might accidentally drink half a bottle of wine.

6. Note that I wrote in point 1 that a standard glass of wine is 150mL? Well I pour my wine using a 1/3 cup measure. Yes I do. That’s 80mL. So I can have “two” glasses of wine (it’s a head trick!) across the night and still be OK to feed my baby on demand, pretty much. I don’t drink spirits very often at all and I have a piccolo of bubbly every now and then, but I pour it in two serves across a whole evening. I don’t get drunk.

7. I don’t get drunk! I drink to enjoy the taste of a good red, the nice feeling of doing something grown up and the (probably placebo) affect of calmness I feel after a small glass of wine. So don’t get drunk! Just enjoy one or two nice drinks of choice when you fancy (not every night!) and relax about it. Naysayers will naysay but FFS I personally feel that a daily diet inclusive of Diet Coke, soft white bread, ready made sauces etc. is worse than a few careful measures of wine per week.

8. You’d be surprised how many women drink Diet Coke each day and eat white bread and use Maggi flavour packets and think it’s a well balanced diet.

9. Someone on Instagram told me that “nursing and wine don’t mix” because I used the hashtag #wineplease to which I say: if you are nursing you have a child, if you have a child you are busy as fuck, if you are busy as fuck you need a wee glass of red from time to time. Uneducated judgement and Instagram don’t mix.

10. I am not encouraging you to drink whilst breastfeeding, I am not saying go ahead and have that West Coast Cooler at the park at 1pm on a Wednesday, I am not suggesting that you take up drinking if you have been holding off. I am saying that it’s OK to have a glass of alcohol at that wedding/party/dinner/at home at the end of a shitty day.

breastfeeding_alcohol

CHEERS!

~Yours thinking you’re tops for breastfeeding, K180, x

 

Comments

  1. Great article. Could you do one on drinking before (as in pre-conception) and during pregnancy? Keen to hear your thoughts.

  2. Go Katie! How great is a glass of wine at the end of a shitty day!

  3. Amazing and beautifully said! Because the (admittedly) placebo effect I feel after even a couple sips of wine–the feeling that I’m calm and patient and can breathe–is just as important as the all organic, protein-rich, dairy-free diet I stick to for my little guy! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

    • My pleasure. Seriously the anti-breastfeeding propoganda that subversively promotes formula feeding by putting fear into mothers about every little thing they do in their lives now that that have a human feeding from them is just NOT ON.

      Consider a mother with a teething 6mo who hasn’t slept properly for a week and she thinks she can’t have a drink, so her friend/mother/doctor says “Why not try formula he/she is 6mo now you’ve done great!” and she thinks “Hmm, yes it would be nice to get a break” and then she introduces a bottle or two and so her supply dips (because breastmilk production is suppply:demand.) After a month or so she is able to go out for a night with her friends because the dad can feed the baby; and then she realises if she uses formula at nighttime she can get the dad to do a bottle overnight so she can get some sleep.

      And after a few months she says “Oh he/she was fussing at the breast, they weren’t interested, there wasn’t much milk left anyway” and it all travels back to feeling vulnerable and tired and not having the correct information about what’s NORMAL for a baby (which is NOT to sleep through the night and NOT to go hours without feeding and NOT to settle away from mother and NOT to be OK without a nipple in their mouth when it’s loaded with swollen teeth holes) and also the correct information about how breastmilk is made and that even one bottle a day will impact on this.

      You SEE why I’m so passionate? There’s SO much misinformation and scare-mongering out there and it comes with a big ol’ AGENDA: sell formula.

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