Breastfeeding and Alcohol
It's a real worry for some mothers: can you drink alcohol and still breastfeed? After quitting alcohol during pregnancy, surely it's okay to have the odd drink when you're breastfeeding...
Well, actually it's not all bad news! Despite most breastfeeding mothers concerns, you can drink alcohol and still breastfeed. However, you should limit yourself to the occasional drink and you should not drink to excess as alcohol crosses into breastmilk and can affect your baby.
Alcohol has also been shown to affect the production of breastmilk, so if you do drink alcohol your baby may feel unsatisfied and become frustrated during feeds. She may also try to feed more regularly after you have been drinking. This can lead to some breastfeeding problems for both you and your baby.
Current studies show that alcohol takes about the same amount of time to leave the breastmilk as to leave the bloodstream, so avoid feeding your baby breastmilk if you feel drunk or if you think you would fail a breath test. In other words, if you wouldn't feel safe to drive, then don't breastfeed!
Alcohol in breastmilk may affect your baby's growth and it can also make him sleepy. Prepare in advance to feed expressed milk if you know you will be drinking more than a couple of units of alcohol.
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