Current research indicates that the occasional use of alcohol (1-2 glasses) does not seem to be harmful to the baby.
Most of mothers that ingesting alcohol in moderate quantities generally can return to breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal.
For nursing mothers, alcoholic beverages should be minimized and limited to an occasional drink, but not more than 0.5 g of alcohol per kg body weight. Nursing should take place two hours or more after the consumption of alcohol to reduce its concentration in the ingested “milk.
Many experts recommend not to drink more than 1-2 drinks per week.
It is not necessary to pump and discard the milk after drinking alcohol, other than for the comfort of mom – pumping and dumping does not speed the elimination of alcohol from the milk.
Alcohol does not increase milk production, and has been shown to prevent disappointment and decrease milk production
If you are away from your baby, try to pump as often as baby usually nurses (this is to maintain milk supply, not because of the alcohol). At the very least, pump or hand express whenever you feel ill at ease full – this will help you avoid plugged ducts and mastitis.
Always keep in mind the age of your child when thinking of alcohol effects. A newborn has a very immature liver, so minute amounts of alcohol would be more of a burden. Remember Up to about 3 months of age, infants detoxify alcohol at around half the rate of an adult. An older baby or toddler can metabolize the alcohol more quickly.
Effects of alcohol on breastfeeding your baby
Alcohol does not increase milk production. In fact, babies nurse more frequently but take in less milk in the 3-4 hours after the mother had a drink, and one study showed a 23% decrease in milk volume with one drink.
Another study showed changes in the sleep-wake cycle structure of the baby after short-term exposure to small amounts of alcohol in breast milk -babies whose mothers were light drinkers slept less.
Increasing the risk of slow weight gain of the babies has been shown in researches as a daily consumption of alcohol.
Think of the risks and benefits of alcohol breastfeeding
Many mothers find themselves in a situation where they may want to drink. Maybe you go to a wedding where the wine will be served. Or maybe you go on a girls night out, or a date with your husband. Whatever the reason, you may have concerns about alcohol and the possible effects on your baby. It is a good idea to weigh the benefits of breastfeeding against the potential benefits and risks of alcohol consumption. You may find the following suggestions helpful.
If you want to drink, but are concerned about the effect on your baby, you can store some expressed breast milk for the occasion
You can choose to wait for the alcohol to clear your system before breastfeeding
If your breasts are full until the alcohol clear, you can hand express or pump, discarding the milk you express
If alcohol consumption during breastfeeding is worrying you, consider enjoying a soft drink instead. Any drink is more fun with an umbrella in it!