For sure you have heard that it’s not a good idea to be breastfeeding and alcohol consuming at the same time.
Nonetheless you shouldn’t think that you can’t have anything to drink while you are breastfeeding. The most important thing to keep in mind is to do it with reason.
Information on consuming alcohol while breastfeeding
According to the latest researches, it is alright to have a drink from time to time and this doesn’t represent any threat to the little one. The reason for which women should avoid alcohol while breastfeeding is that it infiltrates into the breast milk and it could also inhibit the production of milk.
Nonetheless when it comes to having alcohol while breastfeeding you should know that you could have one single glass of some alcoholic beverage from time to time.
If you do so you shouldn’t be feeding the baby for the following couple of hours, so timing could be quite difficult.
According to specialists if women are thinking about breastfeeding and alcohol, they should make sure that they don’t have beverages of this kind more than two times per week.
In case you do drink, according to the specialists you could feed the baby as soon as you feel normal from a neurologic point of view.
Another interesting thing to know regarding having alcohol while breastfeeding is that you don’t need to pump and then dump the milk just because you have been drinking. Such a practice doesn’t speed up the elimination of alcohol from your system or from the breast milk.
As a conclusion we can say regarding breastfeeding and alcohol that if you feel sober enough to be driving, you could be breastfeeding as well. Only about 2% of the alcohol consumed reaches the milk and the peak of this is about 1-1 ½ hours after you had your drink.
Naturally there are some other factors as well that should be taken into consideration regarding alcohol while breastfeeding such as the food intake, the weight of the mother and the body fat percentage. Alcohol doesn’t accumulate in the milk or in the blood and it leaves milk just as it leaves the blood.
This means regarding breastfeeding and alcohol that if the alcohol level of the blood drops, so will the alcohol levels of the milk. It is important to keep in mind the age of the little one when thinking about alcohol. The liver of the baby is quite immature and it cannot process alcohol.
In case you are thinking about alcohol while breastfeeding you should know that until the babies get three months old their liver processes alcohol at half of the rate of a grown up. An older baby can process it at a faster pace, so it’s not that big of a problem.
Effects of alcohol
There are some beliefs regarding breastfeeding and alcohol that it would increase the milk production. This isn’t necessarily true, still one of the studies have shown that a drink could increase the milk production after 3-4 hours by 23% in case you have only one drink.
On the other hand, when considering having alcohol while breastfeeding, you should know that two or more drinks have the opposite effect, of inhibiting milk production. Alcohol could also change the sleeping pattern of the baby. Those babies whose mothers were light drinkers seemed to be sleeping less.
All in all we can say that breastfeeding and alcohol drinking don’t really go hand in hand, and you should make a decision regarding which one you want more. Still you don’t need to practice total abstinence.