Breastfeeding and Alcohol Side Effects

All mothers should be concerned about breastfeeding and alcohol side effects. Although breastfeeding mothers aren’t told to avoid consuming alcohol, they might wonder about the effects that alcohol could have on their babies.

Breastfeeding and Alcohol Side Effects


You should know that less than 2% of the alcohol consumed gets into the breast milk. This means that the effects on the baby are really minor unless you consume large amounts of it, which is highly unlikely in case of new mothers.

Effects on the baby

One of the studies done in the field of the negative effects of breastfeeding and alcohol found that the babies whose mothers consumed alcohol experienced a change in their sleep pattern and they slept less. However, if the mother has more alcohol (meaning more than a drink per day), it may affect the development of her baby even more.

The babies of the mothers who drink have a slower weight gain and it is possible for them to suffer from a delay in the development of motor skills. Newborn babies are sensitive to changes of this kind, because their liver isn’t fully developed yet.

When thinking about the alcohol and breastfeeding negative effects, you have to remember that the baby’s liver can’t process alcohol. The babies over the age of three months can handle alcohol better if it comes through the breast milk.

Time frame

It is interesting to know regarding the breastfeeding and alcohol side effects that the alcohol level of the breast milk is the same as the alcohol level of the blood. This means that it isn’t recommended to breastfeed 60-90 minutes after consuming alcohol because this is when the alcohol level is at its peak.

The women interested in the adverse effects of alcohol and breastfeeding ought to know that alcohol doesn’t stay in the milk, but it returns to the blood so you don’t have to remove the milk before you start breastfeeding. The liver can process about an oz. of alcohol in three hours’ time. Nonetheless your baby may be too hungry for you to wait that long.

As you can see, you don’t have to give up alcohol, but you do have to think about the breastfeeding and alcohol side effects and weigh whether or not it is worth to risk the health of your child.


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