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Alcohol and Breastfeeding
By Anna Burbidge – Le Leche League GB
With all the holiday festivities in full swing we thought you breastfeeding moms might find this information helpful.
“Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all. As is the case with most drugs, very little alcohol comes out in the milk. The mother can take some alcohol and continue breastfeeding as she normally does. Prohibiting alcohol is another way we make life unnecessarily restrictive for nursing mothers.” ~ Dr. Jack Newman
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Breastfeeding mothers often receive conflicting advice about whether alcohol consumption can have an effect on their baby, which can leave them feeling like they have more questions than answers. While women are often warned not to consume alcohol during pregnancy due to evidence that it could cause damage to an unborn child, the risks of consuming alcohol while breastfeeding are not as well defined.
Alcohol is present in a woman’s milk at the same level as in her blood: it rises and falls along with it. If you know your blood alcholol level, you know your milk alcolol level.Alchol passes freely into mother’s milk and has been found to peak about 30 to 60 minutes after consumption.
Alcohol also freely passes out of a mother’s milk and her system so there is rarely a need to pump and throw it away. If the alcohol has gone from her blood it has gone from her milk.
When a breastfeeding mother drinks occasionally and limits her consumption to one drink the amount of alcohol her baby receives has not been proven to be harmful. Mother’s who have been drinking should not bed share with their baby’s
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