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Breastfeeding and alcohol

by Nikki Montgomery

Most breastfeeding moms have had the debate with themselves over whether or not they can or should have that beer or glass of wine. I've had the conversation with my doctor who I can trust to give me an honest answer not one that he was told to give me. He told me it's best to stay away from alcohol all together, but having one once in a while is okay. If you have a drink it takes about an hour for your body to process that alcohol so don't breastfeed for an hour after you have a drink. The best thing to do is plan ahead and pump and save milk if you plan on going out for a night of drinking. Or give your baby formula for a few hours. Even if you strictly breastfeed a few bottles of formula is not going to hurt your baby. Formula is not poison, Lora Harris, RN & lactation consultant at Ministry Saint Michael's Hospital, tells me it's just not as good for baby as mother's milk.  

There is very little scientific evidence to say whether or not it's okay to drink and breastfeed your baby. No one really knows how much alcohol gets into your breastmilk and whether or not that can harm your baby. But it is known that alcohol is a toxin and that there is a chance that if it gets into your baby's system it could hurt your baby's brain development. 

In my opinion the less risk the better, but I deprived myself of alcohol for 9 months so if I want to have a beer at a birthday party I'll have one right after I finish breastfeeding and I'll limit myself to 1 to allow plenty of time for it to work it's way out of my system before the next feeding. My advice is just be smart and always keep your baby's health top priority.

I came across this story today about a mom who was arrested for drinking while breastfeeding. She was at a restaurant and the waitress that called the police was fired. The waitress saw empty drink glasses and beer bottles around the breastfeeding mother and thought that her baby was in danger. The police agreed because they arrested the mother, who claims she only had 2 beers, for child endangerment. Read the full story here  and share your opinion below. Do you think the waitress did the right thing? Do you feel like the mother did something wrong

If you want the best advice on this topic talk to your doctor.

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