For breastfeeding mothers, abstaining from alcohol is the safest option. Moderate alcohol intake by a breastfeeding mother (up to 1 standard drink per day) is generally not thought to harm the baby, especially if the mother waits at least 2 hours after a single drink before nursing.
Alcohol and breastfeeding don't blend well. There is no such thing as a safe amount of alcohol in breast milk for a baby to drink.
When you drink alcohol, it reaches amounts in your breast milk that are similar to those in your bloodstream. Although a breast-fed baby is only exposed to a fraction of the alcohol consumed by his or her mother, a newborn's body removes alcohol at half the pace of an adult.
Does Alcohol Actually Go Into Breastmilk?
The short and not so sweet answer is yes! A little amount of alcohol goes into breast milk when a nursing mother drinks alcohol, and the amount varies in proportion to the amount in the mother's blood. It peaks half an hour to an hour after consuming alcohol and then gradually fades. The longer it takes to get rid of alcohol, the more it takes to get rid of it.
Should The Nursing Moms Say By-by To Alcohol?
It's better to stay away from the Oh so tempting booze during your breastfeeding journey. During the first three months of your baby's life, it's advisable to avoid alcohol. Your kid will be exposed to whatever alcohol you consume through your breastfeeding.
The liver of your infant is still undeveloped. That he can't process alcohol as efficiently as you can. Until he's three months old, your baby can only metabolise alcohol half as rapidly as you can. Breastmilk containing alcohol may also impede the growth of infants.
Remember that breastfeeding works best when you feed your baby on demand, so your body may not have enough time to clear itself of the alcohol in between feeds. The length of time it takes for the alcohol to leave your body depends on your weight and if you've eaten or had a soft drink.
As a result, determining when it's safe to feed your infant after an alcoholic drink might be difficult. After a drink, the level of alcohol in your system rises anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes later. Alcohol may take longer to exit your bloodstream if you're on antibiotics, so keep that in mind.
You can begin to soften the rules once your baby is a few months old. He is unlikely to be harmed by drinking one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week.
Busting Myths Surrounding Alcohol And Breastfeeding
Your body will metabolise alcohol at a consistent, even rate if you are healthy. Your body will not get rid of the alcohol faster if you drink water or rest.
Expressing and discarding breastmilk (pumping and dumping) will not speed up the removal of alcohol from your milk. Pumping and dumping without thinking, trust us is not worth it. Keep reading further to know from where did this pumping and dumping myth evolve.
What Should I Do If I Really Want To Drink Alcohol During Breastfeeding?
You can plan ahead of time if you have a special occasion coming up when you're likely to drink extra. After daytime feedings, extract milk and preserve it so your baby can get it when he's hungry.
Before breastfeeding your infant again, give yourself adequate time for the alcohol to leave your bloodstream and milk. Before breastfeeding your baby, wait two to three hours after you've had a drink.
If you've had too much to drink and are sick, wait until the next morning to nurse your baby and rely on extracted milk in the interim.
If your breasts get too full to bear while you're on leave, express to relieve the pressure but discard the milk. PS- This is the root from where people assumed pump and dump. They got it all wrong.
Do remember moms, everything in limit is fine. Don't try to get overboard with alcohol as well, don't test the calm waters. And, consult your doctor if you're concerned that you're drinking too much.