Alcohol and breastfeeding

(20 Posts)
SkiBunnnnny Sat 30-Mar-13 18:07:06

My HV gave me a chart which said that for my weight I need to weight I need to wait 3.2 hours per unit of alcohol drank until I can breastfeed again. A bottle of beer is 1.7 units. That means 5 hours and 24 minutes until I can feed again. Does that seem right or is that over cautious?

HumphreyCobbler Sat 30-Mar-13 18:10:22

I think this is over cautious. I had the odd glass of wine when I was breastfeeding, I didn't ever get totally plastered but i wasn't about to martyr myself in the cause of breastfeeding.

I was told if you feel fine to drive you're fine to feed grin not sure how true that is hmm

StarsAboveYou Sat 30-Mar-13 18:15:03

I was also not against having a glass of wine (or even 2 sometimes) and would still feed my DS.

As previous poster said I would never get plastered but I didn't mind having a glass of wine with dinner knowing I may need to feed afterwards.

I was much more cautious when DS was a newborn but the older he got the more I relaxed.

My MW advised that a glass or 2 of wine will have very little impact on your milk and when she was a new mother it was recommended to help you relax!

I'm currently BFing and am quite relaxed about it. The odd glass every now and then is going to be ok. Agree if you're safe enough to drive etc...

MandragoraWurzelstock Sat 30-Mar-13 18:20:10

I had some cider the other day and was so unused to it that I felt really sick, and it gave me a headache. This was on about 1/3 of a bottle hmm

I didn't notice any difference in ds though who is 3 months old

I hope it didn't affect him. I never normally drink but I had a nostalgic moment in the supermarket, and they didn't have any of the alcohol free version - never again!

SkiBunnnnny Sat 30-Mar-13 19:00:16

Thanks for the replies. That's pretty much what I thought. Maybe that is the time until any trace of alcohol has left your system and they have to tell you that the same as they have to tell you no alcohol while pregnant when a lot of people think its fine to have an occasional glass?

Ski over here they say you can drink a small amount in pregnancy

SkiBunnnnny Sat 30-Mar-13 19:10:44

Oh, I see. What I've been told is that a small amount is ok but the official line is none at all because there is no safe limit.

They seem to say something different on the news each week hmm

Finallygotaroundtoit Sat 30-Mar-13 19:13:00

Ski, who produces the chart - is it an NHS one? Never heard of one before.

Usual advice is OK to bf if OK to drive - and older babies less of a worry.

SkiBunnnnny Sat 30-Mar-13 19:35:54

I'm in Canada, just got given it by the health visitor.

Funnily enough, over here people seem to be stricter about drinking and pregnancy/bf but more lax about drink driving than the UK (still illegal but much more socially acceptable). I was 5m pregnant at my wedding and BIL was shock that I had a small glass of wine!

vicmom Sat 30-Mar-13 19:39:49

I am a new mum myself but i asked my local bf support group this question and they said the old if youre safe to drive youre safe to bf. She said that you can drink up to two units without stopping bfing as long as its after a feed so your body has time to process it before the next feed. She said your body processes alcohol in breast milk at the same rate as it processes alcohol in your blood. She also said prefferably take the drink with food. Anything over two units you need toallow 12 hours for the alcohol to leave your body before you resume bf.

Sticking to these guidelines, i went to a wedding on thursday and had a small bucks fizz and two small glasses of wine throughout the course of the day. One glass of wine was straight after a feed and with my meal, and the second was around 3 hours later straight after a feed. DS was absolutely fine. It was enough to allow me to feel that id joined in with the fun without feeling drunk or like i was putting baby at risk

smaths Sat 30-Mar-13 20:12:42

I didn't drink when DD was newborn (I think mainly because I was too tired!) but once BF was well established I allowed myself a glass of wine or 2 or a beer the odd time if I fancied it. The alcohol content of BM is the same as your blood alcohol level - this would be 0.08% if you were at the legal drink drive limit so it really is unlikely to affect the baby. Some fruit juices have more alcohol in them!

TheCountessOlenska Sat 30-Mar-13 20:25:29

I just drank as normal when breastfeeding - on occasion got a bit tipsy blush. DD is 3 now, breastfed till she was 2 - bright as a button, early to crawl/walk etc. I don't see how breastfeeding is sustainable in the long term unless you continue to live your life as you usually would do.

(I am more cautious about drink with a newborn, just because I am worried I might drop them!)

leedy Sat 30-Mar-13 20:40:34

"Anything over two units you need toallow 12 hours for the alcohol to leave your body before you resume bf. "

That sounds frankly ridiculous, if you had three units of alcohol (aka a pint and a half) there'd be no alcohol in your system at all in less time than that. Unless you're incredibly tiny. Or drank about ten units in one go (I suspect feeding straight after necking an entire bottle of vodka might be inadvisable).

Weissdorn Sat 30-Mar-13 21:21:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vicmom Sat 30-Mar-13 22:49:53

Leedy - as I said I was literally just quoting what the lady at my local bf support organisation advised me when I rang up (I said support group in my original msg sorry but I meant support org, so it was an 'official' source).

Was just hoping to offer a bit of advice from what I'd been told but I'm glad you said it sounded a long time because it did to me too and made me think that based on that, if I drank more than a couple of units, I'd have to have enough expressed breast milk for the next 12 hours worth of feeds which did seem excessive!

BartletForTeamGB Sun 31-Mar-13 08:37:38

When pregnant, the RCOG say it is fine to have 1-2 units of alcohol a week.

When breastfeeding, the Breastfeeding Network say it is fine to drink a small amount of alcohol. Google 'breastfeeding network alcohol' (on my phone, sorry) for the information leaflet.

Even when I was donating milk to the local NICU so it was being given to very prem babies, I was told it was fine to drink 1-2 units of alcohol a week & had no restrictions on when.

it sounds like these rules are a Canadian thing or an odd HV thing!

leedy Sun 31-Mar-13 10:28:41

Yeah, vicmom, I figured you'd just been given some very odd advice!

I'm on the "continuing your normal life"(ish) bench too. I was talking to a woman at my local BF support group the other day who was thinking about giving up completely when she went back to work - one of the reasons she quoted was "I had a lovely glass of wine last night and I really really wanted another one but I knew I couldn't because I'm still breastfeeding". She then did the FACE OF STARTLEMENT when I said that, er, she had a huge nine month old who was well established on solids and if I was her, I would certainly have had the other glass. And possibly another one as well. I think I am my local BF group's Bad Influence...

(though in all seriousness, as mentioned above, very very little alcohol gets into your milk - not that you should be skulling back the pints and then feeding your newborn on a regular basis, but I think even the "safe to drive" rule is very, very cautious, you would probably need to be so drunk you couldn't hold the baby for a truly dangerous amount of alcohol to get into them)

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