Worried my feeding has damaged my baby

(12 Posts)
Stupidstupidstupid77 Tue 08-Sep-15 14:02:12

I have a 6MO DS. Had IVF and a traumatic birth which probably makes my choice post birth even more confusing.
He is EBF. I made the decision not to give up alcohol whilst feeding. I love a drink as does DP and both our families and its huge part of our social life. I missed this massively while pregnant/ ttc

I thought this was an informed decision but constantly pushed the boundaries. Looking back, I think i was caught up in the emotion of a new baby- the happiness of having so many visitors admiring him, the love for DP, the loneliness of being alone all day meaning that I
Quite often clung desperately to company on social occasions/ weekends.

The end result is I have continued to feed DS, on occasions whilst drunk. I would estimate a good bottle of wine of the course of a day (ie all
Day BBQ) and sometimes more. I have never been drunk enough to have a hangover the next day or feel out of control (or feel "very" drunk) but I'm sure that's not the point.

The last few weeks it feels like the mist has cleared and I've emerged from that newborn fuzz horrified. I'm worried I've damaged his brain and affected his development. I can't find any information online saying what the consequences of drinking whilst BF are.

I'm considering asking my Health visitor but am scared of that little note going on the NHS system and following me and my son around for many years. I also wonder if they can really do anything, so I'd be given a black mark against me for no real benefit. I can only assume we have to wait and see if any damage has been done?

I should've just ff. he won't take a bottle but we could've put him on one sooner

ginagslovechild Tue 08-Sep-15 14:05:49

Very little alcohol will pass into your milk, think of the women who smoke and drink heavily while pregnant and have healthy babies, well what you have done hasn't even come close to that.

Try not to worry, I'm sure someone who knows a bit more about the science will be along to reassure you too.

Booboostwo Tue 08-Sep-15 15:05:35

This is kellymom on alcohol and be:
kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/lifestyle/alcohol/

I don't want to kick you when you are down but a bottle of wine sounds like a lot and if I were you I would get some medical advice on this. I appreciate your worries about this following you but what you might get instead is reassurance about your DS and support for you.

Livingondaisland24 Tue 08-Sep-15 15:20:19

Seems like youve been suffering from a form of post natal depression and been using wine as a prop. Fertility struggles and a hard birth can deeply affect you. A bottle a day is quite a bit but think about smokers who smoke a packet a day and have no shame. You are a good mum because you care. If i were you I would draw a line under this period of your life and move on. Try and stop drinking completely and im sure your son is fine. Best of luck

sleepyhead Tue 08-Sep-15 15:31:15

Very little alcohol passes into breast milk. It also leaves the milk at the same rate as it leaves your blood (hence no need to pump and dump - if you don't feed for a few hours after drinking, the milk stored in your breasts doesn't remain alcoholic iyswim).

The only studies I've seen (and this is a vague memory from a while ago) found that alcohol in breastmilk could sometimes make babies sleepy and more reluctant to feed, therefore not taking as much milk as they might. There was nothing about development per se (and the fact that researchers could run an experiment where women drank a fixed measure of alcohol and then bf suggests to me that it wasn't expected to be risky).

I'll try to find that paper, for what it's worth.

It doesn't sound to me that you're saying you were drinking a bottle a day btw - just on social occasions, and over a long period of time which is probably better in terms of your capability to look after your child, and also in terms of the alcohol gradually leaving your body.

sleepyhead Tue 08-Sep-15 15:37:43

Ok, this is the paper I read: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1886634

Doesn't help much, a bit of a curiosity... am a bit confused at the thought of the panel of adults sniffing samples of breastmilk!

Jackie0 Tue 08-Sep-15 15:41:00

Your being far too hard on yourself.
Put it behind you and forget about it.
Enjoy your baby

Stupidstupidstupid77 Tue 08-Sep-15 16:30:29

Thanks for your replies. I want to forget about it, and it's tempting to take the advice telling me to.

Just to clarify I haven't drunk a bottle of wine (or anything) daily. The bottle is about the amount consumed on the occasions I've drunk more than a small glass or 2. I think that's happened about 10 times in the past 16 weeks,

Stupidstupidstupid77 Tue 08-Sep-15 16:31:20

And yes I did laugh about the milk sniffing grin if that's all they think is affected I'm happy

WombOfOnesOwn Wed 09-Sep-15 00:32:48

Let's say you got super piss-drunk, okay? Let's say you were near DEATH from drinking.

Typically, a drinker will enter a comatose state at a blood alcohol level equivalent to about .4%, or 4/1000ths.

Alcohol comes out in breastmilk at the same level it is in the blood. So at this level--comatose level--you'd be giving your infant something with .4% alcohol. My guess is that your actual level has been closer to .1-.2%, even if you've felt quite drunk, given the amounts you've mentioned.

Breads can have that much alcohol from fermentation! If .1-.2% alcohol was enough to make babies drunk, no baby in the Middle Ages would have survived infancy. You've done nothing wrong--these recommendations are designed to make women feel guilty for having a life whilst being a mother, rather than being based on reality.

Eminybob Wed 09-Sep-15 00:53:48

What womb says. Your milk will have been less alcoholic than alcohol free beer. Some orange juices have a higher alcohol content. It will be fine.

I read somewhere that the risk of drinking and breastfeeding is more about the likeliness of you dropping the baby. So as long as you're not so drunk as to lose control it will be ok.

Strokethefurrywall Wed 09-Sep-15 00:58:41

Oh OP I did the same thing with both babies, don't worry! I figured that I would have a glass of wine whilst nursing as by the time any of it was in my milk, baby would be finishing the feed. Then it would be out of my system by the next feed.

I did that consistently and neither of my kids seem to be worse the wear!
Don't be hard on yourself, it's absolutely fine!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now