to think the current NHS guidelines for alcohol and breastfeeding are batshit and not conducive to long term breastfeeding

(371 Posts)
lemonadey Tue 03-May-16 07:43:47

I was at a wedding on Saturday, I took 6m old dd but me and dh decided he would be the one "on shift" and I would have a few drinks as its been a while (dd is a bottle refuser) over the course of the day I drank quite a few glasses of prosecco (I didn't count but by the end of the day it probably amounted to about a bottle) but obviously still bf dd at points and I got pretty fed up of the amount of people quite openly shocked at me breastfeeding and drinking. I do get it, the nhs guidelines are basically the same as if you're pregnant even though the way alcohol transfers to the baby is completely different and the amount of alcohol that enters your breastmilk is negligible.

I just feel it is another way for women to feel like their life is "on hold" while breastfeeding, my mum breastfed me and said she never gave a second thought to what she ate or drank and it was a really enjoyable experience for her, it was part of her life, she never expressed or "pumped and dumped".

I wish more women realised you can still have a social life that includes drinking whilst breastfeeding, the current guidelines are so ridiculously strict and just result in judging from other people and unnecessary guilt for mum.

So tell me, AIBU??

Chchchchangeabout Tue 03-May-16 07:46:19

What are the guidelines? I had no idea

KingJoffreyLikesJaffaCakes Tue 03-May-16 07:47:04

A bit.

I don't think life is 'on hold' because you can't have a drink. Drinking/not drinking really shouldn't be that big a deal.

You can not drink and still live your life.

TipBoov Tue 03-May-16 07:48:37

Unless you are alcohol dependent, you can go without alcohol during breastfeeding. No alcohol does not = putting your life on hold.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Tue 03-May-16 07:49:16

I haven't drunk alcohol since my mid twenties - I had no idea my life had been on hold for twenty years shock

DonkeyOaty Tue 03-May-16 07:49:33

I don't know what the guidelines are either. In my head it's a guideline of zero alcohol cos its unethical to conduct research/blind studies on babes so zero is the default safe amount.

welshweasel Tue 03-May-16 07:50:02

I drank as much when BF as when FF. My only issue was ensuring I was sober enough to look after the baby safely. I encountered the same attitudes as you OP, even when I tried to explain the science behind it. I also had the odd small glass of wine in the second and third trimesters though and the same people would look at me like I was on crack. Luckily I don't really give a shit what other people think 😃

lemonadey Tue 03-May-16 07:50:05

Ok well for me life involves sharing a bottle of wine with my husband a couple of times a week! grin

PPie10 Tue 03-May-16 07:50:22

'You can not drink and still live your life'

This. I too would be a bit hmm at seeing you popping off glass after glass in between bf your child.

Noodledoodledoo Tue 03-May-16 07:51:24

The guidelines I was told from two different breastfeeding sessions were completely different to those in pregnancy. One from NCT counsellor one an NHS midwife.

I managed to feed from over a year without feeling my life was on hold at all. Only issue I had was medication and breastfeeding - sinusitis is hard work without decongestant!

witsender Tue 03-May-16 07:52:02

The technicalities around this is so misunderstood. You would have to consume near lethal levels of alcohol for enough to get through to your milk to have a negative effect on your baby.

MigGril Tue 03-May-16 07:52:15

Your right mums don't need to abstain from drinking while breastfeeding. The occasional social drinking is fine. Anyone needing reasuaring on this should have a read hear www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/drugs-factsheets/

SaucyJack Tue 03-May-16 07:52:18

Do you have any scientific evidence to link to to back your OP up?

PurpleRibbons Tue 03-May-16 07:52:30

I had a few drinks whilst breastfeeding but never more than a couple. I think the more serious risk is that you could fall asleep and smother the baby if you've drank too much.

Dachshund Tue 03-May-16 07:54:25

Ignore the pp who have jumped onto one tiny bit of phrasing from your post - it's clear you're not an alcohol dependant OP - you were at a wedding for gods sake!

I agree with you for what it's worth, I'm not a big drinker at all but I'm still ebf at the moment and I'm damned if I'm not going to have a glass of wine or two when I've had a terrible stressful day or when friends come to visit I haven't seen since before I was pregnant! I luckily haven't encountered much judginess as my other mum friends also have the odd drink and manage to breastfeed.

Of course no one would advocate drinking every day or a blow out binge on the weekend but I think what you describe is absolutely fine.

The rule I've heard is it takes an hour per unit so I've been known to have DP ready, G&T in hand for the moment I'm done feeding and know I'll have 2 hours 'off'! grin

OddBoots Tue 03-May-16 07:54:32

My ds was the one who decided I couldn't drink when breastfeeding as he just refused the milk. He's 16 now and still hates the smell of alcohol.

TweeterandtheMonkeyman Tue 03-May-16 07:55:08

Oh yeah I agree. Most mums I know switched to bottles asap so that they could get pissed ! Whatever the rights and wrongs of getting pissed, it is definitely a major factor in giving up breastfeeding . people seem to view it as this strange thing which needs all these rules & regulations. I personally went with my instinct which told me getting a bit drunk on occasion wouldn't hurt , as long as I wasn't going to drop the baby or anything. I just lived my life as usual, breastfed till they were aged 2.5 , and the DC have turned out clever and healthy (so far).

Mapleleaves Tue 03-May-16 07:56:54

I thought the new guidelines recommend no more than 1 unit if breastfeeding?

I do think it's risky to BF and drink heavily, some of the alcohol does get into your milk and you have no idea how that is affecting your baby.

At 6m can't she use a sippy-cup? My DS is also a bottle-refuser but if I want to drink more than 1unit I give him formula in a sippy-cup and wait 6hours from my last drink before BF. If he wouldn't take a sippy-cup I'd refrain from drinking more than 1unit.

I think it's rather self-centred and silly to prioritise a bottle of prosecco over feeding your baby safely. The guidelines are there for a reason! Do you think the WHO invented them just to spoil your fun? confused

Is it really so difficult to limit alcohol intake for a year or so while you're BF?

StrawberryLeaf Tue 03-May-16 07:56:55

I follow the advice of Dr Jack Newman, a Canadian paediatrician who specialises in breastfeeding research, he advises that alcohol intake is fine.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/health/breastfeeding-mums-rejoice-you-can-drink-alcohol-christmas-or-no/

TweeterandtheMonkeyman Tue 03-May-16 07:57:27

I had Lemsip as well shock

hooge Tue 03-May-16 07:57:59

YANBU; it's perfectly OK to have wine when BFing smile

Writerwannabe83 Tue 03-May-16 07:58:00

I didn't drink alcohol for the first 18 months that I breast fed. DS is two now and is still breast fed. I do have some small amounts of alcohol but I wouldn't drink it if I knew DS would want a feed within the next 2-3 hours.

There's no way I would be drinking alcohol in between regular breast feeding a 6 month old.

Maybe it's wrong to do so but I think I would be a bit judgey too if you saw you doing what you did.

Not having alcohol regularly whilst beast feeding a baby/toddler for s few years is hardly a huge sacrifice is it in the grand scheme of things.

I certainly don't class not being able to have alcohol on a regular basis as my life being on hold.

Junosmum Tue 03-May-16 07:58:19

YANBU. I'm breastfeeding, my life is on hold more or less. DS, whilst fantastic, is a bottle refuser and still feeds on demand, every 1.5-2 hours at night. Not feeding him results in melt downs. So I can't go to the cinema, our for a meal, out for friends birthdays etc. So to not be able to have a drink occasionally at home or whilst out with DS and DH would have me feeling totally trapped. And I don't drink much anyway.

corythatwas Tue 03-May-16 07:58:22

MigGril, if you read further posts by the OP, she is not actually talking about occasional social drink as defining "life not being on hold" but of half a bottle a couple of times a week. Something we might all enjoy at times when it does no harm, but if it comes to define "having a life" to somebody, I would wonder what is so boring about the rest of their life.

hobybabo Tue 03-May-16 07:58:35

On one hand, I agree with the other posters that not drinking alcohol doesn't equal putting your life on hold, and I don't say that as a teetotaller.

On the other, as also pointed out you'd have to drink a lot for it to harm the baby when breastfeeding. I've had a few on a couple of occasions when feeding my now 14 month old. I didn't at all when he was tiny, but once he got to about 8 months I was happy with it.

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