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Breast feeding and alcohol

(20 Posts)
Magscat Tue 12-Apr-05 19:55:28

Assuming I can summon up the energy and be confident dd won't wake up for a couple of hours and get her to take a bottle (here's hoping all these things happen at some point in next few weeks) I'd really like to go for a couple of pints. Anyone know how long before the alcohol would be out of my system before I could breast feed again without it affecting her at all? What are the risks/effects anyway? Is it just that the milk would taste different or is it actually harmful?

tiktok Tue 12-Apr-05 20:01:28

Magscat, there are many, many posts in the archives on this, and you will find every question answered. There was some research published last week (on a very small number of women) that seemed to indicate alcohol had a very slight impact on quantity produced, but that is really no big deal in a healthy baby who will just feed more to make up for it.

Upshot of it all is, just go and enjoy your drink without worrying, anyway

Magscat Tue 12-Apr-05 20:04:38

Thanks for this. I should have checked more thoroughly before asking the question. Fairly new to Mumsnet & still finding my way around. As for going for a drink, I need some energy first but at least I won't feel too guilty.

cornflake Tue 12-Apr-05 20:54:17

I get tipsy so fast as I go so long without a night out, that I only need a few glasses of wine! I've never noticed any effect in my baby but he doesn't have my milk till late morning the next day anyway. Someone else told me that champagne seemed to cause wind in her breast fed baby. Everything in moderation and occasionally has been my motto

boobie Tue 12-Apr-05 22:22:22

I often have one or two glasses of wine or lager and never noticed any effect on DD or my milk so I wouldn't worry unless you are going on a binge.

jamiesam Tue 12-Apr-05 22:29:10

My lovely, lovely health visitor positively recommended the odd glass of wine while I was still bf.

You don't say how old your dd is? I think I was reasonably cautious for first few months, and only had a couple of glasses of wine, even if I was going to be doing a night feed. More relaxed once I was confident he'd sleep through and could then have a few MORE glasses

Do recollect one occasion when we'd already cracked the bottle of wine and ds woke up unexpectedly and appeared to be hungry. Sad to say I discovered myself drinking wine WHILE I bf . Not to be recommended I think.

ionesmum Tue 12-Apr-05 23:10:42

Is it true that alcohol can help a baby to sleep - when drunk by the mother, obviously!

jamiesam Tue 12-Apr-05 23:18:03

Not to my knowledge. I think that the idea is if you only have a couple of drinks, such a tiny amount gets through to the bm that it has virtually no effect on the baby.

Do remember getting a bit TOO tipsy on NY eve when ds2 was 5mths, and wondered how much alcohol there was in his first feed of the day...

ionesmum Tue 12-Apr-05 23:23:03

Oh. Dd2 isn't sleeping, and it is quite tempting...mind you, one glass and I'll probably fall over, so best not!

beansontoast Tue 12-Apr-05 23:25:21

hi magscat,
i was looking forward to a bit of a booze [3 halves?]with the bonus feature that it would make my wee baby all snoozy etc like every one promised.

but it didnt go according to plan...he spat 'em out when i offered milk!![he was about 12 weeks..may be more? pretty little anyway]

all my friends had the odd drink ..one is a gp and she didnt bother expressing any of the 'tainted' milk off.

dont know if this is of any use to you...just wantd to share my massive injustice!!

kama Tue 12-Apr-05 23:34:48

Message withdrawn

wysiwyg Tue 12-Apr-05 23:45:44

This is a really interesting question. Personally I do have the odd beer or couple of glasses of wine and have done since DS was born.
With DD (now aged 5) health visitor told me to stay off the booze, avoid fizzy drinks , spicy foods etc etc. This time with DS - nothing. I was simply told to do things in moderation.

IMO health visitors have stopped telling mums not to drink for fear of the mums then saying they are not going to breastfeed if it means not drinking for even more time. Interested to know what others think.

tiktok Wed 13-Apr-05 00:05:11

I would like to think HVs have decided simply to stop telling mothers things that are untrue. Hm. I wish.

There really is no reason for mothers to stay off alcohol, still less to 'pump and dump' as this does not speed things up in any way (alcohol diffuses back into the bloodstream from the milk - the actual medical reference for this is in the archives from the last time we discussed this, I think) . If it really, really bothers a mother that the baby might have a small faint trace of alcohol (and that is all it is) then ok, don't drink, or else feed after drinking.

But not drinking because the health visitor says not to makes no sense!!

mum2max Wed 13-Apr-05 10:52:06

I've been told to watch caffeine rather than alcohol. Personally enjoy the odd glass or 2 of red wine, or even a couple of G&Ts. I breastfeed at 7am and 7pm. I also read in scientific mag (can't remember which one, but was creditable) that only a fraction of percent of alcohol goes through to breastmilk, they reasoned that there was some kind of "filter" (???) to safeguard baby.

Binging is definitely a no-no cos you might fall over whilst feeding! Also, jamiesam, you don't want to be drinking whilst breastfeeding cos you might spill it

Prufrock Wed 13-Apr-05 12:06:46

You know this was my first ever question on Mumsnet - after my HV at told me, when dd was 4 months, that if alcohol was that imporatant to me I should give up bf. I think the fact I got far more reasonable attitudes and far more accurate information on here was why 2.5 years later I'm still addicted to Mumsnet, and avoid HV's like the plague.

tiktok Wed 13-Apr-05 12:14:37

mum2max - why have you been told to avoid caffeine?

There's some anecdotal evidence that a few mothers notice jittery/colicky symptoms in their babies if they drink a lot of strong coffee. Evidence is that hardly any caffeine reaches the breastmilk, though - these babies must be very sensitive, I suppose.

mum2max Wed 13-Apr-05 14:11:54

It was an "old-fashioned" midwife, and it was the first thing she said to me when she saw ds. Maybe she thought he was highly strung enough! She mentioned something about affecting sleep - Sort of makes sense, but to be honest, I didn't change much; still love the odd cuppa (as well as a pint ) And ds has slept through reg since 3 mth (mind you, I've ever drunk a signif amount of caffeine drinks. I've never been one for 6 cups of coffee a day and a litre of cola.)

tiktok Wed 13-Apr-05 14:40:04

"old-fashioned" = out of touch, bossy and ill-informed?

Magscat Wed 13-Apr-05 15:09:53

Jamiesam - baby is 14 weeks & still feeding at least every 3-4 hours through night -that's why I wondered how cautious I needed to be. Have looked at some of the old threads though & am satisfied that the odd glass/bottle/pint is not a problem. Can't stay awake after more than 2 anyway!

Re. caffeine - I've read/heard that caffiene should be avoided too. Also that too much citrus & dairy can be a problem. Think it actually says that in the NHS 'Birth to Five' book. - Not that they are all harmful, just that they can make breast milk taste funny. Can't say I've noticed a problem.

sweetkitty Wed 13-Apr-05 15:29:08

I've had the odd glass or two of wine whilst BFing DD (not at the same time though wine would spill).

I have had 3 glasses of wine on a night out as I fed DD at 7 before going out then she doens't have another feed until 5 the next morning, if I have my 3 glasses of wine and stop drinking at 11 it has 6 hours to get out my system even if any were to get into my milk, thats my justification anyway.

Before when DD fed more often I would leave a bottle for her 11pm feed then feed her myself at 5ish.

It's not every night you are going out I would say go for it the break will do you both good.

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