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Breastfeeding and alcohol

(27 Posts)
celeryeater Sun 05-Jun-16 19:16:06

Hi, bit of advice please as the Internet is confusing me! My baby is nearly 3 weeks old and we made it out in the sun for the first time today and had a glass of wine - long do i have to wait before breastfeeding again?

Sunshineonacloudyday Sun 05-Jun-16 19:17:15

My partner always used to say you lose 30ml every hour.

luckiestgirl Sun 05-Jun-16 19:17:47

It's up to you. Some women will say differently, but I personally couldn't care less about one glass of wine while breastfeeding.

thrillhouse Sun 05-Jun-16 19:19:58

You don't have to wait. It's fine.

Read this:

And this:

DartmoorDoughnut Sun 05-Jun-16 19:21:11

You don't have to wait, enjoy!

ThatsNotEvenAWord Sun 05-Jun-16 19:21:12

Sober enough to hold the baby, sober enough to feed 👍🏼

icclemunchy Sun 05-Jun-16 19:23:45

You don't have to wait at all smile as long as your still sober enough to hold your baby your sober enough to feed

LBOCS2 Sun 05-Jun-16 19:30:48

Yep, sober enough to hold them was always the rule I went by too (and still am).

celeryeater Sun 05-Jun-16 19:41:05

Thanks everyone - just got worried as I was reading different things all over the place. Nhs said 2-3 hours per unit of alcohol! That would be maybe 6 hours later and I only pumped enough for one more feed. X

lamingtonnutty Sun 05-Jun-16 20:03:16

When my DS was tiny, I was so paranoid about even half a glass. He's now 7mo, and I'd happily drink a few glasses! Enjoy wine

celeryeater Sun 05-Jun-16 21:41:06

Yes I am now feeling totally paranoid! She was asleep and my breasts were getting uncomfortable so I pumped and went out to get food and when I got back dh was feeding her the pumped milk. That's still milk maybe 4 hours after drinking one glass of wine. She is passed out asleep now... Don't think I will be having another drink for a while until I have more milk stored up. Yes I am a worrier! blush

Flisspaps Sun 05-Jun-16 21:49:07

There's nothing to worry about, no need to pump and dump.

TurtleEclipseofTheHeart Sun 05-Jun-16 22:00:37

I was thinking about this as we are off on holiday soon with DS who is nearly 9 months. I have 125ml of wine twice a week after he has gone to bed and then I usually dream feed him say 3.5 hours later. As far as I can see from the NHS site that is fine but is the maximum they recommend in a week. I would like to be able to drink a bit more on holiday. Not loads, but say a glass a night would be lovely after a blooming hard 18 months! I really need a relaxing break! DS will take a bottle anyway but I was under the impression that even if it is out of your system by the time you feed, you shouldn't have more than 2 glasses a week! I am a worrier so I wish there were clear guidelines on this!

Runningbutnotscared Sun 05-Jun-16 22:11:09

It's like anything, all you can do is read the available advice and go with what you feel comfortable with. The guidelines linked to in thrillhouse's post are sound IMO so I will be having a relaxing amount of alcohol guilt free when I bf this time.

I will not be counting units / calories. I will be relaxing and congratulating myself on getting my boobs out at the drop of a hat to keep my baby quiet.

celeryeater Sun 05-Jun-16 22:36:39

I really wish there were clear guidelines too, like a calculator on the nhs website. Now I am kind of thinking though that if this many women are breastfeeding and drinking it can't be doing that much harm or there would be proper guidelines from the NHS

Hamishandthefoxes Sun 05-Jun-16 22:43:11

The NHS won't give proper guidelines because they don't want to encourage people to drink in any case and there cannot ethically be studies on what is a safe amount.

The laleche league and kelly mom sites above are good though. Fwiw, I had several glasses of wine a week while feeding DS which was just as well given that I fed him for 4 years shock. He has a regrettable tendency to be too clever for his own good bug otherwise is fine.

nicolasixx Sun 05-Jun-16 23:00:16

If you have a google around there are some good recent studies (dr Sears in particular) showing how the amount of alcohol is vanishingly small in any event!

thrillhouse Mon 06-Jun-16 08:56:50

The NHS website is often unreliable tbh. There's another page somewhere that seems to advocate using controlled crying methods in tiny babies.

Independent specialist sources are often better for things like breastfeeding. Look up Dr Jack Newman as well.

Gruffalosgrandma Mon 06-Jun-16 10:55:17

Many years ago I was given Guinness in the maternity hospital ! and carried on at home. Safe to drive - safe to feed.

Florentina27 Mon 06-Jun-16 23:02:32

Theclady in charge of my breast feeding support group said to wait 2 hours before breastfeeding. It is best to have some alcohol just after a feed so the baby won't need more any time soon. I can't remember his many units are aloud by it was the equivalent of 2 glasses of wine in a day or 1.5. Enjoy the weather

Florentina27 Mon 06-Jun-16 23:06:58

She just received some guide lines that day and we were talking about it. I don't think NHS says much about alcohol and breastfeeding not to encourage it as it is ideal that you don't drink, an occasion here and there is fine but you know his some people are, give them a bit of excuse and they will abuse it

PlanBwastaken Tue 07-Jun-16 14:18:59

There's a blog post where a mum measured the levels of alcohol in milk, and they were miniscule - I think the NHS is overreacting hugely here, but as pp said they don't want to encourage you to drink.

Which I think is counterproductive in this case as it adds to the myth that breastfeeding is cumbersome and not compatible with normal life - yet another contributing factor to the low breastfeeding rate.

KatharinaRosalie Tue 07-Jun-16 14:46:58

It is fine. There's no need to wait, there's no need to pump and dump. A beverage with 0,5% aclcohol content is normally considered non-alcoholic. The alcohol level in your breast milk is the same as in your blood. Therefore, this can be maximum 0.4 -0.5%. Maximum. Then you will be dead. Just 0.2 and you will be throwing up and passing out.

If you are nowhere there and can safely hold and look after the baby, you're also fine to feed.

TickleMcTickleFace Tue 07-Jun-16 14:53:43

There was a thread a few weeks ago about how the NHS guidelines are actually prohibitive to long term breastfeeding as it's another way a mum has to put her life on hold whereas the independent studies quoted above take a more realistic view. I think a glass or two is fine.

BertieBotts Tue 07-Jun-16 14:54:31

The NHS's guidelines must be evidence based. In this case they are cautious because we don't have any good evidence about the effects of alcohol either way so in fact their own advice is to stick to normally advised levels of alcohol - ie, don't go out and get blind drunk because that's a health risk anyway, and don't sip vodka throughout the day, that kind of thing. There is evidence that sustained use of alcohol while BFing can cause issues. But a glass of wine in the afternoon is really no problem at all. You can even have two or three - the drink drive limit is much more conservative so not a good guide, and there's no need to wait or to pump and dump.

There is actually more evidence which points to it being harmless for occasional/social use as it is transferred in such minute quantities, but there are no large scale studies on this so NHS cannot include this evidence in their guidelines. But as PP said here's one example (which of course is unverified as it's just been posted on the web, but up to you) where a mum actually measured the alcohol content of her breast milk.

That is the original but it was reposted on Facebook by Dr. Jack Newman who is one of the leading authorities on breastfeeding worldwide.

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