Thinking of going out with your sweetie for Valentine’s Day but worried about having a glass of wine because you are breastfeeding? Fortunately an occasional drink is ok – with a little time management.
The level of alcohol in your milk will match your blood alcohol level. As you drink, the milk alcohol level will rise. As the alcohol leaves your bloodstream it will also be leaving your milk. Metabolism of alcohol varies by person and depends on other things such as what foods are eaten with the drink.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, while taking your own situation into account, the amount of alcohol in your milk will be negligible about two hours after your last drink. If you are safe to drive, you are also generally safe to breastfeed. But, of course, that can be difficult to self-assess.
There is no need to pump and dump your milk since the alcohol does not accumulate there. However, if you miss one of your baby’s feedings it would be best to pump to preserve your milk supply and relieve discomfort.
Some other considerations may affect your decision. Studies have shown that alcohol consumption can inhibit the letdown reflex. Some babies of mothers who consume alcohol every day have more trouble sleeping. Babies under three months have immature livers and will clear alcohol more slowly from their systems.
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Wishing you a lovely Valentine’s Day from the Special Addition Team!