Alcohol has always been a big no-no for nursing mothers. That’s because what you drink and eat affects the breast milk you produce for your baby to drink. Studies suggests that breast-fed babies who are exposed to one drink a day might have impaired motor development. In addition, it could affect infants’ sleeping and eating.
As Elizabeth LaFleur, R.N., explains, “breastfeeding and alcohol don’t mix well. There’s no level of alcohol in breast milk that’s considered safe for a baby to drink. When you drink alcohol, it passes into your breast milk at concentrations similar to those found in your bloodstream.”
A new study that published in “Drug and Alcohol Review” found that moderate drinking while breastfeeding had no effect on infants. According to What To Expect, the research focused on 457 nursing women and their babies, at eight weeks and 12 months postpartum. The conclusion? Low level drinking (less than 14 standard drinks per week; less than three per ocassion) during breastfeeding is not linked with shorter breastfeeding duration or adverse outcomes in infants up to 12 months of age.
But don’t take out the wine bottle just yet.
The Baby Center notes that experts recommend breastfeeding women to avoid drinking alcohol until their baby is three months old. The site also mentions that in a study of 400 breastfed babies, gross motor development at 1 year of age lagged in infants whose mothers drank at least one drink daily during the babies’ first three months of life.
But if you REALLY need a glass of wine, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) recommends that mothers to wait at least two hours after drinking to breastfeed. Besides that, downing a glass of water after drinking alcohol helps lower the amount of alcohol in your blood and your milk. It’s also a good idea to eat before or when you’re drinking. Moreover, ACOG suggests mothers to not have more than two servings of alcohol per day. For your reference, one serving is 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine, or one-and-a-half ounces of vodka.
Our take? Breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby and it’s suppose to give them all the nutrients they need. Although it may be okay for mothers to drink alcohol while breastfeeding, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Remember, nothing is more important that your little one’s health and safety.