Picture this: 40 long weeks of pregnancy, a husband sipping on ice cold beer and you knocked up on the couch grappling with envy. You can’t wait to have your baby so you can kick back a drink.
Then you give birth to that cutie and decide to breastfeed. You forget all about that ice cold beer as you try to figure out your milk supply and how to ease the pain of your super sore breasts. One day, after marathon nursing your baby on the couch, it hits you: you haven’t had a drink in almost a year! But before you grab that drink, let’s make sure it’s okay with the new boss (and by boss, I mean baby).
Is it okay to drink while breastfeeding? Well, you’re going to get a different answer depending on who you ask. Your great aunt will probably share stories of how drinking actually helped her milk supply, and of course there’s your bestie with her many “pump and dump” memories.
Let’s go with some facts, because the truth is that drinking while breastfeeding is a bit of a struggle.
According to La Leche League International, breastfeeding moms can have an occasional drink of up to one drink. If you really want to turn up with more than one drink, you’re going to have to keep that liquid gold far away from baby for a while. La Leche explains that alcohol in your milk peaks 30 to 60 minutes after consumption alone or 60-90 minutes when consumed with food.
What about that pump and dump your bestie mentioned? Well, it’s not that simple. It will take about three hours to clear out one drink of beer from a mother who weighs 130 pounds. Of course, the more drinks you kick back, the longer it will take to get out of your milk. If you went all out with a high alcohol drink, you can expect it to take more than 13 hours to get completely out of your system
I know just reading this makes you just want to grab a drink for consolation. If you decide you’re going to throw one back with the hubby or your bestie who is just tired drinking alone, take advantage of alcohol strips which is what I used to test my milk.
Oh and don’t get too carried away, because you haven’t had a drink in a long time. Although, only a small amount passes down to your baby, drinking too much alcohol while breastfeeding can pose some serious potential dangers for your baby, including developmental and sleep issues.
I know, this motherhood stuff requires a whole new level of responsibility, but you can do it, girl!
Did you have a drink while you were breastfeeding?