Often, breastfeeding moms question as to whether it is safe to drink during nursing. The answer is a ‘yes’, provided you know to keep the habit within limits. Alcohol does induce a few reactions within the body, but there are a few areas to consider. Alcohol shows up in breast milk, but then it metabolizes out of the breast milk as it does from all other cells of your body. Usually, experts are of the view that the amount of wine or beer that is transferred to the baby during breastfeeding is not enough to harm your cute little tot.
The rate at which alcohol leaves your body depends on the capacity of the alcohol and the weight of your body. Elimination of breast milk through dumping or pumping however does not make the process a rapid one. If the alcohol has been absorbed by the body, it is likely to remain in the milk even when you are breastfeeding. Alcohol levels reach their maximum in the body as well as in the milk from 45 minutes to 90 minutes of consumption. The process of absorption is faster if alcohol is taken in an empty stomach; it is slower if your tummy is full.
Alcohol affects production of breast milk. There is a considerable amount of debate regarding the issue and according to recent studies, it has been seen that consuming alcohol influences the output of the milk. Consuming the alcohol also affects the quality of the baby’s sleep. In this situation, you need to be careful while breastfeeding and stave off the urge to drink by taking up a book instead when your baby falls asleep. You might even go for a care giver or go for body spa treatments or even try out manicures or pedicures.
There are other ways to relieve stress as well, instead of just consuming alcohol. Try meditation, long walks or even exercises. If you are getting stressed out by nursing and drinking, this is not a very healthy sign. Indulge with responsibility. By getting the alcohol out of your system, you can miss a few nursing sessions for preventing engorgement. You may even seek to pump before drinking if you think that you would feel intoxicated during the next time you feed. Keep a check on the age of your baby as it affects their liver function. When they are about 3 months old, the liver will process alcohol faster.
Remember, each body and circumstance is unique, because the Creator made us that way. Always consult a medical professional before you introduce anything into your child’s diet that you have a question about, including asking, can I drink wine while breastfeeding.
You can find additional insight at the Baby Center.