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Can I Drink Alcohol and Still Breastfeed?


Couple toasting wine at outdoor restaurant, focus on glasses
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Question: Can I Drink Alcohol and Still Breastfeed?
Can I drink alcohol and breastfeed my baby?
Answer: Many pediatricians and lactation consultants will tell you that a single glass of wine or beer is fine on occasion. Others will advise that you don't drink at all. No matter what the advice, it's a fact that alcohol does pass into breast milk and heavy drinking (more than two glasses daily) is not healthy for you or your baby.

In addition, studies have shown that alcohol has an effect on a baby's behavior and sleep, even when taken in small quantities. You should definitely avoid nursing if you have had enough alcohol to feel it. If you feel it, chances are, your baby will as well.

If you're planning on having a glass or two of wine or beer, try to nurse your baby beforehand and then wait until the effects have worn off before nursing again. The alcohol content will be highest in your milk at the same time it is highest in your blood. If you know that you're going to have a night out on the town with alcohol involved, plan ahead-- pump some milk for your baby before you head out.

Take the Poll: As a breastfeeding mother, do you ever drink alcohol?

Do you have a question you'd like to see answered? You can send your questions to me at babyparenting@aboutguide.com and I will answer them here on the site.

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