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Thread: Drinking and nursing

  1. #1

    Default Drinking and nursing

    I've read tons out there about drinking and nursing but still don't quite know how bad this is so any advice would be great. 4 nights a week after all the kids are in bed I will have 2-4 oz of liquor mixed with soda water. This is only 2 drinks. I weight 200 lbs and feel relaxed when I go to bed but not intoxicated. A handful if times baby will wake up and want to nurse after 1.5-2 hours after I've finished but usually it's 3-4 hours later. I've done this the last few months or so.....he's almost 7 months. 95th percentile, motor development fine....in my heart I know he's fine but I smelled the pumped milk after those 2 drinks last night(which I normally don't pump after) and I think I smelled alcohol. Now I'm worried......

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Drinking and nursing

    I've always subscribed to the rule of thumb that if you don't feel it, it won't affect the baby. Women throughout history and throughout the rest of the world drink while nursing and think nothing of it. It sounds like you are being cautious and responsible, IMO.

    As for the alcohol smell, have you tried letting someone else smell it to verify or not? You might be over-sensitive because you are worried.

    See if this info makes you feel better. http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastf...style/alcohol/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Drinking and nursing

    if you can follow Dr Jack Newman on facebook, he posted a fascinating thing yesterday that essentially says, we need to stop worrying about this so much. i can't copy the text on my ipad but i'll try to paste it here tomorrow.

    ETA - here is Newman's post from 9/24/13 in full (he does not share the source):

    The following is from a blog by a mother who tested her milk for alcohol. Not one of those useless kits that you can buy at various stores, but tested at a toxicology laboratory. I will copy from her blog the method she used and the results. I think this puts the lie to the notion that women should not drink while breastfeeding or need to "pump and dump" (an appalling term) after having even one drink. The following is an exact quote from her blog:

    First I took a sample of my milk (about 1 mL) prior to drinking any alcoholic beverage. I expressed the milk mid-nursing session to ensure I had a goodly portion of fore & hind milk. After completing the nursing session, I mixed myself an alcoholic beverage consisting of 2 oz of 80 proof (40%) vodka in 10 oz of soda (Sprite). I proceeded to drink the entire 12 oz in about 30 minutes. About 30 minutes after finishing (1 hour after beginning to drink), I expressed some milk (about 1 mL) and labeled it 'immediate'. I then waited 1 hour and expressed more milk (about 1 mL) and labeled it '2 hours'. In the 2 hours (from the beginning), I did not drink any more alcoholic beverages, drink other beverages, or eat any other foods. Another day, 1/2 of a beer (4.3% alcohol) and 2-6 oz glasses of wine were consumed within 1.5 hours. About an hour from the beginning of the last drink, a milk sample (about 1 mL) was taken. This sample was labeled '1 hour - 3 drinks'. Another sample was taken about an hour after that (2 hours after the beginning of the last drink). This sample was labeled '2 hours - 3 drinks'.

    The samples were stored in the refrigerator until processing. An Agilent headspace instrument was used to run the tests. Propanol and ethanol standards were also tested to ensure the instrument was within limits. The instrument is maintained by the KSP Lab Toxicology Section and used in forensic determinations of blood and urine alcohol content.

    The sample labeled as 'immediate' registered as 0.1370 mg/mL which correlates to 0.01370% alcohol in the sample. The sample labeled '2 hours' registered as 0.0000 mg/ml which correlates to 0.0000%. The sample labeled '1 hour - 3 drinks' registered as 0.3749 mg/mL which correlates to 0.03749% alcohol in the sample. The sample labeled '2 hours - 3 drinks' registered as 0.0629 mg/mL which correlates to 0.00629% alcohol in the sample.

    The alcohol content in breast milk immediately after drinking is equivalent to a 0.0274 proof beverage. That's like mixing 1 oz of 80 proof vodka (one shot) with 2919 oz of mixer . By the way, 2919 oz is over 70 liters. Two hours after drinking one (strong) drink the alcohol has disappeared from the sample. Completely harmless to the nursing infant. Drinking about 3 drinks in 1.5 hours resulted in higher numbers, but still negligible amounts of alcohol would be transferred to the child. One hour after imbibing in 3 drinks, the milk was the equivalent of 0.07498 proof beverage. That would be like adding 1 oz of 80 proof vodka (one shot) to 1066 oz of mixer (1066 oz is over 26 liters). Two hours after imbibing in 3 drinks, the milk was 0.01258 proof. That would be like adding 1 oz of 80 proof vodka to 3179 oz of mixer (over almost 80 liters). So, even though an infant has much less body weight, any of these percentage of alcohol in breast milk is unlikely to adversely affect the baby. Bottoms up!
    Last edited by @llli*auderey; September 26th, 2013 at 09:01 AM.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Northern Virginia

    Default Re: Drinking and nursing

    I would occasionally have a glass of wine or a beer and didn't worry much about it. I tried to have it with dinner or when she went to bed. As LO got a little older and nursed less frequently, I would have the occasional margarita or something as long as I felt it would be a little while until I nursed. I haven't gotten back into my manhattans and or martinis yet. It seems like any time I had a little extra (woah! -- 2 glasses of wine!) LO would wake up and want to nurse immediately, so I wouldn't have that 2 hours to get it out of my system. Those were the times I was most freaked out -- for example, my cousin visited and I had 2 glasses of wine while sitting with her on the deck. Baby woke up crying right as I finished the second glass. I wasn't sure whether to nurse or not, but I did -- it was a very rare occurrence and I knew I hadn't had that much, even though I could feel it. But do be warned (and I may be much older than you and had many years of serious drinking under my belt) that I get hungover insanely easily since baby came -- even from one beer sometimes! It makes it not worth it most days.

    I agree -- have someone else smell your milk. If it seems suspect, maybe you could dump it and find time for an extra pumping session to make up for it.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Drinking and nursing

    InfantRisk recommends avoiding breastfeeding after drinking for about 2 hours per drink. They define one drink as

    • 12 oz of 5% beer
    • 5 oz of 11% wine
    • 1.5 oz of 40% liquor (80 proof)

    Alcohol transfers pretty easily into milk, and the content in the milk peaks at around 1 hour after ingestion. So if you pumped within a couple hours after the drinks, it is possible that there was some alcohol in the milk. After 3-4 hours, though, you've probably metabolized most of the alcohol. Once it's out of your bloodstream it's of your milk too.

    More info here: http://www.infantrisk.com/content/al...-breastfeeding
    Last edited by @llli*LLLKaren; September 26th, 2013 at 08:01 AM.

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