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Thread: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    Hello,
    I have an 8 month old daughter whom I'm exclusively breastfeeding. I have tried to quit drinking caffeine and quitting alcohol but I just can't quit these bad habits. How bad is it really for her that I still drink Coke and alcohol? I almost always wait until she's in bed to drink alcohol at all, but tonight for example, I drank an 8 oz glass of beer and then breastfed her(this probably doesn't make it any better but I do only feed her one breast at a time because I let down so fast and she eats so fast that it takes a good 20 or 30 minutes to get anything to come out of the other one).I know how horrible this sounds. I usually drink about 3 Cokes a day also. I have a lot of problems and I just cannot quit. Maybe I'm overreacting but I've tried so many times to stop this for her sake but when I feel overwhelmed or fragile, I give in. I feel like I almost can't function without these things. Any advice? I hate ingesting these things because she is so young and innocent and shouldn't know how it feels so soon to feel these effects. I feel so guilty that I'm still doing this and that she is ingesting these things at such a fragile young age because of my own problems. She is so perfect and I don't want to hurt her or let her innocence get lost but I need these things! I must be the most awful mother in the world! Although I guess it could be worse. I guess that it's not that bad but I still don't like her drinking these things in my milk. Given the amount that I'm drinking, which wouldn't seem like much to most people, but in the light of nursing a baby, is it best that I stop breastfeeding her or just keep trying to quit and work around the times that I drink caffeine and alcohol?
    One more thing, my breastmilk sprays out really quickly when I feed her. It also feels painful when the milk lets down and sprays out on her. She coughs and turns away a lot. Also has a lot of gas and the milk comes out sooo fast. I read about a problem called hyperactive milk disorder, or something. I think that that's what the name of it is. I've read that it's caused by having too many aveoli on your nipples but that other pituitary problems can cause that too. Would anyone recommend seeing a doctor about that and if so, what kind of doctor would you see? I have a lot of other problems so it can't hurt to have that checked out right? Thanks for reading all of this to whoever did! Have a wonderful evening, Sincerely, Leche83

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    Caffeine and alcohol do go into your milk. It's up to you if you want this to happen. If you cannot quit, I would reduce. ONE glass of a caffeine beverage (or get caffeine free or root beer) and drink your beer AFTER she has nursed and just have one. Or express some milk in the morning and feed her that when you're drinking.

    Moderation is the key. A little now and again won't do much.

    But remember, if she is late on any of her milestones, won't you suspect it was your bad habits that did it? How do you think you'll feel?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/alcohol.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/caffeine.html

    I would think that unless you are binge drinking it would be better to continue to bf. The caffeine could make her very wakeful and agitated. Too much alcohol consumption by the mohter can affect baby's development, but that is not the case with light to moderate drinking.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    You are concerned about how much of what you are drinking (caffeine and alcohol) may be affecting your daughter. In addition to the above FAQ links for caffeine and alcohol, it may be helpful for you to know that alcohol passes freely into mother’s milk and has been found to peak at 30-60 minutes after consumption, 60-90 minutes when taken with food. Alcohol also passes freely *out* of a mother’s system and her milk. It takes about 2-3 hours for a 120 lb woman to eliminate from her body the alcohol in one serving of beer or wine. The more alcohol is consumed, the longer it takes for it to be eliminated.
    Have you noticed any effects of caffeine in your daughter (wide-eyed, doesn’t sleep for long, unusually fussy)?
    As for your strong let-down and milk spraying, you might try catching some of the initial strong spray into a cloth diaper or towel, waiting until the flow slows down a bit and then nursing your daughter. Some mothers find that nursing “uphill” (with baby’s head higher than the breast) is helpful to slow down the flow. What is her weight gain like?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    Quote Originally Posted by Leche83
    How bad is it really for her that I still drink Coke and alcohol?... I almost always wait until she's in bed to drink alcohol at all, but tonight for example, I drank an 8 oz glass of beer and then breastfed her(this probably doesn't make it any better but I do only feed her one breast at a time because I let down so fast and she eats so fast that it takes a good 20 or 30 minutes to get anything to come out of the other one)... Given the amount that I'm drinking, which wouldn't seem like much to most people, but in the light of nursing a baby, is it best that I stop breastfeeding her or just keep trying to quit and work around the times that I drink caffeine and alcohol?
    One more thing, my breastmilk sprays out really quickly when I feed her. It also feels painful when the milk lets down and sprays out on her. She coughs and turns away a lot. Also has a lot of gas and the milk comes out sooo fast...
    Is your baby experiencing sleeplessness? Is your baby jittery? How frequent is your alcohol intake?

    Have you contacted your local LLL Leader for information and support?

    You might consider posting your milk supply questions here, in the too much milk forum:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/vbullet...splay.php?f=32

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    Quote Originally Posted by Dryad
    But remember, if she is late on any of her milestones, won't you suspect it was your bad habits that did it? How do you think you'll feel?
    I see what you're saying, Dryad. You should know, though, at first glance your words appear to be very judgemental! I don't think that's what you were trying to accomplish...

    Leche,
    Alcohol and caffiene have both been approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics for use in bfing mothers. HOWEVER, they stress moderation.
    http://aappolicy.aappublications.org...s;108/3/776/T6

    Do you feel that your alcohol consumption is too high? If you're truly only having ONE drink a day, some might call that moderation. Others might call one drink a week moderation. You have to use your own best judgement. You know what is best for YOUR baby. If you honestly feel you are drinking too much, stop! It's that simple. And if it's not that simple, and you feel you have a problem, seek help immediately.

    I hope you have found some answers to help either ease your mind, or help you make the changes you want/need to make. Good luck to you, and do keep us updated!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    Perhaps, but I did not say not to do it. Her post was falling away unanswered.

    That little mantra at the end is what I use for MYSELF when I think of margaritas at night and hot coffee in the morning. I keep it to decaf and a small glass of red wine now and again. I remind myself that I WOULD wonder if I had anything to do with any problems my son faced. It reminds me whose needs come first.

    All mothers have to do the best they can.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    I have two or three Dr Peppers a day, and thus far have no trouble. Elisabeth stays awake most of the day anyway, even on the days I have no caffeine, so I haven't seen any problems. If I have one late at night, though, she will be fussy before bed.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    Thank you everyone for your input. I was able to stop all of that for about the first four months after she was born as well as through nearly my entire pregnancy. But, now that the "critical" period is over, my need for these things has taken an undesirable turn. I forgot to add chocolate to my list of bad habits. I eat chocolate in replace for meals which I cannot stop. Mainly b/c I have a painful digestive problem but that's a whole other story. Is eating several chocolate bars throughout the day not good for her health also? As for the alcohol... How many servings do you consider two bottles of beer? If I were to drink that while she's asleep for the night, would it be out of my system by the morning? Today for example... Last night I ate dinner and drank two glasses of beer right after she went to bed. Then I went to bed a couple hours later. Approx. 10 1/2 hours later she woke up and I fed her. But she did seem unusually sleepy looking after I fed her one breast, then the other breast an hour later. I have problems w/ this too since it takes a couple hours to feed her both sides! We've bought about 4 breast pumps now but they all broke after a few months!
    What about one shot, two shots, how long will that leave your system. Oh, what I was saying about this morning, she seems unusually sleepy after feeding and fell asleep after the third breast. She looked more sleepy than she does when I haven't drank any alcohol. I know that I waited about 10 1/2 hours since I drank, so how could that have affected her?
    Also, thanks for telling me about how you're drinking Dr. Pepper too Dragonchilde! That makes me feel like a less horrible bfdeer! I do drink caffeine in moderation usually but sometimes I have a "caffeine binge". Or a "chocolate binge". How bad is a "chocolate binge" for her? If my milk came out like a regular person's then this subject would probably be less of an issue but it's hard to determine when she can eat b/c of my strange breast production. Also, a short explanation: I have trouble eating a lot of times and the high calorie chocolate is easy for me to digest (and not too much is needed b/c I get full so easily) and gives me energy to take care of her. Maybe I should find a replacement for that need. If anyone has any ideas please tell me!
    She also has not had any developmental delays and is about a month or so ahead of schedule as far as her development from our doctors developmental assessment of her! That is so wonderful and she is such a great smart and fun little person, she is the most wonderful person ever. I certainly don't want my own problems to hurt her. And despite breastfeeding being somewhat painful for me, it's still one of the most pleasant things to happen to me! I really like to breastfeed her. It helps us bond and is pleasant and there is no replacement for the protein and matter in breastmilk for a baby! Thanks again!
    PS. Here's another idea: To compensate for my strange eating habits I'm thinking about buying another pump. I'm tired of throwing our money away on breast pumps. Does anyone have some good reviews of pumps that must be cheap, last for a long time, and they must pump milk! Oh, they must be long lasting and not lose the suction either. I would consider a manual pump too if it is cheaper.
    Last edited by Leche83; January 20th, 2006 at 03:02 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding, Caffeine,Alcohol, and hyperactive milk production

    Well, keep in mind that chocolate also has caffeine. Sounds like you've got some interesting compulsive eating habits. What you should consider doing is keep more healthy snacks around. What I've found is perfect for my chocolate craving is chocolate chip granola bars. It's got the chocolate I want in small quantities, and has oatmeal, which will help milk supply.

    As for pumps, I'd recommend the Avent Isis manual pump. It's inexpensive, and comes highly recommended by my lactation consultant. I had some problems with it at first, but removing the rubber comfort cushion helped tremendously, and now I get more with it than I did the double electric I was renting from the hospital.

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