BreastfeedingAnd Alcohol  I'm breastfeeding my infant. Does this mean I cannot have an alcoholic drink? Sally Inch answers: In case you need to unwind with a glass of wine & a meal with...

BreastfeedingAnd Alcohol


I'm breastfeeding my infant. Does this mean I cannot have an alcoholic drink? Sally Inch answers: In case you need to unwind with a glass of wine & a meal with friends, that is fine. or units of alcohol now & again are unlikely to harm your infant. It is vital to make definite you understand how much unit of alcohol is. Then you can monitor your intake carefully. In the United Kingdom, unit of alcohol is defined as 10ml of pure alcohol (ethanol). You can find out exactly how plenty of units of alcohol are in a bottle by reading its label. You can also tell for yourself how strong a drink is from its label. Labels show how much alcohol is in a drink, shown as a percentage of that drink's total volume (alcohol by volume, or ABV).

Bear in mind that lagers & ciders sold in bottles are usually stronger than those sold on draught. & keep in mind that people tend to pour more generous measures when they are at home. See our table below for an idea of how plenty of units are in different-strength

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would say that, in moderation, drinking alcohol is not going to harm your child (I am NOT a doctor, I just remember a doctor friend telling me this years ago). But, I would caution that it would be best to express prior to drinking, or to wait at least four hours after ONE drink before breastfeeding your infant. If you can do this, than there should not be an issue. BUT, I would suggest simply not drinking when breastfeeding. One should not risk the consequences of harming their child.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

 I would say, emphatically, no alcohol. I would also avoid any drugs because many substances can pass into the breast milk. Although the amount of alcohol that may get into the milk might be small, you must remember the infant is small and therefore the effects on the child can be harmful.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think the best way to look at this is to think of everything that you put into your body and ask yourself if you would feed it to your baby. If the answer is no, then this is not something that you want to ingest while pregnant or breastfeeding. I would avoid alcohol.
loraaa | Student

When a mother is expecting her child and plans to breastfeed, she often thinks that she has to avoid all spicy, fatty, sugary and salty food. In fact she has to give up all foods that make life worth living! She is also supposed to abstain from alcohol: gone is the delicious glass of red wine with a plate of garlicky olives. But is this true?

Well the answer is ‘not entirely’. Current research says that occasional use of alcohol (1-2 drinks) is not harmful to the nursing baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs classifies alcohol (ethanol) as a “Maternal Medication Usually Compatible With Breastfeeding.” In plain English, what they recommend is ‘if you are sober enough to drive, you are sober enough to breastfeed’.

So exactly how much are you allowed to drink? Current medical experts recommend that a breastfeeding mother should not drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol per week. A breastfeeding mother should also avoid breastfeeding 2-3 hours after drinking alcohol. Less than 2% of alcohol consumed reaches her breast milk.