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Can I Drink and Breastfeed

Sure, so long as you’re following some basic rules and guidelines to keep everyone safe.

🍸 If you’re drinking more than 1 drink, or enough that it makes you feel “drunk” (maybe that’s 1 glass, if you’re a lightweight) you shouldn’t be in charge of caring for your baby on your own. Have a support person or your partner stay sober. If you’re wasted your judgment can be off and you can misread baby’s cues / not be able to manage or notice a medical emergency.

🍸 You don’t have to pump and dump, that’s not how alcohol consumption and human milk works. Essentially, your blood carries a % of the booze consumed, this then moves into your milk from your circulation, then after a short period of time the alcohol moves back into your blood and is gone from your milk. The milk isn’t “tainted” with booze until it is expelled. Your milk is back to normal after a couple hours, per standard drink. For example, if I had two 1.5oz gin and sodas and wanted to be super careful, I would wait 4 hours to feed my baby. If I had one drink I would wait 2 hours. If I had 3 gin and sodas I would wait 6 hours until nursing baby next. Alcohol levels peak about 30-60 min after you drink.

🍸 Most babies aren’t affected by alcohol consumption. Sometimes babies do have mild agitation and sleep disturbances. The milk ejection reflex can be temporarily diminished by alcohol consumption and babies may take 20-30% less milk at a feed if their parent has recently drank. If you’re having the occasional drink, and your infant is growing well, one “meh” feed won’t tip the scales.

🍸 If you’re on the more cautious side, drinking with a newborn is tricky. Sometimes newborns eat every 3 hours, but sometimes they eat every 30 min. It’s a bit trickier to plan this out, unless you have some pre-expressed milk on hand to cup feed, spoon feed or bottle feed if they are hungry right after you’ve had a drink.

🍸 Whoever has been drinking should not co-sleep with baby. Same goes for drugs (prescription or recreational) that are sedating.

🍸 Please see the comments for a very important final point and message


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