Experts say that moms in the holiday season do not have to worry about damaging the baby if they drink a little alcohol. However, women that are expecting are still advised to avoid it. Experts say that moderate amounts of alcohol during breastfeeding will not harm the baby. Otherwise, the Royal College of Gynecology and the Royal College of Midwives were very strict regarding drinking during breastfeeding and recommended pregnant women and nurses to avoid alcohol entirely. And other experts have been cautious before, claiming that one to two drinks a week will not harm a child, but if they want to be completely safe, it’s best for moms to avoid liquor altogether. Although this advice is still valid for pregnant women, moms who can yet relax a bit.
Breastfeeding Expert Dr. Jack Newman says that the ban on alcohol for breastfeeding moms is just a myth
“The moderate consumption of alcohol should not be banned. Like the many medicines, a small amount is produced in mother’s milk. Mothers can drink a little of liquor and continue breastfeeding, and by banning alcohol we do not limit breastfeeding”, he says.
The small amounts of alcohol in milk are not dangerous
Carlos Gonzales, a pediatrician, and author of the Breastfeeding Made Easy said it is impossible for liquor in milk to have any effect on the baby because the amounts that come to the mother’s milk are not dangerous.
“You are drunk if you have an alcohol level of more than 0.15 percent in your blood, and it is impossible for mother’s milk to contain more than 0.55 alcohol. By comparison, non-alcoholic beer may contain up to 1 percent of alcohol, and even when the milk from drunk mother is stored in a bottle and sold it, it could be labeled ‘non-alcoholic,’ “he explained.
Of course, drinking and breastfeeding (or any kind of baby care) are not advisable. But Gonzales says even if a mother drinks three glasses of wine a day, breastfeeding is better for a baby than feeding on a bottle.
However, three glasses of wine are more than the recommended limit for women, and may not harm the baby, but it does not bring well-being to your body either. This knowledge, however, is good news for moms who can and can be sure they will not harm a child if they are drinking a glass of wine with a Christmas meal.
“Those who recommend total abstinence from alcohol are not aware that many women will stop breastfeeding so they can drink alcohol. Many women will see this recommendation as another ban that negatively affects their social life. We have no confidence in them that they can drink alcohol cautiously and moderately, “said Emma Pickett, president of the Breeding Association.
Key points for drinking alcohol and breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding moms can sometimes have, small amounts of alcohol but should not drink regularly
- Maternal blood levels have to reach 300mg/100ml before mild sedation is achieved in the baby
- Avoid breastfeeding for 2 to 3 hours after drinking to reduce exposure of the baby to alcohol
- There’s no need to pump and dump breastmilk to clear it of liquor- the level of alcohol in the breastmilk will decrease by itself
- Be cautious when you drink alcohol, don’t let yourself in a situation where you may fall asleep with the baby
- Consuming alcohol reduces the ability of the mother to be aware of her baby’s needs, so when you decide to relax it’s the safest to ask someone else to care for the baby