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a beer/day for breastfeeding?

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10 years 9 months ago #44207 by asunshine
Check out the Dr. Ruth Lawrence book, "Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession." It's the medical textbook on breastfeeding, all research based. From it:

*In lab animals, alcohol interferes with oxytocin release (let down).
*In lab animals, alcohol can interfere with suckling-induced prolactin levels, but not baseline levels.
*"the amount of alcohol excreted into milk with doses less than 1 g/kg of absolute alcohol usually does not affect the infant."
*Alcohol appears in the foremilk and hindmilk at a level equivalent to or above the mother's blood alcohol level. (So if your BAC is 0.1%, your milk is 0.1% alcohol, if I'm understanding it correctly.)
*Alcohol levels in milk drop in parallel with the drop in maternal BAC. Alcohol isn't stored in the breast.

They go on and on, but in my opinion, a single drink or two here and there doesn't mean much. Daily, I don't know. But to actually increase supply, there's way better things out there. Fenugreek (3 pills 3x/day--the tea is too weak to work) and frequent nursing/pumping worked for me. Good luck!

ps-there are milk strips you can use to test your milk for alcohol. they sell them at babies r us and online.

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10 years 9 months ago #44208 by twinmom

Originally posted by asunshine:

ps-there are milk strips you can use to test your milk for alcohol. they sell them at babies r us and online.

I must be getting punchy; I was thinking "too bad I'm not lactating any more. I could have some fun with those." FWIW, I had great luck with fenugreek to increase supply. And my boys and I smelled all lovely like maple syrup.

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10 years 9 months ago #44209 by HAM
Reglan worked like a charm for me. In my humble opinion, the recommendations against any alcohol is a safety measure to protect against women with poor self-restraint.

If you think about it, the standard beer has 4-6% alcohol. Wine and spirits a little more. You are technically a drunk driver and most people are feeling pretty buzzed at 0.10% (in many towns, its 0.08%). The content of alcohol in your breastmilk will be that of your blood, give or take. I think many people worry that their babies are getting all of the alcohol in the drink. In reality (and being rational, rather than guarded and covering my bases for liability), a drink or 2 here and there is not going to have much of an impact on your baby unless you get pretty drunk each time you drink.

If you read literature/advice for breastfeeding (or for that matter, pregnant) moms in Europe, it is entirely different than that in the lawsuit happy U.S.

I guess FYI for those of you who are wasting the precious breastmilk with pumping and dumping! :-)

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10 years 9 months ago #44210 by Emily2651
I always assumed that old saw about breastfeeding and a pint of Guinness was an old wives' tale.

Having said that, I subscribed to HAM's view when I was nursing. My understanding is that, because alcohol isn't excreted into breastmilk, it has the same alcohol level as serum. So I felt fine about a small glass of wine with dinner, then nursing an hour or two later when my BAL must have been around 0.02%. Big deal. But I'm more than willing to change my opinion ... so kpzr/9145, do you happen to know what the evidence base was for the new recommendation?

The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea. -- Isak Dinesen

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10 years 8 months ago #44211 by kpzr/9145
Breastfeeding mothers should avoid the use of alcoholic beverages, because alcohol is concentrated in breast milk and its use can inhibit milk production. An occasional celebratory single, small alcoholic drink is acceptable, but breastfeeding should be avoided for 2 hours after the drink.123

This is from the Academy of Pediatrics policy statement, 2005

kpzr

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10 years 8 months ago #44212 by nonny22
Well, poo. Why do you guys have to go and educate me and spoil my enjoyment of a delicious beer?? Haha, really, thanks for the information. I think I will opt for a drink or two a month rather than a week.

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