You are breastfeeding, and as we are coming into the season of all things sparkling (including your drinks) I thought it would be helpful to take a closer look at drinking alcohol whilst breastfeeding.
Let’s bear in mind that for nine months of pregnancy the advice in the UK is to avoid alcohol. So out comes baby, your body is slooooowly returning back to normal and you are hoping that perhaps other elements in your life might too. I say perhaps! It’s Christmas and although evening celebrations are likely to be difficult for some with a young baby, there will still be opportunity to celebrate the season. So now the question…..is it okay to drink alcohol whilst breastfeeding?
Here’s what I found out:
So, if you don’t really want alcohol in your breastmilk what do you do?
It can take up to 2 hours for one unit of alcohol to clear from your blood, so the best thing to do would be to wait 2 – 3 hours to breastfeed after one standard drink (one unit). In this case you would breastfeed first, then have a drink.
But what is a standard drink?
Other drinks are a bit more complicated:
Alternatively you could express breastmilk, in which case you could have a drink and give expressed milk at the next feed. Or avoid alcohol whilst breastfeeding. It’s an individual choice.
Stay within the UK safe drinking guidance, which is not to regularly drink more than 14 units a week for both men and women, spread evenly over the week. If you are co-sleeping it is safest for your baby if you and your partner do not drink at all.
Information sourced from drinkaware.co.uk