Breastfeeding and Alcohol

by | June 23, 2020

Alcohol can have a lasting detrimental effect on the baby if you drink a lot while breastfeeding. When the baby gets older you can sometimes drink a glass of wine or beer without harming the baby – if you follow the advice we give in this document.

Breastfeeding mothers should avoid alcohol and drugs as much as possible, as this goes into breast milk and can have a negative effect on milk production, the amount of milk, the milk content and the expulsion of the breast milk. This is in addition to the fact that alcohol and drugs can have a direct harmful effect on the infant. All drugs that can cause newborns to become dull / drowsy can also be a contributing cause of sudden infant death.

Breastfeeding and Alcohol

Less milk from drinking beer

Studies have shown that within 30 minutes of alcohol consumption, the content of a glass of wine or beer is sufficient to change the milk’s odor / taste. In addition, it has a slightly stunning effect on the infant. Large amounts of alcohol can cause the child to become lethargic, sleep deeply and become weak. A lethargic and drowsy child may also lose some of the suction power and ability to absorb the milk. A 1998 report showed a 23 percent reduction in milk production after a mother drank beer. A glass of wine or two, equal amounts of beer or other alcoholic beverage, inhibits the expulsion of milk from the breasts.

The smallest infants are the most vulnerable

In the beginning, it is best to be completely abstinent when it comes to alcohol, as a glass of alcoholic beverage a day may be sufficient to affect the child in the long run. Then you risk, among other things, that the child has poorer motor development than children who have not been exposed to alcohol. That is, for example, the child starts to move later than other children.

During the first year of life, the baby’s brain is still developing a lot. Because this maturation process is very complex and complex, all drugs that affect these processes can have an unknown effect in the long term.

During the infant’s first weeks, they need twice as long as adults to get rid of the alcohol in their body. It is the liver that breaks down the alcohol and this has not fully matured until the child is around three months. If a mother is breastfeeding with high levels of alcohol in the blood, this can lead to the child being alcohol poisoned, lethargic and affected for several days. Therefore, the youngest infants are much more vulnerable to alcohol than larger infants.

When the child is older you can – from time to time – take a glass

When the child gets older you can sometimes have a glass of beer or wine. Then the alcohol is out of the blood and milk after a couple of hours. Then breastfeed just before drinking, and wait for three hours after drinking before breastfeeding again. It makes no sense to pump and discard milk to lower alcohol levels. The alcohol is there as long as there is alcohol in the blood and is away from the milk only when the alcohol is away from the blood.

For example, when the baby grows older and sleeps at night without the need to breastfeed, you can breastfeed in the evening before drinking alcohol and then wait to breastfeed again until the cup has run out of blood the next day.

It is important to remember that alcohol also makes the mother weaker and more prone to depression, fatigue and poor judgment. If a mother drinks a lot and / or often, this can also lead to a more restricted diet and perhaps more deficiency.