Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ethyl Alcohol, Breastmilk And The Drinking Breastfeeding Mother

I found this interesting blog entry after searching for the effects of consuming alcohol on breast milk. This post is the reason I've stopped going to Babycenter and other mom type boards. People post information as though it's fact when in reality, it is highly disputable. Popular opinion is that it's OK to drink alcohol in moderation and breastfeed. Moderation is defined by some experts as two drinks a day. Personally, I don't see the need to drink everyday so drinking every day is not "moderation" to me. But, I digress.

I have had about five drinks since Cayden was born. The first drink, a margarita, did not seem to have any effect on him. Since I hadn't had a drink in almost a year by that time, I completely forgot and popped him on the boob about an hour after I drank it. I also had a mixed drink of cognac and Coke and it also seemed to have no effect on him.

My husband and I traditionally toast the New Year. This year, I chose a small glass of Bailey's. I drank the Bailey's and fed Cayden about 30 minutes later. He fell asleep and slept for 9 hours! My child's sleeping issues are well chronicled so this was a surprise to me. A few days later, I had another glass and he did it again! As much as I enjoyed the much needed sleep, it still worried me. Why did the mixed drinks have seemingly no effect on him but the Bailey's did. My husband thinks it's because the tequila and the cognac were diluted with another non-alcoholic beverage. The Bailey's on the rocks is straight out the bottle and 17% ABV. This has led me on a search to figure out exactly how alcohol affects babies.

I have no doubt that drinking alcohol in moderation has little to no long term effects on breastfed babies but I'm still not trying to kill any of my son's brain cells. Five drinks in 6 months is relatively nothing but I think it's best that I just soothe the worrywart in me and stop drinking until I'm done breastfeeding. That is what feels best to me.

Ethyl Alcohol, Breastmilk And The Drinking Breastfeeding Mother

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