Friday, December 23, 2011

Alcohol, Holidays & Breastfeeding

I get many calls this time of year re: alcohol intake and breastfeeding.
Even though it is fine to "partake", I think it helps to remind ourselves that too much alcohol can impair one's ability to respond and safely parent as baby needs -- no matter how baby is fed.

So it is not as much the amount of alcohol present in your milk ( its too unstable to stay there very long) but the level of impairment you experience.  Most of alcohol-related consequences are not breastfeeding issues, per se. but impairment ones.
So be smart and responsible: pay attention to how much you've had and your body's reaction to it - eat and drink lots of water.
If you get intoxicated:  do not drive, have someone else care for your baby, do not co-sleep or nurse until you are sober.  Only pump if you need to and discard that milk (until you are sober)

Please do not waste your money on alcohol test strips as they are not at all accurate or necessary.

For further info: This article from Thomas Hale's Infant Risk Center site can be helpful, whether breastmilk is direct from the source or expressed):

Enjoy and be safe