With beach trips, summer barbecues, and family vacations waiting just around the corner, new and expectant moms may be wondering what their summers will look like with a new baby at home. And after nine months of pregnancy, some new mamas may want to know if they can enjoy a drink by the pool or a glass of wine with dinner when they are still in those first few months of breastfeeding. You’ve got questions; Pumps for Mom has answers. Many moms-to-be wonder if they can safely drink alcohol while breastfeeding, and we are here to share the facts! Read below to learn about some of the most important facts about alcohol and breastfeeding.
Alcohol can be detected in breast milk.
Moms must realize that if they have a few drinks, some of that alcohol can indeed make its way into breast milk. This does not necessarily mean that moms cannot drink any alcohol throughout the many months they are breastfeeding. In all circumstances, alcohol is best enjoyed in moderation! According to the Centers for Disease Control, alcohol from one drink can be detected in breast milk for about two to three hours, and alcohol from two drinks can be detected for about four to five hours. The more alcohol a new mom consumes, the longer it will take for the alcohol to fully exit her system and for breast milk to be safe again.
Breast pumping immediately after drinking will not reduce the amount of alcohol in breast milk.
Although the idea of “pumping and dumping” has been around for generations, science does not back up this belief. The amount of alcohol that can be found in breast milk is essentially equal to the alcohol level of a mom’s bloodstream, which does not change simply by pumping and discarding any amount of breast milk. The best way to breast pump or breastfeed safely after drinking is to wait at least two hours per standard alcoholic drink consumed. After waiting the appropriate amount of time, a mom’s breast milk will return to normal and will not have detectable amounts of alcohol. If parents want to be extra safe, they can always use expressed breast milk that has been properly stored for the first feeding after drinking alcohol.
Moderate alcohol consumption is not known to be harmful to breastfeeding infants.
Moderation is the key to safely drinking alcohol while breastfeeding! Moderate alcohol consumption is considered one standard drink per day or less. The key to safely drinking alcohol while breastfeeding is to moderate your consumption and give yourself a few hours to ensure all of the alcohol has left your system before breastfeeding or pumping. By waiting at least two hours after finishing a drink, moms can keep their little ones safe from breast milk that may have traces of alcohol.
There’s no such thing as a perfect mom—only moms who are doing their best to take care of themselves and their babies! And it is possible for breastfeeding moms to enjoy alcohol in moderation while providing breast milk to their little ones. Pumps for Mom is proud to support moms through their breastfeeding journey by providing the best breast pumps through insurance. Explore our available products and qualify for your breast pump through insurance today!