Wine and Breastfeeding: What Does the Research Say?

Many women drink alcohol while they are breastfeeding, and this can be a concern for some. Unfortunately, research on the effects of alcohol on breastfed babies is limited. However, there are still steps that you can take to minimize any potential risks.

In this blog post, we will discuss how alcohol exposure during pregnancy affects your baby’s development, what happens when you drink wine while breastfeeding and how much research has been done on the subject.

breastfeeding and wine

What is Alcohol Exposure during Pregnancy, and how does it Affect your Baby’s Development?

Babies exposing to alcohol during pregnancy have a higher risk of developing difficulties with motor skills and cognitive development, which can lead to learning disabilities. No research has been done on the effects of drinking wine while breastfeeding. Because so little know about the risks associated with moderate alcohol consumption during pregnancy.

Still, there is no evidence that light or occasional drinking will harm your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests to limiting intake to one drink per day if you’re nursing. As this level doesn’t seem likely to cause any developmental issues for an infant in the first year after birth.

Women sometimes experience guilt over their decision whether or not they should continue breastfeeding due to exposure to alcohol through breast milk. When asked how often women feel guilty following previous research, over 65% of respondents said they felt guilty “sometimes.”

But it’s important to remember that alcohol is excreted quickly in your breast milk and only takes a few hours for levels to return below the protective threshold.

wine and breastfeeding

What Happens When You Drink Wine While Breastfeeding?

When women drink wine while breastfeeding, some will experience lightheadedness or dizziness once their blood-alcohol level drops. This is due to the fact that alcohol can take a while to be eliminated from your bloodstream and its effects on the body as well as how it enters breast milk. In particular, because it takes longer for blood levels of alcohol to drop with each drink consumed, you’ll feel more intoxicated than if you were drinking an equivalent amount of pure ethanol.

The most important thing you can do is be aware of how much you drink. If you know that there will be social occasions where having wine would seem inappropriate or uncomfortable, then don’t bring any along. If circumstances are such that this won’t work out for whatever reason (you might need a break), try one order ahead instead of Ordering something nonalcoholic when everyone else orders their drinks.

In case of having a drink, wait at least two hours after drinking before breastfeeding again. This will minimize any potential risks associated with exposure through breastmilk and ensure that your baby gets enough food during feeding time.

Steps To Minimize Any Potential Risk Associated With Drinking Alcohol While Breastfeeding

if possible, don’t bring alcohol into the house for social events where there is no alcoholic beverage provided

try not to overindulge to “get it out of the way” and remember that less than one standard drink per day does not seem likely to cause developmental issues for infants within the first year following birth

if you are going to drink, wait at least two hours before breastfeeding again and try not to overindulge in order to minimize exposure.

The Rule of Thumb While Breastfeeding

The rule of thumb is that you should not drink alcohol while breastfeeding. Alcohol can go through your breast milk and pass on to the baby, making it drunk or high. Also, the amount of alcohol in a glass would be too much for the small body size of an infant under 12 months old. This means that if your baby has been fed at 7pm, then you should not have any more alcohol until 9pm.

If they are still feeding every 2-3 hours during the night, then this will mean no more than one glass per day. It also means that if they are only fed twice during the day, then this will mean no more than two glasses per day.

wine and breastfeeding

There is no set number as every woman’s metabolism will vary when drinking wine and breastfeeding, so it depends on how many glasses she has had over time. If you have more than one glass, then wait at least two hours before feeding your child again. Some people say three, but this may depend on the age and weight of your baby if they are still hungry after being fed beforehand!

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends “no more than two alcoholic drinks per day, with at least 24 hours between each.” That means if breastfed babies are usually being fed twice during the day, then there can be no more than two drinks in total per day, including milk from their mother. Still, if they only feed once a day, then they can have no more than two drinks per week.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends “no alcohol at all for breastfeeding moms,” which is a stricter rule than the WHO’s recommendation. So it really comes down to you and your own personal preference: do you want to limit yourself as much as possible or not?

How to Advise Mom Who is Breastfeeding and Taking Alcohol?

  • Provide information on dos and don’ts of breastfeeding while taking alcohol
  • Allow moms to make informed decisions about what they’re consuming
  • Educate women on the effects it has on milk production, baby’s health, and other important factors
  • There are many consequences of alcohol consumption, so it’s essential to take caution
  • Alcohol links to birth defects and can cause fetal alcohol syndrome
  • If the mother consumes any amount of alcohol while nursing, it affects the baby
  • Exposing babies to alcohol is also a punishable crime

It’s important for women who want to breastfeed or continue nursing after they’ve consumed alcohol; however, is being aware of how much they’re consuming. Less than one standard drink per day doesn’t seem likely to cause developmental issues. But it may be difficult for some mothers with a higher tolerance level. But it minimizes potential risks associated with drinking alcohol by waiting an hour between drinks and limiting intake around the social event.

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