Patented Q & A Database


What are the effects of alcohol (one glass of wine a day) while breastfeeding.


Jill Wodnick Replied: Dear One, Most lactation professionals have learned that alcohol is absorbed quickly in the bloodstream. So the answer about the impact depends upon if you have eaten before your glass of wine. When there is food in the stomach, a glass of wine would have a minimal effect. Please research this on
Posted On 2008-10-31 08:28:49
Trish Booth, MA Replied: Alcohol passes easily into breastmilk. That alcohol, then, affects the baby. Three or four drinks a day affect a baby's motor development. The effect of one glass a day on a baby's development may not be noticeable. Many medical providers think an occasional glass of wine is safe. A common suggestion is to limit drinking alcohol to once or twice a week. Here are some tips to limit the effect of the glass of wine: • A serving of wine is 5 ounces. Measure the pour so that you limit yourself to 5 ounces. Using a small wine glass will make the amount of wine seem greater than the same amount in a large glass. • To reduce the temptation to drink more than one serving of wine, refill your glass with sparkling water or a non-alcoholic beverage. Or, switch to a different type of glass. • Nurse your baby just before you will be drinking the wine. • After you have finished the glass of wine, wait two hours before breastfeeding again. That gives your body time to get rid of the alcohol.
Posted On 2008-08-15 11:36:43
Janet Whalley Replied: The effects of alcohol on your baby and on breastfeeding depend on the amount and frequency of drinking. Alcohol can inhibit your let-down reflex and decrease your milk production. The more you drink, the greater the effects on breastfeeding. Also, the smell and taste of alcohol in breastmilk has been found to decrease a baby's consumption of breastmilk during the four hours following exposure to alcohol in the milk. The effect of alcohol on your baby is dose related. Excess levels may cause drowsiness, deep sleep, weakness, and decreased growth in an infant. Though, drinking alcohol during lactation is not recommended, it is not considered harmful to the infant if the amount and duration is limited. When you drink alcohol, significant amounts of alcohol enter your breastmilk in about the same ratio as in your bloodstream. Unlike some other drugs, alcohol can leave your breastmilk when your blood concentration is lower than the concentration in your milk. Therefore, if you have one glass of wine, the alcohol can leave your milk in about 3 hours. So if your baby breastfeeds 3 hours or longer after a drink, he would consume almost no alcohol. What does this mean for you if you choose to have a glass of wine when breastfeeding? Here a few suggestions on how to make drinking safer: 1. Avoid drinking alcohol during a feeding and for the 2-3 hours after drinking. Pay attention to your personal response to alcohol and wait until you are neurologically normal before nursing your baby. 2. Wait until your baby is a few months old and is feeding less often. As your baby gets older and is sleeping longer at night, you may choose to drink a glass of wine because your baby is not likely to awaken soon for a feeding. 3. Limit the amount that you drink. This could mean having only a small glass of wine or not drinking every day. When you drink wine, take it with your meal. Thank you for your question. I hope that my answer is helpful. Best wishes, Janet Whalley
Posted On 2008-08-14 20:11:10
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