1. Health
Donna Murray, RN, BSN

Alcohol and Breastfeeding

By March 15, 2012

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It's almost St. Patrick's Day. Do you usually celebrate with corned beef and Irish beer? If so, you might be wondering if it's okay to have an alcoholic drink while you are breastfeeding.

Alcohol does pass through breast milk, but an occasional beer or glass of wine is not considered harmful. If possible, have your drink immediately after pumping or nursing, and wait two hours after consuming your alcoholic beverage before breastfeeding again. The alcohol should clear your body after approximately two hours. If you have more than one drink, wait two hours per drink before feeding your baby.

While an occasional drink is not harmful, avoid drinking alcohol regularly or in excess. Too much alcohol can affect your baby's growth and development. Alcohol also interferes with your let-down reflex and can cause a decrease in your milk supply.

So be responsible, don't overdo it, enjoy your drink and have a happy St. Patrick's Day!

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