Alcohol and Breastfeeding

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Women often develop a strong desire for drinking during pregnancy as they are warned not to do so. People often indulge in those things that are prohibited to do. Researchers have conducted several studies to show that alcohol can pose avoidable and severe risk to the unborn baby.However still there is a lot of searches to be done to gather enough evidence to know the effect of alcohol on breastfeeding. There have always been conflicting thoughts regarding the effect of alcohol consumption on breastfeeding. So, a mother should know the following things during her most important phase of life.

Alcohol & Breastfeeding

Effect of Alcohol on Breastfeeding

The effect of alcohol on breastfeeding is in direct relation to the consumption of alcohol. The most astonishing fact is that alcohol and breastfeeding don’t mix very well. Till date, there is no study that has shown the appropriate level of alcohol in breastfeeding that is safe to consume and has no effect on the baby.  When a woman drinks alcohol during breastfeeding, it goes to the breast milk and is found at the same concentration level in milk when compare to its concentration in the blood stream. This may affect the newborn baby as his capacity to eliminate alcohol from its body is almost half as compared to the adults. Though, it is also true that breastfed newborn baby has exposure of only fraction of the consumed alcohol by its mother.

Side effects of consuming Alcohol during Breastfeeding

If alcohol is consumed in a large amount by the woman during breastfeed, it can pose significant side effects as follows:

  1. drowsiness
  2. deep sleep
  3. weakness
  4. abnormal increase of weight in the infant
  5. Decreased reflex of milk ejection in the mother: this is probably due to inhibition of release of oxytocin hormone from the pituitary gland. This leads toimpediment in milk releasing process which affects the efficiency of milk release by the mother.
  6. Increaseodourin breast milk due to ethanol content because of large consumption of beer or alcohol.
  7. Delayed development of motor reflexes in the baby.
  8. Affects the linear growth of the child.

Weighing pros and cons of Alcohol on Breastfeeding

Many mothers often find themselves in a situation where they get strong urge to drink. For example, if she goes to any wedding or date or girls night out, then she may be having concerns about the effect of alcohol on her baby. Therefore, it is very important to get full information about alcohol and breastfeeding so that one can enjoy each and every moment of her life and can do careful planning for safe consumption of alcohol. Consider the following suggestion:

  1. If you get a strong desire to drink then have your limited amount of alcohol.
  2. You can also wait to get the alcohol cleared from your system before nursing.
  3. You can also discard the milk by hand pumping if your breast gets fill while waiting for alcohol clearance.
  4. Try to enjoy non-alcoholic beverage if you can.

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