Breastfeeding & Alcohol

I've been debating lots in my mind about whether breastfeeding is for me. I'm going to set myself little targets, and the first is to do it for a month and see how it goes. If all goes well I hope to carry on for as long as it works out.

We had a session on breastfeeding at our NCT course but she was pretty vague about drinking and what you can/can't do. I'm not saying that two weeks after the baby is born I want to go out and get wasted BUT having missed out on both mine and H's birthdays, Christmas, and potentially our first wedding anniversary, I'm really looking forward to being able to enjoy a couple of glasses of wine/bubbles/the occasional vodka and tonic once the baby is here.

Are there any hard and fast rules? If I've had a couple of glasses should I express and throw away that feed? I'm not really thinking that I'll be going for big nights out, but more a few glasses at home/my parents with dinner. Most of my friends have given up on breastfeeding after a week or so and the one who has done it long term doesnt drink at all so I can't really ask them.

Thanks in advance.


  • Kellymom is a good source of breastfeeding info as is the bfn website.

    The general rule is that it goes in to your milk as it does your blood so it's best to drink during or after a feed. A lot of people follow the advice that if you're safe to drink you're fine to breastfeed.

    I've had several glasses of wine over the last couple of weeks, they were delicious lol I really missed it whilst pregnant so it's nice to have a drink now. I've never pumped and dumped. You don't need to as it doesn't make your milk bad but obv if you were getting drunk then you'd need to think about expressing rather than feeding the baby from source!

  • I found this a very interesting read:

    If you don't have time to read it, the take-away point is: the alcohol content of breastmilk mirrors that of your blood. The legal limit of alcohol in your blood (after which you can't drive I mean) is 0.08% - therefore if you've had enough drinks that you can't drive, your breastmilk is still only 0.08% alcohol. FYI: Orange juice is 0.09% alcohol.

    I didn't drink much as I coslept, but occasionally when he got older I would put him to bed and have a small glass of wine knowing it'd be a few hours before I went up myself. I think what you've said you're planning to have should be absolutely fine!

  • As others said, if you can drive you can bf.

    The alcohol disappears from your milk over time so you don't have to pump and dump. Just wait a few hours until you next feed them.

    If you're planning on having a good few drinks then express in advance so you can give them a bottle until enough time has passed.

    I don't drink often but enjoy a glass of wine at home. I'll give her a feed just before then I know she won't need feeding for a few hours by which time I'll be ok to bf her again .

    As for setting yourself little targets I think that's ideal. I did that first time as wasn't sure I would like bfing/ thought it would feel a bit weird. So I didn't pressure myself at all, then every day I did was a bonus. I ended up doing if for 6 months which was always my end goal

  • Just to add each unit of alcohol that you drink takes an hour to leave your blood stream. So if you drink one unit after an hour that unit will ahev left your system. Two units, two hours and so on.

  • You definitely don't need to go tee total if bfing, you may find you're too knackered to drink to start with anyway! I was so careful to begin with but became more relaxed about it and you don't want to be too sozzled as you'll probably be up several times a night for a while. I read so, so much about it as I was so worried but as Saisi posted it's good to be informed and there's a lot of scaremongering for those who just fancy the odd glass of wine! See how you go anyway and good luck!

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