Drinking alcohol and breastfeeding is still a touchy subject for many. Some people see it as taboo that shouldn’t even be compromised but for others, the whole issue is debatable. We know that alcohol and babies should never mix for obvious health concerns. At the same time, experts have done numerous studies on how much is too much alcohol and the fact that you don’t necessarily have to quit.
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While we all have many questions regarding this topic, here are some important things you need to know about drinking and breastfeeding.
- You should wait until two months
Babies who have just been born are very sensitive. This is a very crucial time where their metabolism is slow so anything they consume through the breast milk could affect them differently. Furthermore, they need to feed for longer periods of time so there’s really no room to drink at this point. According to experts, it is best to avoid consuming any alcohol until your baby is at least two months old. This way, they will be able to breakdown anything effectively.
- You need to be strict with timing
Timing is very important when it comes to drinking and nursing. Your body needs enough time to break down the alcohol content to manageable levels that cannot cause any harm to the child. It’s recommended that you need to wait for at least two hours before feeding your baby. This is the standard time doctors suggest. The longer you wait the better.
- Moderation is everything
You need to wait a minimum of two to three hours before breastfeeding or after drinking but this doesn’t give room for binge consumption. There are still limits when it comes to this so you need to be careful of how much you consume. Drinking excessively could eventually lead to developmental problems or even death in some cases in breast feeding children. Their motor skills, weight, blood sugar levels and other aspects of their health could be affected.
Breastfeeding mothers are limited to an equivalent of two beers within a 24 hour period and even with these limitations, drinking shouldn’t occur too often.
- It affects your milk production
Studies have shown that there is a correlation between consumption of alcohol and milk production. Contrary to beliefs that it could make you produce more milk, the opposite is true. If you consume a lot of alcohol as a mother who is still feeding, your milk production will be limited. This will mean that your baby will also get fewer nutrients than what they need that day. Always stay within the limitations to avoid the struggles of not being able to effectively breastfeed your baby.
- Avoiding alcohol is best
The pressure and struggles that come with drinking while breastfeeding can be avoided all together. It’s hard to have a good time when you have to constantly calculate when it’s okay to breastfeed or worry about the possibilities of the effects on your baby. The best thing would be to give it up until you stop breastfeeding. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself without stressing too much.
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