#boozeandboobs series: Guideline Recommendations and Summary

Last in our #boozeandboobs series: guideline recommendations and summary.🍺🤱🏻

Guidelines recommend waiting at least 2 hours per drink before nursing and discourage drinking while actively nursing. ⏲ These recommendations are based on what you’ve learned over the last several days: everyone breaks down alcohol differently; infants 👶🏿 don’t break alcohol down as well or as fast as older babies/toddlers 👦🏼 or adults 👨🏽‍🦱; milk supply may temporarily decrease; infant nursing behaviors and sleep patterns may temporarily change; and research 📖 regarding long-term effects of alcohol exposure is limited, conflicting, and decades-old.

However, research has also demonstrated that alcohol reaches its max concentration within 30-90+ minutes of its consumption. ⏱ The dose of alcohol in breastmilk is generally low, 0.5-3.3% of the lactating individual’s dose. Any changes in milk supply or infants’ nursing behaviors and sleep patterns following occasional alcohol intake are temporary. 😴 No study has demonstrated lasting changes in an infant’s development from occasional alcohol exposure via breastmilk. Experts say you can nurse when you feel neurologically normal. 🧠

❗️Guidelines, experts, and research ALL agree that you shouldn’t take care of an infant if you are intoxicated. This is true whether you breastfeed, formula feed, or any combination of the the two. You shouldn’t drive, carry, snuggle, co-sleep, etc. if you are intoxicated. Someone else needs to take care of your child in that situation. ❗️

So, with all this information, how do you make a decision that works best for YOU and your family? One that you can defend if needed with all the knowledge you’ve gained over the last few days?

💡Here’s what I think it all comes down to: are you more comfortable with your infant/toddler having MINIMAL alcohol exposure or NO alcohol? If you are comfortable with minimal exposure, practice safe drinking while lactating. 🍹🤱🏻 If you are more comfortable with no exposure, wait to have a drink when you have a 2 hour break between nursing sessions or have pumped milk (and your pump!) available. 🍼 You can defend EITHER decision with the knowledge you now have regarding drinking while lactating. 👊🏻

🥂BOTTOM LINE🥂

Only YOU gets to decide if you can have an occasional drink or two while lactating. YOU have the knowledge needed to make that decision. Don’t shame people who choose to drink while lactating, and don’t shame people who choose NOT to drink while lactating. 🙅🏼‍♀️🚫 Everyone has a different comfortable level in regards to this topic. Make the best decision for YOU and your family and flaunt your knowledge if someone questions your decision. 🎉

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