Jump to content

I dont get the whole no alcohol and breastfeeding thing


  • Please log in to reply
141 replies to this topic

#51 katie_wallsy

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:34 PM

I have read all links provided but not one of them supplies the answer to my question. Its all good...maybe no one actually knows. I will assume for now that since babies have developing brains to be safe the experts believe even a few millimeters of alcohol could be dangerous.

If anyone does know the answer though I would love to hear it.

Edited by katie_wallsy, 19 October 2012 - 02:35 PM.


#52 wallofdodo

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:41 PM

QUOTE (countrymel @ 19/10/2012, 02:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It isn't going to be interesting if all people post is one line insults or one line 'popcorn/this'll be interesting/you are new here' posts though...

ENGAGE EB..... engage with the topic.


I'm off to find a photo of my Mum (district supervisor and life member of the ABA) holding a glass of sherry in one hand with baby me attached to the breast and nestled in the crook of her other arm!

That should add some spice to proceedings!



I am glad someone said it! Engage!

Also I was told if you were going to drink and breast feed, this was the best way to do it(obv abstinence is the best option). While you were feeding, as by the time the alchohol gets in to your breast milk the feed would be finished, and it is the longest period before the next feed.

They also said make sure it is really really good wine.  And don't do it all the time.

#53 Guest_bottle~rocket_*

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:42 PM

The ABA leaflet on Alcohol and Breastfeeding (found here)

states:

QUOTE
What if I often have 3 or more drinks a day?
Drinking 3 or more drinks a day can be harmful to your
health and that of your baby. Be aware that:
• You may not be able to take care of your baby properly
if you are affected by alcohol.
• Your baby may be slower to reach developmental
milestones.
• Alcohol may decrease the flow of your milk and thus
reduce your supply.


and
QUOTE
Key points
• Breastfeeding is important for your baby’s physical
growth and emotional and mental development.
• You can have up to 2 standard drinks, but not every
day, once your baby is a month old.
• Breastfeed before you have alcohol.
• Eat before and while you are drinking.
• Plan ahead if you think you may occasionally have
more than 2 standard drinks.
• It is better to give a breastfeed with a small amount of
alcohol than to feed artificial baby milk.
• There are risks in feeding your baby artificial baby milk.





#54 niggles

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:48 PM

I've occasionally breastfed after having a couple of drinks. I fed DD for 2 years and am approaching a year in with DS. I've got my routine down pat.

For the record I think it was a perfectly legitimate question to ask, OP. I'm sure your 10 drinks example was just for the sake of the maths. I've heard plenty of conversations where people seem to be talking about alcohol in breastmilk as though it's in the same quantities as in the drink you are consuming. Of course you have to take into account that tiny developing liver of theirs but it's perfectly possible to breastfeed safely and have a drink too.

#55 ekbaby

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:49 PM

I agree with you OP. I didn't drink at all until my first child was 1-2 years old, but with my second I have had one or two drinks whilst breastfeeding.

My BAC would never get above 0.05% (driving limit) as I'm following the guidelines for driving- i.e. one standard drink per hour (having said that I've never had more than 2 in one day, at least an hour apart).

So my baby is drinking milk that is 0.05% alcohol. A beer is around 5% alcohol. Therefore my milk is 100 times weaker than a beer. If my baby drinks around 100-200mils of breastmilk, it would be as if there was 1-2 mils of beer (not pure alcohol) mixed in with that milk. Not something that I am concerned about.

I didn't drink at all for the first 6 weeks or so, when he was feeding a lot, and I was establishing breastfeeding. I still don't drink very often, maybe 1-2 drinks every 2-3 months- like one glass of champagne at Christmas, weddings etc. I don't feel at all guilty about this. You can also try to time your drinks- having a drink straight after your baby has fed, if they won't be feeding for another 2-3 hours afterwards, means the alcohol will most likely be completely out of your system by then.

The things I am more likely to be concerned about when drinking alcohol is a) the impact on my parenting ability- even if I was not breastfeeding, I wouldn't want to go above 0.05 when caring for a child and b) co-sleeping- which is why if I am going to drink, I do it in the daytime/lunchtime or early evening, so that there are a couple of hours to clear it from my system before sleeping.

I don't know why people get so hysterical about it. It's a very different situation to drinking while pregnant- when drinking while pregnant the alcohol crosses directly over the placenta .

I have been either pregnant or breastfeeding continuously for the last 5 years. I'm quite happy to give up alcohol when I'm pregnant and I'm not a big drinker anyway, but being able to have the occasional drink at special occasions is part of my life and not feeling like I have to give up everything is part of what  has made long term breastfeeding workable for me. I think I would have been better off breastfeeding my kids for the full 2 years, even if in this time they had extremely mildly alcohol-tainted breastmilk on a handful of occasions, than weaning in order to be able to drink.

#56 WaitForMe

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:50 PM

Babies are not adults. Alcohol affects babies differently to adults.
I Can't remember where I read it but it's been found that if you have alcohol 3 times a week, each week, a bf baby will have developmental delays. How much alcohol I don't know, or how significant the delays.
My baby is reasonably good at night these days and I feel comfortable having 1 standard drink a couple times a week. If she wakes up in the two hour window, I feed her, and then have nothing for a while until I feel comfortable again.

#57 RachealJane

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:55 PM

Prior to being pregnant again, the very few times I have had a drink I either fed her just before or during having that drink so that it would be the longest possible time between her next feed.

I'm the sort of person who would rather do without something then risk any development of my child so have avoided alcohol and drugs wherever possible.

#58 (feral)epg

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

I can't be bothered doing all the maths - but I'm sure there is a way to work out how many milligrams of pure alcohol would then be in your breast milk.
I think for all the authorities it's a lot easier (and safer) to simply say no exposure is recommended - rather than saying X mg is safe - therefore 'greenlighting' drinking.  Obviously it too easily becomes a slippery slope - 'well if X amount is safe, and I do it every night surely thats ok, if X is safe and I actually drink 2X but do so with a full meal, well if X is safe and I don't normally drink but tonights a special day then surely a bit more won't do any harm......blah blah blah.   It's like the 'safe' recommendations for drinking while pregnant - plenty of people have the odd glass and have perfectly healthy babies - but we just don't know where the magic number is that starts causing damage.
Also babies process alcohol differently to adults (liver not fully operational yet) and the developing brain is extremely susceptible to damage.
Personally I'm happy not to drink anything throughout my pregnancy and would probably not drink and breastfeed simultaneously, but I'm not a great drinker anyway so it's no loss to me.
Fortunately it's safe to eat camembert and breastfeed!

You're not a fool for asking the question - I think it's really sad that EB has become a site where some people (myself included) would be afraid to merely ASK because of the inevitable "OMG I can't believe you even thought about that, you must be the worst mother in the world" BS.  Better to ask a stupid question than just guess at the answer.


#59 FlutterbyBlue

Posted 19 October 2012 - 02:59 PM

Where are the marshmallows?

I am Scottish, my parents were Scottish, we cooked our porridge with salt but also, sometimes, ate it with salt.  My cousin always ate his porridge with salt sprinkled on top.

I don't advocate putting whiskey in a baby's bottle, neither did my parents.  However, my Australian born in-laws did suggest brandy or whiskey in the bottle to 'settle' the baby if s/he was being fussy, or teething.  

As for the drinking and breast feeding, it wasn't an issue for me as I don't drink alcohol.  Now if you had had doubts about coffee crossing over that would be a whole new conversation.  ;D



#60 (feral)epg

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:01 PM

PS - I was one of the many babies who was given the odd drop of brandy when I wouldn't settle - Mum reckons it would buy her a couple of hours of peace so I'm pretty sure it 'affected' me in the short term.  Maybe if she hadn't done that I would be a bit more smarterer.

#61 Nataliah

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:06 PM

QUOTE (niggles @ 19/10/2012, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've occasionally breastfed after having a couple of drinks. I fed DD for 2 years and am approaching a year in with DS. I've got my routine down pat.

For the record I think it was a perfectly legitimate question to ask, OP. I'm sure your 10 drinks example was just for the sake of the maths. I've heard plenty of conversations where people seem to be talking about alcohol in breastmilk as though it's in the same quantities as in the drink you are consuming. Of course you have to take into account that tiny developing liver of theirs but it's perfectly possible to breastfeed safely and have a drink too.


I thought it was a reasonable question too shrug.gif

Personally I am the kind of person that wants to question and understand why certain recommendations are made.  It's not in my nature to blindly accept a dumbed-down pamphlet version of the science.  I assume OP is the same, it doesn't make her or I lacking in a brain... quite the opposite I expect.

#62 Jeyamoo

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:06 PM

The OP is asking a valid question and it's one I have asked many times myself. Drinking whilst breastfeeding is NOT the same as drinking whilst pregnant.

If EB could tone down the hysteria we might be able to have a sensible discussion about this but sadly I do think that is going to be possible.

#63 Awesome101

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:10 PM

OP, i get what your asking. And just because you are curious about the logic behind it doesn't mean you are a terrible parent who breastfeeds their baby after 10 drinks.

From memory the alcohol affects the hormones that produce breast milk. So its not exactly the alcohol that is harming the baby, Alcohol actually leaves breast milk approx 3 hours after consuming the drinks, so unless you down 10 drinks within a few hours and feed your baby straight away your baby isnt drinking 10 drinks worth of alcoholic breast milk.

What is DOES do is have an effect on breast milk production. Women produce less milk after drinking, baby doesn't get enough milk, drop in weight, lethargic baby etc etc.




#64 Blondiebear

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:10 PM

QUOTE (niggles @ 19/10/2012, 02:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've occasionally breastfed after having a couple of drinks. I fed DD for 2 years and am approaching a year in with DS. I've got my routine down pat.

For the record I think it was a perfectly legitimate question to ask, OP. I'm sure your 10 drinks example was just for the sake of the maths. I've heard plenty of conversations where people seem to be talking about alcohol in breastmilk as though it's in the same quantities as in the drink you are consuming. Of course you have to take into account that tiny developing liver of theirs but it's perfectly possible to breastfeed safely and have a drink too.

Adjust the ages of our children a bit and it's ditto to Niggles from me.

I think the OP may have thrown people a bit with the 10 drink example, but otherwise it's a perfectly reasonable issue to discuss in my opinion. I think I'm sensible enough to figure out when it's safe for me to breastfeed.

#65 katie_wallsy

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:26 PM

Last 10 posts (except the very last)...THANKYOU!

My faith in EB is restored.

Edited by katie_wallsy, 19 October 2012 - 03:27 PM.


#66 ~Sorceress~

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

It made me really cross reading on a water bottle provided by the ACT government yesterday at a restaurant that you shouldn't drink ANY alcohol if you were pregnant, planning to be pregnant or breastfeeding.

Great way to discourage long-term breastfeeding, guys rolleyes.gif .

Clearly, getting blotto while a lactating mother is not a good idea for many many reasons, but a glass of bubbly with dinner every so often makes me a far better parent! laughing2.gif

#67 Mummy Em

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE (Awesome101 @ 19/10/2012, 01:10 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What is DOES do is have an effect on breast milk production. Women produce less milk after drinking, baby doesn't get enough milk, drop in weight, lethargic baby etc etc.


No, that is not accurate. OP, the reason is because it is unknown how much alcohol an infants brain can manage without damage. It's unlikely that one or two drinks does harm, but how much a mother can safely have has not been scientifically proven.

A baby's brain is not a smaller version of an adult brain.

#68 Nataliah

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:32 PM

QUOTE (katie_wallsy @ 19/10/2012, 04:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Last 10 posts (except the very last)...THANKYOU!

My faith in EB is restored.


I think you were the victim of bad timing (Friday arvo) and a bored crowd that so wanted a show they didn't bother to actually read what you had posted...

#69 QueenElsa

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:34 PM

OP, here's my attempt at where you went wrong.

10 drinks in a couple of hours would give you a BAL much higher than 0.15.

Also, a baby's liver is incapable of breaking down alcohol like an adult who has had alcohol previous (enzymes not induced etc). Also their developing brain is at risk to many toxins at this age.

To have a rational discussion, let's talk about the effect of 1-2 standard drinks.  I have had a glass of wine while breast feeding (did 2 days ago).  I think only a fool has 10 drinks and then BFs.

#70 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:38 PM

My understanding is that no-one can prove that x amount of alcohol is safe whilst BF (or whilst pg for that matter), so the advice is to abstain completely.  

I recall reading a disturbing story in That's Life (that's where I get all my educational info from! wink.gif  ) about a woman whose baby was born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.  She admitted to dinking two glasses of wine a day throughout her pregnancy and she thought this would be OK, as 2 glasses is considered the max for a woman who isn't pregnant.   huh.gif   Apparently she failed to realise is that she was drinking from a really big glass, and was in fact consuming 8 standard drinks every day.  ohmy.gif   It's due to people like this that the advice is to abstain completely.

#71 Tiamo

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 19/10/2012, 04:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not encouraging it, but it wasn't so long ago nursing mothers were encouraged to drink a glass of Guinness to increase their supply.

I think that this was only as about alternative time really cheap and nasty gin in the 19th century which was just awful for you.

#72 Tiamo

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:40 PM

QUOTE (Madame Catty @ 19/10/2012, 04:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not encouraging it, but it wasn't so long ago nursing mothers were encouraged to drink a glass of Guinness to increase their supply.

I think that this was only as an alternative to really cheap and nasty gin in the 19th century which was just awful for you.

Edited by Tiamo, 19 October 2012 - 03:41 PM.


#73 MinkyMonkey

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:41 PM

QUOTE (katie_wallsy @ 19/10/2012, 02:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have read all links provided but not one of them supplies the answer to my question. Its all good...maybe no one actually knows. I will assume for now that since babies have developing brains to be safe the experts believe even a few millimeters of alcohol could be dangerous.

If anyone does know the answer though I would love to hear it.


Exactly, you have answered your own question. The reason is because no one knows what even 3mLs of alcohol is going to to to an infants developing brain and nervous system. We will likely never know because no ethics committee is going to allow the research to determine what effect, if any occurs.

#74 Beancat

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:44 PM

Sometimes I think EB stands for Essential B$#chfest, not Essential Baby.  EB is so predictable sometimes with a certain set of perfect people galloping along on their highhorses.  Relax people

#75 JinksNewton

Posted 19 October 2012 - 03:46 PM

Developing brains aside, I think it can upset a baby's stomach. I've heard a few stories from my mum's generation of having champagne or something at a wedding then BF shortly afterwards and the babies having atrocious poos following that.

ETA I used to have the occasional beer after Owen had gone down for his long sleep (5 hours) at night, I'm fine with that level of things.

Edited by redkris, 19 October 2012 - 03:50 PM.





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 
 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Viewed Articles

 
Advertisement
 
 
 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.