We often receive the question of whether or not new moms can have an alcoholic beverage while breastfeeding.
The rules are as follows:
- Always drink responsibly and not while the child is in your care.
- It takes four hours per standard drink for the alcohol to go into and out of your milk. So, if you have one drink, you can safely feed your baby after four hours, two drinks after eight hours.
- If you consume more than that, or if you are unsure of the timing since consumption, you can purchase breast milk alcohol test strips. The strips detect whether or not alcohol is present in your milk. If there is, you should pump and dump the milk until it is clear of alcohol.
- Alcohol from wine and mixed drinks can decrease milk let down, so caution is advised for those who experience poor milk production. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer, on the other hand, has been shown to increase milk production and thus can help those who are not making much milk.
Please leave a comment if you have any other questions or join us for the next Breastfeeding Community Gathering Thursday, May 24, from 11 a.m. to Noon in the Shannon Women’s & Children’s Center family room (3rd floor), 201 E. Beauregard.
When your milk becomes more plentiful (sometime between the second and sixth day after you give birth), your breasts swell and may become firm. The fullness you feel is due to the increased production of milk as well as blood and other fluids traveling to the breasts. This swelling may cause your baby to refuse to eat or slide off the breast.
Luckily, engorgement may be minimized or prevented. Here are a few tips to help mothers with this issue:
1) Try to feed your baby often. Removing milk from the breast relieves the swelling and allows the excess fluids to flow out of the area. Missing a feeding will make the swelling worse.
2) Use warm, moist heat to help reduce engorgement. You can try placing hot, wet towels around the breasts or hop in the shower for 15 minutes.
3) Pump for five minutes prior to your baby latching on.
These steps will help make feeding easier during this time. Another tip is to massage any firm spots in your breast while your baby is feeding to help make the milk flow.
Join us for our next Community Gathering meeting, Thursday, April 12 from 11 a.m. to Noon in the Shannon Women’s & Children’s Center family room (3rd floor), 201 E. Beauregard.
Q) Is it normal for breastfeeding to hurt?
A) Slight sensitivity with initial latch is normal but discomfort should completely subside after 15-30 seconds of nursing. No pain or discomfort should be felt after that time. If you are experiencing pain, check the infant’s mouth for flanged lips and check that most of the areola is in the infant’s mouth.
Q) How do I know if my baby is getting anything or enough to eat?
A) We watch for the number of wet and dirty diaper and the infant’s weight to ensure your infant is eating enough. Most infants will lose some weight in the first few days then begin to gain weight, returning to birth weight by two weeks of age.
Q) What is considered a “normal” number of minutes for an infant to remain at each breast?
A) Feeding times vary greatly baby to baby. The best way to ensure your infant is receiving the right amount of foremilk and hind milk, and empties your breasts adequately is to: latch infant to right breast and allow infant to nurse until they fall off or goes to sleep with no continued nursing with stimulation. Then, burp the infant and offer the left breast. The infant may feed less to this side or refuse all together. With the next feeding begin with the left breast. (If your left breast feels full or is uncomfortable you may want to pump for comfort and store the milk.)
Q) Do breastfed infants need to be burped?
A) YES! Most breastfed infants have less gas because there is no air inside the breast for them to swallow. However, the infant can swallow air with latching attempts, during crying spells or just general swallowing while not at the breast. Burping your baby before, during and after a feeding is always a good idea.
Please feel free to ask questions! A certified lactation consultant will answer any question you may have.