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Alcohol & Breastfeeding - What are the rules?


Lately, I've read some concerning comments on my TikTok from people saying they got some poor advice from bad lactation consultants on this topic.

One said "my lactation consultant told me if you can find the baby, you can feed the baby"


Another said "Mine told me if I can drive I can breastfeed"


An entertaining one read "my LC told me I can drink while I feed my baby"


The concerning one said "mine told me that there are no rules and I could get hammered because literally nothing will pass to the milk"


Well, I'm just gonna give you my two cents all tea, all shade...because I earned this IBCLC title honey!

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Some of y'all really miss that glass of wine after work happy hour or champagne during celebrations. As long as it don't control you, then you're good.


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Here's my take on breastfeeding and drinking:

You can find the baby you can feed it, You can drive you can feed
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This one gets on my last nerve...


I'm a daughter of a mother with alcoholism. I have also known many people in my life now, that have battled alcoholism. One thing I know for sure is that the first two comments don't always apply to all people. My mother was so highly functioning that I didn't find out that she was suffering from this disease until I was 36 and she was 62 on her death bed. Apparently she had been hiding it for years and none of us knew how long it had been happening until the doctors told us how bad off her organs were, they were all failing suddenly. She developed early onset dementia (wet brain) as a result but Thank God, she is alive and recovering in a sober living skilled nursing facility.


I tell you this to say, you can drive and find a baby while piss poor drunk. Unfortunately, many folks do it all the time with skill. My mom was running a restaurant for her blind boyfriend and driving to pick up my kids on an almost daily basis. I wouldn't have known she was drunk. So, she could find a baby or drive but her blood alcohol level was still through the roof.


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You can't have a bunch of alcohol in your blood, so much that it can't get out, because then it can't get out of your milk either. This would mean that milk is not safe for a baby to consume. Pumping and dumping wouldn't even be advisable in that situation. It would be better to abstain from breastfeeding as it would be contraindicated for someone with alcoholism.


Drinking while you feed or pump
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This one is borderline OK with me. Is it the safest option, no, can it be done safely, yea. I don't love this one but I'm here for it.


The scoop is, you gotta do it and finish your session before the alcohol starts to peak in your bloodstream. That means it would be at its highest concentration which increases risk.


Alcohol on an empty tummy peaks around 1 hour into drink. A little longer like, 1.5 - 2 hours. on a full tummy or with food.


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