Drinking whilst Breastfeeding over Christmas

Posted on November 26, 2014 by Charlotte Keating

There's no need to feel left out of the festivities just because you're limiting or not drinking alcohol this Christmas. It's all in the presentation: red & white stripy paper straws, a festive napkin and a healthy dose of red berries thrown in the mix will soon make any drink more appealing Christmassy! And we do love the frosty sugar rimmed glasses! Take a look at our Jolly Christmas Mocktails Pinterest board for some recipe ideas over the holidays!

 


Alcohol & Breastfeeding

Whilst it’s generally recommend to avoid alcohol in pregnancy, the advice for breastfeeding mums is a little more relaxed. 

Drinking heavily whilst breastfeeding can affect your child’s development and inhibits your milk let down. However various sources suggest that occasionally drinking one or two units of alcohol whilst breastfeeding won’t harm your infant, with a few organisations warning to wait until your baby is older than 3 months to allow their body (liver) enough time to mature and be able to process the alcoholic content in the breastmilk. 

What you need to know is that alcohol passes freely into your blood stream and your breast milk. Equally, it passes freely out of your breast milk and blood stream. 

To limit the affect of alcohol on your breastfeeding baby, you should abstain from nursing whilst the alcohol passes out of your breastmilk

If you do wish to have an alcoholic drink, it’s recommended that you have a drink straight after one of your baby’s feeds and then abstain from nursing whilst the alcohol passes out of your breastmilk.

Limit your alcoholic intake to 1 or 2 units then leave 2-3 hours between having a drink and nursing your baby to allow time for the alcohol to leave your system & breast milk.

Alcohol leaves your system at around one unit every two hours.

Peak levels of alcohol appear in the milk after 30 –90 minutes.

As long as you follow these basic guidelines, there’s no need to ‘pump & dump’ (express your milk and throw it away).

If you are planning on drinking more than a couple of units, it’s advised that you plan in advance and build up a supply of expressed breastmilk for another trusted carer to bottle feed your baby with.

Cautions:
General advice is that you should abstain from drinking whilst nursing until after your baby is 3 months old. Alcohol can change the taste of your milk and some babies may not like this. It may cause them to fuss at the breast, drink less than usual or it may upset their tummy. It’s also suggested that babies don’t tend to sleep so well after breastmilk that contains alcohol.

Please remember that being intoxicated reduces your ability to care adequately for your baby. You should therefore ensure your baby is properly cared for by someone who is not drinking. To avoid the danger of suffocation to your baby, you should never co-sleep with your baby after drinking. If you are drinking heavily or continuously, you may need to use a breast pump to alleviate engorged breasts whilst you skip nursing your baby - as the milk will contain alcohol, you will need to throw this away.

If in doubt, please seek medical advice from your gp or doctor. 

These links explain more about breastfeeding whilst drinking and cite various sources of research to back up data. We hope you find them helpful. 

This article from babycentre.co.uk discusses the amount of alcohol found in certain drinks and the effect it has on your breastmilk. Also highlights other factors to help you drink responsibly whilst breastfeeding.

NHS guidelines on drinking alcohol whilst breastfeeding

This pdf by the BreastfeedingNetwork has helpful advice concerning drinking alcohol whilst breastfeeding. 

La Leche relate a series of fact based studies into drink in whilst breastfeeding with further data found here 

This article from babycenter.com shares how long it takes for alcohol to leave your system (and leave your breastmilk) according to a mother’s weight amongst other factors.

Drinkaware discusses drinking alcohol in moderation whilst breastfeeding. 

Disclaimer: This information has been provided for general guidance based on readily available information found over the internet. No responsibility can be taken by the author or the company Charlotte Keating ENGLAND for the way in which the information is used. Please seek professional medical advice from your doctor or breastfeeding counsellor on drinking alcohol whilst breastfeeding. 

Please drink responsibly as you enjoy the party season!

Holiday fashion for pregnant & nursing mums

’Tis the season the be jolly with the start of the Christmas work parties, pre Christmas get togethers and festive family celebrations!
We're here to help you style your look for the Christmas party season. We've created some super easy looks to help you shine, making it easy to feed discreetly without locking yourself away, getting half undressed to do so. We're confident you'll feel so at ease to feed that you'll find it a breeze to continue your catch up chatter!

Create your own fabulous look with our V Neck Nursing Dress in Jet Black or Festive Red. £45 with FREE P&P
Our breastfeeding dress is sooooo versatile. With just the right amount of detail to the neckline & falling in a soft A-line, this dress is simple and easy to wear. Our well thought through design comes with the following features so you can wear this dress with complete confidence:

Pull-aside cup opening for easy and discreet access giving you complete modesty when breastfeeding.

The discreet feeding panel is just the right shape and placed to ensure easy and ample nursing access. 

Worn as a maternity dress, it will skim and flatter right through to full term pregnancy.

Made from soft, supple, viscose jersey with 8% elastane content, our clothes bounce back to their original shape after manipulation when feeding.

Made from a natural, comfortable, breathable material.

Cut to fit and flatter a post natal body with a fuller bust and more generous cut around the hips and tummy. 

Double thickness on the bust area disguises breast-pad silhouettes. 

 

How to wear this dress for the holidays!

Golden Glam
Look smouldering hot in golden, gunmetal and bronze accessories. Guaranteed to turn heads & get your man's pulse racing on a glam night out whether you're pregnant or breast feeding. 

Candy Cane Christmas
Add a little festive candy-cane cheer to your nursing outfit over the holidays. Keep it simple and sweet without being sugary! Breastfeed with confidence and style!

Blushingly Vintage
If you’re feeling more more nostalgic about this Christmas whilst expecting, our Vintage Style board offers a softer look with subtle pink shades that will complement your natural glow. Look blushingly sweet as you head to your last Christmas work's do before taking maternity leave.

 

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