Is it Safe to Drink Alcohol While Breastfeeding?

After nine months of refraining from alcohol, I’m sure one of your top questions regarding breastfeeding is whether this fast must continue or whether you can finally enjoy a glass of wine. What it comes down to is one of the most important facts of breastfeeding you should keep in mind: everything that you eat or drink can end up in your breastmilk – and alcohol is no exception. For this reason, the optimal recommendation is to refrain from alcohol, at least in the first few weeks while you establish breastfeeding. Don’t worry, though, all is not lost! If you do have a particular craving, it is possible to have a drink and safely breastfeed, if you follow the recommended guidelines:

  1. Feed your baby immediately before drinking alcohol.
  2. Wait at least two hours after each drink before breastfeeding. This is because it takes your body approximately 1-2 hours to process one standard drink. A standard drink contains 10mg of pure alcohol and is equal to 100mg of 12.5% wine.
  3. Express your breast milk before feeding if you have had more than two standard drinks. Have at least two alcohol-free days every week.
  4. If you feel in any way intoxicated, do not breastfeed.

It should be remembered that these are only minimum requirements and guidelines. Other factors such as how fast you’re drinking or your own body type can also influence how long it takes your body to process alcohol. Expressing breast milk will not remove the alcohol if it is still in your bloodstream – only time can do this. It is possible to have a drink while breastfeeding, and after those nine months, you deserve it! Drink responsibly though and follow these guidelines to make sure you’re breastfeeding your baby in the safest way possible.