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Booze - little, but often?


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#1 MwahMum

Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:12 PM

Hello,

Appreciate that there are many differing opinions re: alcohol and breastfeeding.

I have been trying to find info specifically around regular use of alcohol, rather than binge use, as it relates to breastfeeding.

Can anyone point me in the direction of any research or info that may exist on this.

Specifically examples of the harm (or not) caused to the baby by regular (ie. Daily) low consumption of alcohol (1-2 glasses of wine) with feeding.

I thought that it took 24 hours for all traces of alcohol to leave the body, and recall something about baby's ability to deal with particular byproducts of alcohol.

Can anyone help? Asking for a friend...

#2 Future-self

Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:36 PM

Well no study force feeding a baby breastmilk with alcohol in it daily has been done to establish harm/no harm for obvious reasons!

It doesn't take  24 hours for alcohol to leave the body - that's well studied.
And there's big differences between 'the body' as in the woman's body and her physiological processes of the liver and kidneys etc and her breastmilk. So all traces of one unit of alcohol are out of breast milk with 1.5-2 hours depending on the woman. Her body and what occurs to breakdown the alcohol has byproduct -in her stomach, kidneys and liver. That doesn't relate to her breastmilk though. Perhaps you were thinking of alcohol in pregnancy?

So technically a glass a day of wine is fine for baby if spaced properly between feeds to ensure there's no alcohol however for the Mother guidelines really do say that everyone should have a few days a week of zero alcohol for health.

Edited by Future-self, 14 November 2019 - 09:36 PM.


#3 *Marty*

Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:38 PM

Dont know, but 2 glasses of alcohol is the highest recommended intake of alcohol for women so I would not consider it 'low consumption of alcohol.

For me, low consumption of alcohol would be maybe half a standard glass.

No judgement but please keep this in mind.  You/your friend are obviously trying to be informed

#4 MwahMum

Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:52 PM

Good points above, thank you.

Particularly related to defining low consumption of alcohol. That is helpful.

Future-self, thanks for the detailed comments. My question relates to breastfeeding (not pregnancy) and breast milk that may contain traces of alcohol if not spaced properly between feeds. And any cumulative effect on the baby.

There is a lot of noise in some groups around not drinking and boobing, more to avoid droppping baby, rather than considering the phsyical impact of the alcohol on bub. And a lot of "if you're right to drive, you're right to feed" (which doesn't take into account the 1.5/2hour spacing).

Is it risky behaviour that I've described above? I don't know and can't find any thing to help the situation...

#5 Chamomile

Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:56 PM

I believe there is an app for breastfeeding and drinking. It was mentioned in one of the parenting classes I went to.
It takes into account your body weight etc.
Someone might know the name of the app?

#6 ipsee

Posted 14 November 2019 - 09:58 PM

I don't think it is that risky really. Baby is not getting much alcohol thru breastmilk. Is it really every day tho? And are they really having only 1-2 drinks, or is it more than that sometimes/often?

Breatfeeding is totally different to being pregnant and drinking. If you are pregnant baby gets the amount of alcohol you get eg 5%. Breastfeeding, baby gets a tiny percentage eg 0.4% (if you are right to drive).

Edited by ipsee, 14 November 2019 - 09:59 PM.


#7 Future-self

Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:00 PM

View PostChamomile, on 14 November 2019 - 09:56 PM, said:

I believe there is an app for breastfeeding and drinking. It was mentioned in one of the parenting classes I went to.
It takes into account your body weight etc.
Someone might know the name of the app?
Yes, it's called Feed safe. It's definitely helpful but still approximate. I used it and it said someone of my height weight age and sex would be back to 0 blood alcohol after 1 hour 20 mins. I often feel that 2 hours is safer for me  though so stick with that - for driving too.

Edited by Future-self, 14 November 2019 - 10:02 PM.


#8 MwahMum

Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:04 PM

Thanks Chamomile.  Yes, the Feed Safe app is the one I'm aware of. Put out by the ABFA.

That is reassuring thank you, where the alcohol is consumed within those windows.

The question I have relates to what is the impact if the feeding happens outside those safe windows, on a regular basis. Is this causing harm to the bfing baby?

(I'm trying hard not to be judgemental, so please forgive  me if I am coming across a bit bluntly)

I am trying to find information on this to help reduce both the alcohol intake and regularity of the consumption.

Marty's reminder that 2 daily glasses is upper limit is a good one. I can use that. It is objective and persuasive.

#9 MwahMum

Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:07 PM

View Postipsee, on 14 November 2019 - 09:58 PM, said:

I don't think it is that risky really. Baby is not getting much alcohol thru breastmilk. Is it really every day tho? And are they really having only 1-2 drinks, or is it more than that

Yes. It is most days. 1-2 glasses, which are likely more than a standard drink (large wine glasses).

#10 Future-self

Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:11 PM

View PostMwahMum, on 14 November 2019 - 09:52 PM, said:


There is a lot of noise in some groups around not drinking and boobing, more to avoid droppping baby, rather than considering the phsyical impact of the alcohol on bub. And a lot of "if you're right to drive, you're right to feed" (which doesn't take into account the 1.5/2hour spacing).


I don;t understand the drinking/dropping part. You have to hold a baby to give it expressed milk or formula in a bottle too so I'm not sure how that's safer?!

TBH Yes I would find a new mum drinking 2 wines every single day week in week out worrying. And I like having a  drink so that's not from a wowser perspective. But for HER yes, that's not good for health. Managing social drinking and breastfeeding is easy and can be done safely. But this is obviously a bit past that?

#11 Future-self

Posted 14 November 2019 - 10:21 PM

View PostMwahMum, on 14 November 2019 - 10:04 PM, said:



The question I have relates to what is the impact if the feeding happens outside those safe windows, on a regular basis. Is this causing harm to the bfing baby?

Not waiting for it to clear the milk?
Then yes probably although how much harm and in what way is not absolute

Even down to something simple like letdowm and supply is affected when alcohol is still in your system. So baby gets less milk and can result in supply drop.

This should be open access and has medical information and studies   https://www.ncbi.nlm...ooks/NBK501469/

Sounds stressful for everyone, I'm sorry

#12 Crazyone26989

Posted 15 November 2019 - 04:59 AM

So you are talking a drink at 5, a drink at 6 and feed baby at 7 sort of thing? That wouldn’t be good for the baby.

I will have half a beer, so less than one standard drink, once DS is in bed but it’s another 7-8 hours before I feed him again. This happens maybe once a week or fortnight.

#13 born.a.girl

Posted 15 November 2019 - 05:20 AM

View PostMwahMum, on 14 November 2019 - 10:07 PM, said:

Yes. It is most days. 1-2 glasses, which are likely more than a standard drink (large wine glasses).

You can buy glasses with the standard serve of wine marked on them. Of course it's approximate given the % of alcohol varies a bit.  You can even mark the glass yourself using the number of serves the bottle says it contains.

Have a glass of water in between.

Sometimes I have wine out of smaller glasses that came with a bottle of sparkling, which are more like small wine glasses than sparkling glasses. That stops anyone refilling my glass with what's effectively 3 x serves of alcohol.

If the bottle says it contains 8 x serves, divide 750ml by 8, pour that amount into a measuring cup, then pour that into your wine glasses and make a mark.

#14 MwahMum

Posted 15 November 2019 - 05:54 AM

Future-self, thank you. That link has useful information.

There are some compelling stats on impact to letdown and baby's sleep.

Can use this,  thanks.

#15 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 15 November 2019 - 06:51 AM

View PostMwahMum, on 14 November 2019 - 09:52 PM, said:


There is a lot of noise in some groups around not drinking and boobing, more to avoid droppping baby, rather than considering the phsyical impact of the alcohol on bub. And a lot of "if you're right to drive, you're right to feed" (which doesn't take into account the 1.5/2hour spacing).



I think you might be in the same DIG  groups as me because I have seen this a lot as well. Usually in reference to an occasional night out.

The ABA also mentions (which I don't know I agree wiht) that a small amount of alcohol in breastmilk is better than formula.

I guess given the above statement the amount getting to baby must be fairly minimal.

#16 Steggles66

Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:13 AM

Check out The Milk Meg, she has a good article regarding this:

https://themilkmeg.c...-breastfeeding/

I would say the bigger issue is having a decent amount of alcohol and looking after a small person rather than what practically insignificant amount would be in your milk.

#17 Bethlehem Babe

Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:15 AM

https://onlinelibrar...1111/bcpt.12149

This is a review of the studies from 2013.


Jack Newman has some interesting stuff to read too.



Sometimes there can be a big misconception that a breastfeeding mum needs to be 100% pure, no alcohol, no caffeine, no medications, 100% healthy diet to breastfeed. This idea ignores the risks associated with not breastfeeding. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying go and get blind drunk every day and feed a newborn, but not breastfeeding has risks too.

#18 Soontobegran

Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:24 AM

View PostWannabeMasterchef, on 15 November 2019 - 06:51 AM, said:

The ABA also mentions (which I don't know I agree wiht) that a small amount of alcohol in breastmilk is better than formula.


What an awful awful statement to make. Do they really state this?
Must go and look.
As an avid breast feeder and breast feeding educator I do not condone this being said to any parent.

Not breastfeeding has 'potential' risks. The last thing we need is to create any more guilt in a mum whether it is because she enjoys the very odd standard drink or whether she has for some reason not been able to breast feed.

Edited by Soontobegran, 15 November 2019 - 07:29 AM.


#19 Steggles66

Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:40 AM

View PostSoontobegran, on 15 November 2019 - 07:24 AM, said:



What an awful awful statement to make. Do they really state this?
Must go and look.
As an avid breast feeder and breast feeding educator I do not condone this being said to any parent.

Not breastfeeding has 'potential' risks. The last thing we need is to create any more guilt in a mum whether it is because she enjoys the very odd standard drink or whether she has for some reason not been able to breast feed.

I don't want this to get into a breastfeeding vs formula thread but what exactly is the issue with this statement said on a website about breastfeeding? This statement is for mums who breastfeed who are wondering if they should stop breastfeeding because they want to have some drinks at Christmas time. That is their audience. They are reassuring those women that they do not need to stop breastfeeding and that it is in fact better to continue to breastfeed.

#20 Soontobegran

Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:41 AM

*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.*

Well apparently they do. Sorry ABA.......Not cool. Your job is to encourage breast feeding...not to demonising the product that is the only option for some parents.
Those last two key points should be wiped.

View PostSteggles66, on 15 November 2019 - 07:40 AM, said:

I don't want this to get into a breastfeeding vs formula thread but what exactly is the issue with this statement said on a website about breastfeeding? This statement is for mums who breastfeed who are wondering if they should stop breastfeeding because they want to have some drinks at Christmas time. That is their audience. They are reassuring those women that they do not need to stop breastfeeding and that it is in fact better to continue to breastfeed.


No it is not their only audience. The mention of alcohol consumption is absolutely appropriate....to mention it is better than feeding your baby formula is unnecessary in this context.

Edited by Soontobegran, 15 November 2019 - 07:43 AM.


#21 Steggles66

Posted 15 November 2019 - 07:51 AM

View PostSoontobegran, on 15 November 2019 - 07:41 AM, said:

*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.*

Well apparently they do. Sorry ABA.......Not cool. Your job is to encourage breast feeding...not to demonising the product that is the only option for some parents.
Those last two key points should be wiped.




No it is not their only audience. The mention of alcohol consumption is absolutely appropriate....to mention it is better than feeding your baby formula is unnecessary in this context.

Who else then is googling breastfeeding and alcohol? I can't imagine why a formula feeding parent would be looking for this info or support. Apart from emotion, what is actually factually incorrect about either statement? In my opinion, with this statement the ABA is supporting breastfeeding mums to continue to do what they're doing as women do question whether it is better to stop breastfeeding in order to have a few drinks.

#22 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:13 AM

But what about people who mix feed? These statements are pretty much demonizing them as well. I mixed feed to cope with PND, and finding it very hard to pump ( I had to use a hospital grade pump on a very high setting just to get a few drops).

#23 lucky 2

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:38 AM

The ABA comments are factual and intended to inform women who are exclusively breastfeeding.
If you are mixed feeding you can use the same information but you have more flexibility in how you manage, ie baby has already had formula so you can choose to bf or give formula.
A baby who has only ever ingested their mothers milk, it is sensible to avoid infant formula unless for medical or health needs.
Those health needs could include potential harm from copious amounts of alcohol, as we are discussing but formula is used for various needs and most importantly, if a parent chooses for personal reasons.

Hi Kiwi, I hope you are feeling ok. Are you still in the grip if PND? It took me about 2 years to feel healed but I think it's a life time process, dd is now 15.
Please be gentle on yourself, you've found a successful  way to keep some bfing and manage to keep both yourself and your baby as well and nurtured as possible and that's a win-win.
When dd was young I was unable to let down with the pump, it happens to a minority of women, someone has to be in the minority I suppose!
Best wishes x

#24 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 15 November 2019 - 09:48 AM

View PostSoontobegran, on 15 November 2019 - 07:41 AM, said:

Well apparently they do. Sorry ABA.......Not cool. Your job is to encourage breast feeding...not to demonising the product that is the only option for some parents.
Those last two key points should be wiped.


I would assume the reason why they say it is to encourage mums who might be thinking about chucking in breastfeeding to keep going rather than switch to formula. But IMHO I think their wording could be better.

I have to admit I have too much coffee on my worst days and I do feel bad about that. But I couldn't stay awake otherwise :(    Weighing up the benefits I decided to keep feeding and just try to time it so it minimises how much DS gets.

#25 Ellie bean

Posted 15 November 2019 - 10:06 AM

View PostSteggles66, on 15 November 2019 - 07:51 AM, said:


Apart from emotion, what is actually factually incorrect about either statement?
I doubt there’s a study comparing the risks of bf with alcohol, to the risks of ff. So, I’d say its the ABAs statement that is pure emotion ;)

It’s lovely that you are supporting and advising this person OP




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