Can I have a drink while breastfeeding?

Whether you can breastfeed after drinking alcohol or if you have to pump and dump has always been a huge debate. Many new and experienced moms alike think that you have to dump your milk after any amount of alcohol! This post is to educate you and to save you money on alcohol milk testers as well as saving your liquid gold! 

Here are what some of the top breastfeeding resources say about drinking and breastfeeding!
Dr. Jack Newman says: “The alcohol content in breast milk immediately after drinking is equivalent to a 0.0274 proof beverage. That’s like mixing 1 oz of 80 proof vodka (one shot) with 2919 oz of mixer . By the way, 2919 oz is over 70 liters. Two hours after drinking one (strong) drink the alcohol has disappeared from the sample. Completely harmless to the nursing infant. Drinking about 3 drinks in 1.5 hours resulted in higher numbers, but still negligible amounts of alcohol would be transferred to the child. One hour after imbibing in 3 drinks, the milk was the equivalent of 0.07498 proof beverage.That would be like adding 1 oz of 80 proof vodka (one shot) to 1066 oz of mixer (1066 oz is over 26 liters). Two hours after imbibing in 3 drinks, the milk was 0.01258 proof. That would be like adding 1 oz of 80 proof vodka to 3179 oz of mixer (over almost 80 liters).

So, even though an infant has much less body weight, any of these percentage of alcohol in breast milk is unlikely to adversely affect the baby. Bottoms up!”

La Leche League says: “Do I have to pump and dump after drinking an alcoholic beverage? As alcohol leaves the bloodstream, it leaves the breastmilk. Since alcohol is not “trapped” in breastmilk (it returns to the bloodstream as mother’s blood alcohol level declines), pumping and dumping will not remove it. Pumping and dumping, drinking a lot of water, resting, or drinking coffee will not speed up the rate of the elimination of alcohol from your body.”

“Kellymom says: “In general, if you are sober enough to drive, you are sober enough to breastfeed. Less than 2% of the alcohol consumed by the mother reaches her blood and milk. Alcohol peaks in mom’s blood and milk approximately 1/2-1 hour after drinking (but there is considerable variation from person to person, depending upon how much food was eaten in the same time period, mom’s body weight and percentage of body fat, etc.). Alcohol does not accumulate in breastmilk, but leaves the milk as it leaves the blood; so when your blood alcohol levels are back down, so are your milk alcohol levels.”

Evolutionary Parenting says: “Compare the alcohol content of the breastmilk of a legally intoxicated mama (0.08 BAC) to the alcohol content of orange juice is approximately 0.09% ethanol-by-volume (aka ABV). The legally intoxicated mama will have breastmilk which has an ABV concentration that closely mirrors her BAC, approximately 0.08. That means that mama’s breastmilk when legally intoxicated is less alcoholic than orange juice!”


MotherMoon Says: “If you’re sober enough to drive, you’re sober enough to nurse! Otherwise, save that milk and use it for a milk bath or for lotion! Nurse on!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *