It is usually recommended not to drink even a drop of alcohol during pregnancy, but little is said about alcohol consumption during breastfeeding. Can we drink alcohol moderately while we are breastfeeding or better not drink anything?
When in doubt, it is preferable to avoid consumption, since it has been shown that alcohol is detrimental to the brain development of the baby, but some argue that moderate consumption is compatible with breastfeeding.
Effects of alcohol on breastfeeding:
The effects of alcohol on the breastfed baby are related to how much the mother drinks and how long she has been drinking. As it crosses the placenta during pregnancy, the level of alcohol passes quickly into breast milk but also drops rapidly because it does not accumulate in the breast. That is to say; it reaches its maximum level between 30 and 60 minutes after having drunk.
If you drink moderately at the end of a shot when it takes about three hours to the next, the level of alcohol will be very low or practically zero. But of course, with a newborn baby and breastfeeding on demand, the intakes can be less spaced and would not be advisable.
Consumption of alcoholic beverages does not favour breast milk production:
It is not true that some alcoholic beverages such as whiskey and beer favor the production of milk. On the contrary, a dose of greater than 0.5 grams of alcohol per kilogram of maternal weight per day can produce sedation and decrease the amount of milk because it inhibits the secretion of prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that are involved in the production and ejection of the fluid.
Be clear about habitual and occasional breastfeeding:
Some mothers consider quitting breastfeeding because they can drink a glass from time to time. Of course, the benefits of breastfeeding are far above the risks of an occasional drink. If it is to take away your desire once a week, it will not be a great sacrifice to stay at the recommended levels.
In the first place, it is necessary to differentiate what is an occasional and moderate consumption from a habitual consumption.
Occasional consumption in small amounts (0.5 grams per kg that the mother weighs per day) is not considered harmful to the baby. To give you an idea, the beer has 4 grams of alcohol per 100 cc.
Yes, it is harmful if you consume more than that amount and chronically, as it seriously harms the baby and can cause an alcoholic coma. It also inhibits the secretion of prolactin and oxytocin, hormones responsible for the production and ejection of milk.