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Drinking and Breastfeeding

drinkingbreastfeeding.jpgYes, if you’re a woman who insists on a drink while you’re breastfeeding, you CAN have a beer. However, the Subcommittee on Nutrition During Lactation (1991) recommends that the nursing mother limits alcohol intake to no more than 0.5 grams of alcohol per kg. of body weight (e.g. a 60 kg-woman is allowed no more than 2 beers, 2 ounces of liquor or 8 ounces of wine per day). Anything more than that may result in development problems for the breastfed baby.

And if you’re one of those who have been advised to drink dark beer (like a Guinness or Heineken Dark or a Cervesa Negra) to boost your milk supply, now is the perfect time for you to also know that it’s a myth. The alcohol will relax you and may make your breasts seem fuller. The alcohol may also increase the prolactin levels in your blood. But these do not necessarily mean that your milk supply has increased. In fact, studies show that milk supply actually drops when a mother has had a drink, but the breasts feeling fuller and the baby sucking more aggressively due to the decrease in milk supply may deceive a mother that she actually produced more milk.

Milk supply will be affected by one’s diet, and establishing a good one will always be affected by proper latching, frequency of feeding, and breastfeeding attitude. And if you can make just one more sacrifice, don’t drink and feed.

Having a beer to nurse
Beer, can it really help low milk supply?

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