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Alcohol consumption by breastfeeding mothers: Frequency, correlates and infant outcomes

This study examined the frequency, correlates and outcomes of alcohol use during breastfeeding.

Data were from an Australian cohort study. Results showed alcohol use was reported by 60.7% and 69.6% of breastfeeding women at 8 weeks and 12 months postpartum, respectively. Breastfeeding women who consumed alcohol were more likely to be born in Australia or another English-speaking country, be tertiary educated and have higher household incomes. Most drank at low levels (<=14 standard drinks per week, <3 per occasion) and employed strategies (e.g. timing of alcohol use) to minimise alcohol passed onto infants via breastmilk. The authors concluded that low level drinking during breastfeeding is not linked with shorter breastfeeding duration or adverse outcomes in infants up to 12 months of age.

Authors: Wilson J.; Tay R.Y.; McCormack C.; Allsop S.; Najman J.; Burns L.; Olsson C.A.; Elliott E.; Jacobs S.; Mattick R.P.; Hutchinson D.

Publication: Drug and Alcohol Review. 36 (5)

Date: September 2017

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Page last updated 28 September 2018