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Can I drink alcohol if I'm breastfeeding?

Text displayed on the screen: Can I drink alcohol if I am breastfeeding?

Dr Roslyn Giglia, alcohol and pregnancy and FASD researcher, says:

Even though the recommendation for Australian women is no drinking during pregnancy or breastfeeding, we recognise that once women have had the baby they'd really like to have a glass of wine on a special occasion or a night out. So there is a way to do it as long as they are timing their alcohol intake with regard to their breastfeeding.

Text displayed on the screen: Tip 1 - Plan ahead

Dr Roslyn Giglia says:

If a mum is going out and she'd like to have a drink or maybe she's got a special occasion coming up so she'd like to have more than one drink then she should express in advance so she's got breast milk to feed the baby while she's drinking alcohol but she'll have to express the milk off that she's not able to give to the baby otherwise her supply will be affected.

If she's just having one or two drinks then she should time her alcohol intake so that she's not going to be giving breastmilk containing alcohol to the baby.

Text displayed on the screen: Tip 2 – Follow the two hour rule

Dr Roslyn Giglia says:

So for every standard drink she has, she needs to wait two hours before she breastfeeds. So she needs to know when her baby is going to feed. When babies are smaller they're not as regular with their feeding so mums need to be a bit more careful about their alcohol intake and their timing but two hours for every standard drink is the minimum.

Text displayed on the screen: Only time will reduce the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk

If you've got alcohol in your bloodstream then there'll be alcohol in your breastmilk.

No amount of pumping or dumping will clear the alcohol from the breastmilk.

It's really time and metabolism, so when the bloodstream has cleared of alcohol then the breastmilk will be clear of alcohol.

So if a mum is having a big night, she still needs to express but that milk has to go down the drain because it contains alcohol.

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