Monday, May 10, 2010

A Glass of Wine

My husband and I went out on a date tonight. We rarely eat out, never mind in a restaurant void of a playplace, so this was very exciting for us. Uninterrupted adult conversation and good Italian food on the table. What more could I ask for. A glass of wine to go with it? Perhaps, but I really wasn't sure. I knew a glass of wine would be enjoyable, but I'm a breastfeeding mama. My 4 month old daughter relies on me for her dinner. Yes, I could (and did) give her a bottle, but how long until I could breastfeed her again? Do I pump and dump? Or can I just wait it out?
I found the answers at Motherisk's website. Motherisk is a program out of Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. For 25 years it has been dedicated to research and education for women concerning the health of their unborn and breastfeeding children. It is a clinical, research and teaching program dedicated to antenatal drug, chemical, and disease risk counselling. I knew if anyone would have my answer it would be them.
They have developed a chart based on the mother's weight and number of drinks consumed as to how long they would have to wait before being cleared to breastfeed again. The chart is an estimate and the Motherisk article preceding it fully explains the thoughts behind alcohol consumption and breastfeeding. I strongly suggest you take a look through it. Personally, I do not want to expose my baby to alcohol which is why I found their chart helpful.
To find the article and the chart click here
To find out more about Motherisk and their programs click here


  1. Great topic. BF and alcohol consumption has changed a lot in the last few years. Gone is the old pump and dump method or complete abstinence that nursing mothers used because we lacked understanding and research to back us up. I think the safest way to drink, when you are nursing, is to drink like you plan to drive under the legal limit. Which, for most people, would be 1 and maybe 2 glasses of wine over dinner.

    It is difficult to really know how fast each person metabolizes alcohol in their blood and how much actually ends up in breast milk. If you are a healthy person then you can assume that your liver is working at top speed and so 1-2 glasses of wine over dinner will not be a problem.

  2. We were taught to pump and dump LAST Year in our prenatal class. I did my own research and agree with the driving rule.

  3. We were taught that it was okay to drink alcohol while breast feeding in modert amounts. You don't need to pump & dump. Only way you need to do that is if you are doing an all night bender or something. Our prenatal classes this year taught us that. I think though that prenatal classes and what is taught depends on who is doing the teaching. I agree with the alcohol limit of 1 or 2 glasses of wine depending on your size, etc.




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