Brewing Up Milk Magic: How Beer Can Help Boost Breast Milk Production
Expectant and new mothers may be familiar with the concept of lactation cookies and teas, but there’s another beverage that can help boost breast milk production – beer. Yes, you read that right. Beer!
The Science Behind It
Beer is made with hops, a plant that contains phytoestrogens. These compounds mimic the effects of estrogen in the body, which can stimulate milk production. Additionally, beer contains polysaccharides, sugars that can also help increase milk supply. The alcohol in beer, in moderation, can also have a relaxing effect on new mothers, which can help with let-down and milk flow.
The Dos and Don’ts of Beer Drinking While Breastfeeding
While beer can be helpful in boosting breast milk production, it’s important for new mothers to keep the following in mind:
- Drink in moderation (one to two beers per day, or equivalent).
- Wait at least two hours after drinking before breastfeeding.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water in addition to beer.
- Drink to excess.
- Drink if you have a history of alcohol abuse or addiction.
- Drink if you are on medication that interacts with alcohol.
Beer Choices for Breastfeeding Mothers
When it comes to choosing a beer, there are a few things to keep in mind. Look for beers that are:
- Low in alcohol content (less than 5% ABV).
- Low in bitterness (IBU of 20 or less).
- Light in color (pale ales, lagers, and wheat beers are good options).
Avoid beers that are:
- High in alcohol content (greater than 5% ABV).
- High in bitterness (IBU of 50 or more).
- Dark in color (stouts and porters).
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I drink beer while pregnant?
No, it is not safe to drink beer (or any alcoholic beverage) while pregnant. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome and other developmental issues.
Can beer make my breast milk alcoholic?
While beer does contain alcohol, the amount that would be present in breast milk after consumption is negligible. As long as a mother waits a couple of hours after drinking before breastfeeding, her milk will not be alcoholic.
What if I don’t like beer?
If you don’t like the taste of beer, there are other foods and supplements that can help boost breast milk production. Talk to your doctor or lactation consultant for recommendations.
Can anyone drink beer to boost their milk supply?
No, beer should only be consumed by breastfeeding mothers who are over the legal drinking age and who do not have a history of alcohol abuse or addiction. As always, it’s important to consult with your doctor or lactation consultant before trying any new foods or supplements while breastfeeding.
Beer may not be the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to increasing breast milk production, but its phytoestrogens, polysaccharides, and relaxing effects can make it a helpful addition to a breastfeeding mother’s diet. Just remember to drink in moderation, wait a couple of hours before breastfeeding, and choose your beers wisely. Cheers to milk magic!