Brewing Up Nursing: A Guide to Beer When Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is a beautiful and important time for both mother and baby, but it can be exhausting and stressful at times. A lot of moms enjoy a nice cold beer or glass of wine as a way to unwind, but there’s a lot of misinformation out there about whether or not this is safe while nursing. In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about drinking beer while breastfeeding.
Is It Safe to Drink Beer While Breastfeeding?
Yes, it is safe to drink beer while breastfeeding, but moderation is key. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that nursing mothers limit their alcohol intake to no more than one drink per day. That said, the amount of alcohol that actually passes through breast milk is very small. In fact, studies have shown that a baby would have to consume 34 ounces of breast milk from a mother who had one drink to reach a blood alcohol level of 0.08%, which is the legal limit for driving in most states.
What Are the Benefits of Drinking Beer While Breastfeeding?
Believe it or not, there are actually some potential benefits to drinking beer while breastfeeding! Here are a few:
– Relaxation: Let’s face it, being a new mom is stressful. A beer can help you unwind and relax after a long day of nursing, changing diapers, and all the other new mom tasks.
– Increased milk supply: Hops, which is an ingredient in beer, has been shown to stimulate milk production. It’s important to note that you’d have to drink a lot of beer to see any real increase in milk supply, but it’s still a potential benefit.
– Reducing the risk of postpartum depression: Studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption can help reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
What Are the Best Beers to Drink While Breastfeeding?
If you’ve decided to have a beer while breastfeeding, you might be wondering what kinds of beer are best. Here are a few tips:
– Stick to a low alcohol by volume (ABV): The lower the ABV, the less alcohol you’ll consume overall.
– Avoid beers with high levels of hops: While hops can help with milk production, they can also be bitter and leave a strong taste in your breast milk. Stick to beers with lower levels of hops or ones that use milder hops like noble hops.
– Consider a non-alcoholic beer: If you’re really worried about the effects of alcohol on your baby, consider a non-alcoholic beer instead. These beers still contain hops and other beneficial ingredients, but without the alcohol.
Can I Pump and Dump After Drinking?
No, pumping and dumping does not help remove alcohol from your breast milk any faster. Alcohol is metabolized by your liver and will naturally leave your breast milk as your blood alcohol level decreases.
How Long After Drinking Can I Nurse?
It’s best to wait at least 2 hours per drink before nursing again. This gives your body enough time to fully metabolize the alcohol and reduce the amount in your bloodstream.
Can I Drink More Than One Beer?
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than one drink per day, so it’s best to follow that guideline. If you do want to have more than one drink, consider waiting at least 2 hours between each drink to let your body fully process the alcohol.
What If My Baby Seems Fussy After I Drink?
Some babies may be more sensitive to the taste of alcohol in breast milk than others. If your baby seems fussy or irritable after you drink, try waiting a bit longer before nursing again or consider drinking less the next time.
In conclusion, drinking beer while breastfeeding can be safe and even beneficial, as long as you do it in moderation. Stick to low alcohol beers with lower levels of hops, and consider waiting at least 2 hours before nursing again. Remember, the most important thing is to prioritize the health and safety of your baby while still taking care of yourself. Cheers to all the new moms out there!