How Long After Alcohol Can I Breastfeed (And Why)?

How Long After Alcohol Can I Breastfeed (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 2 hours per drink

Most of the women in western countries consume alcohol during breastfeeding. It is one of the common practices followed by women. Women Trusted Source has reported that 50% of women drink occasionally during breastfeeding. But there are certain guidelines to follow while breastfeeding your baby, because there may be possible effects on the baby due to the mixing of alcohol. The effect on the baby depends on the amount of alcohol the mother intake.

It has been proven that when a mother who is breastfeeding drinks alcohol while considering the limit is not harmful to the baby. It becomes a hindrance to the hormones which are responsible for milk production. It will reduce the quantity of milk produces, in such cases, you have to feed your baby numerous times to get complete nutrients. Try to understand the boon and ban before attempting to drink alcohol while breastfeeding and make your decision wisely.

How Long After Alcohol Can I Breastfeed

How Long After Alcohol Can I Breastfeed?

The time, your body takes to remove the alcoholic content from the system relies on the amount of alcohol you have consumed, the more you drink, the longer it takes. Usually, when a mother consumes a drink, it can stay in breast milk until 2 hours, the duration increases to 4 or 5 when 2 to 3 drinks are consumed.

It is not harmful if the mother had consumed the alcohol moderately and waited for at least 2 to 3 hours before feeding the babies. They can also feed their baby when they start to feel neurologically normal. It is considered as a general rule in most of the country that, if you are enough sensible to ride, you will be able to breastfeed.

The capability of metabolizing the alcohol different for each individual and also may differ from day to day. It is a myth that drinking alcohol will help to boost milk production. This was a practice in the early days, where alcohol was made up of a required amount of herbs and natural ingredients. Today due to lack of nutrients and high level of alcohol concentration, rather than boosting it slow down the production and volume too.


If alcohol is present in the breast milk of a  baby, it tastes and smells differently due to which a baby refuses to accept it. In rare cases, it also leads to adverse reactions as the immune systems of babies are not completely protected.  You may think of pumping and dumping but it will not affect the concentration of alcohol in the milk.

In Summary,

No. Of DrinksTime To Breastfeed
1After 2 hours
2After 4 to 5 hours
3After 6 to 8 hours

Why I Have To Wait That Long To Breastfeed After Alcohol?

Alcohol could easily and quickly travel from bloodstream to milk without any obstacles. So, at the time of consuming alcohol, the concentration level of alcohol in your bloodstream would be similar to the concentration level in milk. Once alcohol is taken, the concentration level reaches the peak at around 30 minutes to one hour and is found in breast milk for nearly 2 hours per drink.

It depends on few factors namely, the amount of alcohol and also on the speed of consuming it. It also relies on the speed of breaking down of alcohol in the mother’s body as for women it takes a little longer. When a higher level of alcohol is consumed, it interferes with milk ejection.

And also few times affect the sleep patterns of the baby and early development. If alcohol has been passed to the baby along with breast milk, due to immature liver and developing brain, it can have a drastic effect. Babies until three months could only metabolize the alcohol very slowly than an adult.


If you are consuming alcohol, it is very much necessary to take care of the baby as far as possible. You should make safer decisions for your baby which may not be possible in a toxic stage. You may even not find whether your baby is breastfeeding or not when you have consumed alcohol.

It reduces the ability of a mother to take care of essentials. It is strictly advised not to sleep with the baby in the bed or chair if you have consumed alcohol and it is important to arrange a separate sleeping and comfortable area for the baby. This may lead to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).


There will not be any long-term effects for the baby.  It is not illegal to consume alcohol during breastfeeding but you should be aware of the limit.  Babies may also have impaired motor development at age 1. The time also varies depending on the weight of a person. The level of alcohol reaches to peak at 60 to 90 minutes if consumed along with the food.

In this case,  a mother has to wait for longer to feed the baby. Try out the pump and dump option only when you are feeling uncomfortable not after consuming alcohol.  It is always the best choice to stop drinking alcohol right from pregnancy.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. I have a different take on this. I didn’t know alcohol had an impact on milk production and volume.

  2. I respectfully disagree with this article. I believe that alcohol consumption while breastfeeding is absolutely detrimental to the health of the baby.

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