How Long After Glass of Wine Can I Breastfeed (And Why?)

Exact Answer: 2 hours 

New mothers have a lot of questions regarding the upbringing of their newborns compared to veteran mothers. Breastfeeding is one of the most asked about topics as it is particularly important for the health of the child. Breast milk might take up to three days to come after delivery, sometimes a little longer for first-time mothers. Doctors provide breastfeeding mothers a certain diet as what they consume might affect the baby. Mothers are asked to breastfeed their kids at least until they turn 2 years old and up till this period, there are certain things they should be concerned about.  

How Long After Glass of Wine Can I Breastfeed? 

“5 ounces of 12% wine” is what is classified as alcohol according to the Dietary Guidelines of America. Although this might look like it is okay to consume a drink or two of wine a day, it is necessary to know the other factors before going for it. Some people go for non-alcoholic alternatives to stay safe during breastfeeding. Doctors suggest that drinking just one drink a day, in small quantities is not going to harm the baby. If the mother waits for a period of two hours after the drink, the alcohol content might’ve reduced from the blood levels, making it safe for the child that feeds from the breastmilk.  

Amount of Alcohol Intake Its effect lasts for 
1 drink 2 to 3 hours 
2 drinks 4 to 5 hours 
3 drinks 6 to 8 hours 

If the alcoholic level is moderate in the wine, you should wait at least for a period of 2 hours after the drink. Otherwise, it is best to not breastfeed your child for a period of 3 to 4 hours or even 5 hours to be on the safer side.    

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The amount of time the alcohol has an impact on the breast milk of the mother varies with so many factors such as the mother’s weight, how metabolism works in the mother’s body and the speed the alcohol was taken, and so on. Doctors suggest you stay away from alcohol completely as it will lead to serious complications on the child’s health.  

Why Should You Wait for So Long to Breastfeed after Glass of Wine? 

Even though some beverages claim that they are completely alcohol-free, the ethanol levels mentioned in the packaging are generally higher than what is really present. If at all you drink alcohol, waiting for a certain period is important because excessive alcohol consumption is going to affect the child’s sleeping patterns and come in ways of its development. Another reason suggested by doctors is that individuals are not in their best selves when they consume alcohol and therefore it is not right to take care of a newborn child in that state as they cannot offer their complete reverence.  

If you are a mother that pumps milk, and if you have pumped it before 2 hours after the intake of your drink, you are asked to discard the milk, as the milk might contain alcohol levels. If you had pumped milk before drinking wine, you may go ahead and feed that to your child.  

Doctors ask mothers to refrain from any amount or any type of alcohol because alcohol is going to reduce the production of breast milk because it affects the areas of milk production. The amount of alcohol that will pass on to the child from the mother is about 5 to 6% which can be very harmful to the growing child. Keep your alcohol level to one drink a day, or stay away from it completely.  

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Conclusion 

Although there are some studies that prove that alcohol, taken in a moderate quantity is going to cause no harm to the child, saying that alcohol sometimes helps in providing nutrients and boosts milk production while others suggest that it is better to avoid it completely. Alcohol is harmful to a fully grown adult, we can only imagine the effects it will cause on a newborn. It is always better to avoid things that you feel might give terrible consequences later on. When it is your child’s health that is in concern, it is important to be completely conscious and aware.  

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6707164/
  2. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/jwh.2016.6130
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