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Breastfeeding

Alcohol and breastfeeding

The safest choice is not drinking alcohol if you are breastfeeding.

Alcohol passes into your breastmilk but is not stored long-term in your breastmilk. The amount of the alcohol in your breastmilk is similar to the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Only time will remove alcohol from breastmilk.

Alcohol does not increase your milk production. Alcohol decreases the letdown reflex so your baby may get less breastmilk. Your baby also may not like breastmilk containing alcohol so they may drink less. Heavy drinking may decrease your milk supply.

Planning on drinking alcohol or attending a special event where alcohol will be served?

You can drink mocktails or other non-alcoholic drinks.

If choosing to drink alcohol on a special occasion, limit your alcohol to 1 to 2 standard drinks. Breastfeed before having a drink, not after. This allows time for the alcohol to leave your bloodstream and breastmilk before the next feeding.

If you are thinking of drinking more than 2 drinks per occasion, express and store breastmilk ahead so that breastmilk is available for your baby during this time. Have someone you trust care for and feed your baby until you are completely sober. Allow enough time for the alcohol to be eliminated from your body before breastfeeding again. On average it takes up to 2 hours for one drink and 6 hours for 3 drinks. During this time, you can express your breastmilk to maintain your milk supply or for your own comfort. Heavy drinking and breastfeeding should be avoided as it may affect your child’s development.

Visit:

MotherToBaby

Help and Support:

Talk to your health professional and/or make a confidential call to:

Connex Ontario 1-866-531-2600
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