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Breastfeeding and Alcohol

Alcohol passes into breast milk and the amount of the alcohol in breast milk is similar to the amount of alcohol in mom’s own bloodstream. Having an occasional alcoholic drink while breastfeeding has not been shown to be harmful to your baby. Heavy drinking should be avoided.

Too much alcohol can affect how much milk your baby drinks and also your baby’s development.  If you have one alcoholic drink, you should wait at least 2 hours before you breastfeed again. Breastfeeding before having a drink is a way to ensure your breast milk is free of alcohol.

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

  • Find out more about mixing alcohol and breastfeeding (PDF) (English/Francais)
  • Find out how to express and store your breast milk if you are not able to safely breastfeed your baby at the event or you plan to be away from your baby

If you are breastfeeding and have questions about using alcohol, visit Motherisk , Canada’s leading experts on drug, alcohol and chemical exposures in pregnancy and during breastfeeding or call the Motherisk Helpline 1-877-439-2744.

You can also make a confidential call to the Motherisk Alcohol and Substance Use Helpline 1-877-327-4636 for information about the effects of alcohol, nicotine and drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and ecstasy.

For more information on breastfeeding and supports in Simcoe Muskoka, contact your health care provider or call 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 and speak with a public health professional Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or email Your Health Connection

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If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

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