4 Shocking Impacts of Alcohol on Breastfeeding Mothers
A mother breastfeeding her baby while sipping a glass of wine is always met with disgruntled giggles and disapproving stares. Some people may even scold her for it. The concept of breastfeeding mums drinking is always a contagious one with very conflicting views. Indeed to some extent, mothers should not drink while breastfeeding, just think about your bundle of joy and the effects that the alcohol you consume could have on her if by any chance the alcohol gets its way into your milk.
Most expectant mothers know that drinking during pregnancy causes defects plus disabilities in their unborn babies. The case is different for drinking after birth as there is no official communication and warnings about the dangers of drinking. Nevertheless, if you have to drink while breastfeeding, why don’t you store some milk on some sterilized milk storage bottles before some hours before taking alcohol and feed it to the baby after you have consumed alcohol? This will really demonstrate that you care for your baby and would not like her to consume the alcohol indirectly from your breast milk just immediately after you have taken alcohol.
What are the misconceptions regading drinking and breastfeeding?
Over the recent years, there have been lots of practices and beliefs in various cultures of breastfeeding mothers to drink alcoholic drinks to boost their milk supply. This has however been disapproved and has remained that way, a folklore. There are however about 4 impacts of alcohol on breastfeeding mothers that I am going to focus on today.
Recent studies have disapproved this theory that claims that when you drink alcohol, it gets into the blood stream and the milk stream at almost equal concentrations. The baby who breastfeeds will, in turn, get the same concentration of alcohol as the mother.
How much is enough?
There are so many conflicting points of views which make it very hard for mothers to make informed decisions on whether to quit drinking, continue drinking or moderate the amounts that they drink. Whichever way you look at the coin, what is common is that alcohol’s effects on breastfeeding babies have a direct proportionality to the amount of alcohol the mother takes.
Research has it that occasional drinking of between 1 and 2 drinks does not harm the baby being nursed. The ingestion of alcohol should be limited to not more than 0.5 g of alcohol per kilogramme of body weight.
What ever the case is, as a loving mother, always keep in mind the age of the baby when you want to consider drinking as you breastfeed. The baby’s vital organs i.e. the liver is not fully grown and would not cope very well with the alcoholic burden. The liver is able to detoxify the alcohol at half the rate of a full-grown adult.
How does alcohol impact on breastfeeding and the baby?
Alcohol has various effects on breastfeeding mothers which in turn affects the babies indirectly. Even though the effects of alcohol on the breastfeeding mother are not only limited to 4, I am going to dwell mostly on the 4 most adverse effects. Without further ado, here we go.
Factors affecting the severity of the impacts
Precautions to take
Although the impacts of alcohol on breastfed babies are a little sketchy, potentially risking the life of a young due to addiction is being very cruel to the little one. If you are not able to stop the addiction, it is advisable that you take the following precautionary measures.
Specific effects of alcohol on infants who are nursed by drinking mothers are not very clear and so is dealing with the situations. The most viable step I tell most of my friends to take is quit drinking just for the baby.
You can as well moderate on the drinking but this is very vague as the determination of moderate drinking is kind of ambiguous. I hope this article has informed you on some of the impacts alcohol has on breastfeeding mothers and their infants. I welcome any questions and comments.