Breastfeeding Through the Festivity – Lorraine Cuadro
It’s nice to be able to have a big night out or a glass of wine with dinner, and often breastfeeding mums feel that they are unable to enjoy the things that they once did, even though at times the feeling that their lives haven’t changed may be what they need the most.
Alcohol does get absorbed into your breast milk much like it gets absorbed into your blood stream. And in about two hours a standard drink will also leave your breast milk just like it leaves your blood stream. So you can also plan to drink and breast feed in a way that will not harm your baby.
The first thing to think about is the age of your baby. If your baby is under 6 months old, your breast milk is their only food source so offering water, juice or other foods is not an option.
The second thing to think about is how often your baby breastfeeds. If your baby is feeding every two hours you may be able to have one drink soon after breastfeeding and still have time for the alcohol to leave your body before your baby is due for their next feed.
A baby that’s feeding every four hours may give you enough time to consume more alcohol and still breastfeed without needing to worry.
While you can’t actually express the alcohol out of your breast milk, you can express a few days, weeks or even up to three months before you drink. That way you can relax and know that your baby has a batch of breast milk if you feel that you are unable to breastfeed.
Baby’s between 0-6 months drink an average of 800mls of breast milk in 24 hours. So if your baby has ten feeds in this time and you are planning to express two feeds, you’ll need to express about 160mls of breast milk.
While frequent drinking is likely to slow your baby’s growth and development, if you drink rarely and in small amounts, you might simply notice a few temporary changes in your breastfeeding relationship. Because alcohol changes the taste of your breast milk you might notice that your baby doesn’t want to feed, that while your baby is sleepy they tend to wake more often, and that your milk takes longer to start flowing.
Thankfully all of these issues can be helped with lots of cuddles, kisses and even hand expressing to help your milk to flow. So with just a little bit of planning and support, you may be able to drink responsibly on a big night out or enjoy a wine at dinner and still do what’s best for your baby.
Lorraine volunteers most of her time in helping new and experienced mums to breastfeed. As a mother of two she has experienced many breastfeeding issues first hand and knows how difficult it can be. Her passion for breastfeeding is supported by her current role as a breastfeeding counsellor.
To gain access to Lorraine’s Free Breastfeeding Audio Library or to find out about her new eBook “Essential Steps to a Beautiful Breastfeeding Relationship” visit Lorraine at http://www.the-essence-of-breastfeeding.com