Effects of Alcohol and Caffeine on Breast Milk

Woman Breastfeeding

When a lady becomes a new mom, there are certain things which must be kept at bay. A breastfeeding mother needs to take special care about what she is eating and drinking, as everything that she eats will pass on to the baby. She should avoid heavy food, alcohol, and caffeine to a great extent. These foods and drinks might disrupt the normal functioning of their digestive system, thus leading to diarrhea. Even if they are consuming such things, there are ways by which their effect on breast-milk can be reduced- but it cannot be eliminated completely.

As far as consuming alcohol is concerned, new moms may take a drink once in a while. But they should wait for breastfeeding until the alcohol has been metabolized completely. For moms who drink more than once, they should follow the procedure of pumping the milk out and then dumping it. In this way, the milk with the maximum effect of alcohol shall be dumped out of the body. But still, there shall be some amount of it present in the milk fed to the baby. Even that milk isn’t safe enough. So, the best option is either to reduce the consumption of alcohol or banish it completely until your breastfeeding period is over. After the consumption of one drink of alcohol, a new mom should wait for at least two hours to resume with feeding her baby. Even after one hour of consumption, the maximum level of alcohol can be detected in breast-milk. One should also get rid of misconceptions that drinking water, caffeine ingestion and exercise can help in the reduction of alcohol levels found in breast-milk.

There is yet another way which new moms adopt in order to reduce the effect of alcohol on breast-milk. This method involves the pumping out of milk and then dumping it. However, it has often been determined that this procedure is not safe depending on the amount of alcohol consumed. Only through time will the effect of alcohol be reduced on breast-milk. Whatsoever, this process of pumping and dumping may help a mom in getting rid of engorgement? Storing milk before consumption of alcohol is also a good idea to deliver healthy milk to the baby.

Caffeine is not as bad for a baby as alcohol and its effect on breast-milk is minimal as well. But some babies are drastically affected by the presence of caffeine in breast-milk. It has been well-proven that mothers who avoided caffeinated products during pregnancy gave birth to babies who were more prone to reacting against caffeinated content in their milk. Problems like inability to sleep, hyper-alertness and general fussiness were detected in babies reacting against caffeine. Moms with such babies are often suggested to minimize their caffeine consumption to 300mg per day until their breastfeeding period is over. Abundance of caffeine is to be found in beverages like tea, coffee, aerated drinks as well as in dark chocolate.

Breast-milk is the best nutritional supplement that you can give your baby and hence it should be free from any harmful substances. Having a drink once in a while is not harmful, but why should we have it if it is affecting our baby’s health even a bit.

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Effects of Alcohol and Caffeine on Breast Milk