At long last there’s no reason to cry over dumped milk. Breastmilk, that is. If you’re a pumping mom that’s enjoyed a glass of wine or two, then chances are you’ve been faced with that heartbreaking moment when you poured a bottle of liquid gold down the drain. However, scientific evidence says there’s no good reason to pump and dump. Read on to find out how you can safely drink and pump or nurse instead.
photo: Miles For Milk
Despite what you’ve heard in movies and mommy groups, there is no legitimate reason to pump and dump when you have a drink or two. Studies have shown that although consuming alcohol can temporarily decrease your milk supply, drinking occasionally while breastfeeding has not been linked to any adverse effects on nursing babies. The amount of alcohol present in breastmilk is approximately 5-6 percent of the mother’s weight-adjusted dose. In other words a very minimal amount. In fact, some research has shown that there is actually a higher concentration of alcohol in some fruit juices than in the breastmilk of a woman who has consumed a few drinks.
So what do you do if you want avoid any alcohol content in your breastmilk? Simply wait it out. Alcohol concentrations in breastmilk are the same as in blood and accordingly they behave the same way, peaking 30 minutes to an hour after you had a drink and disappearing entirely once you are completely sober. How long that takes exactly depends on several factors, like your weight and how much you’ve had to drink. On average your breastmilk should be booze-free 2-3 hours after you had a drink. Giving you just enough time to get home from your date night and let your head hit the pillow before your baby inevitably wakes up crying.
While a college style bender is not recommended, the occasional glass of wine with dinner is perfectly safe, so spare yourself the pain of dumping such a precious commodity. The next time this myth creeps up in conversation be sure to share the knowledge. After all, friends don’t let friends drink and dump.
Does this surprise you, or will you let it change your behavior? Tell us in the comments!