Can I drink alcohol when I’m breastfeeding?

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August 08, 2021
2 min read

Alcohol does enter your breastmilk

The amount of alcohol in your blood is the same as the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk.

It is generally safe to enjoy the occasional glass of alcohol but there are a few factors to take into consideration, including your weight, your food intake, alcohol strength, volume consumed, timing of breastfeeds and the age of your baby.

A newborn’s liver is more immature making it difficult to breakdown alcohol whereas an older baby has the ability to metabolize the alcohol much quicker.

Alcohol will appear in your blood 30-60 minutes after you begin drinking, so if you do wish to enjoy an alcoholic drink, it is safest to do it immediately after a feed. There is no need to pump and throw away your breastmilk as this does not speed up the elimination of alcohol from the milk.

The only thing that will reduce the alcohol in your milk is time

REMEMBER: The only thing that will reduce the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk is time.

The length of time it takes for your blood alcohol levels to drop down is the same time it will take for your milk alcohol levels to drop.

The feedsafe app will let you know when it’s safe to feed

If you plan to have a drink, the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has a great app, Feed Safe that will time how long you need to wait to breastfeed after you start an alcoholic drink.

ABA Feedsafe app

Alcohol can decrease your supply

Be mindful alcohol has also been reported to reduce milk volume and inhibit oxytocin the hormone necessary to create milk let-downs. If you’re having supply issues this may be something you want to consider


Jillian Eadie

Jillian holds the gold standard qualification of International Board Certified Lactation Consultant ( IBCLC). She has over 10 year’s experience working closely with new mothers in the Maternity Unit setting as well as providing private consultations to new mothers in the comfort of their homes. She is also a Registered Nurse/Midwife. Jillian provides private lactation consults in your home or for those living outside Melbourne’s metropolitan area, Victoria or Australia via Zoom/Facetime meetings.

If you are experiencing any concerns and would like to discuss these further please don’t hesitate to contact me. Queries here.

Learn more about the Dr Golly Philosophy here.

Shop the Dr Golly age appropriate routines here.

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