The mother of a new-born baby is expected to give up a lot of good foods like salty, fatty, sugary and spicy ones in the name of dietary restrictions. Thus she is left with little choice in terms of food. Hence, she might want to indulge occasionally in a glass of wine to make up for it but most mothers are restricted from that too. Most believe that alcohol and lactation do not go hand in hand and hence the former should be avoided at all cost, right after delivery.
However, recent studies reveal that occasional indulgence in a drink or two is not harmful to the mother or the infant during the nursing period. The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Drugs referred alcohol, or ethanol as a “maternal medication invariably compatible with breastfeeding.” But regular heavy drinking right after delivering the baby may cause adverse effects both on the mother as well as the baby (if he is breast-fed). If the mother takes in about 1 or 2 units of alcohol in a week, then no harm will be done. But she should not breast-feed her baby within two or three hours of taking in alcohol.
There are some myths too surrounding the connection between alcohol and breastfeeding. Many mothers think that squeezing out the first few amounts of breast milk will eliminate any presence of alcohol in the body, and the rest of the milk would be then safe to feed the baby with. This is not true as the whole amount of alcohol in the mother’s body do not come out with the initial amount of milk. Also, drinking does not, in any way speed up the lactation process.
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