Can you drink alcohol while you’re breastfeeding?

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If you’re a first time mother and you’ve been researching information on breastfeeding as part of your newborn preparation, chances are you already have an idea of what this process entails and the kinds of things you’ll need to do to make sure that your baby has all of the nutrition that he or she needs after you give birth.

Breastfeeding can be a terrific way to deepen the bond that you share with your little guy or gal, which is why it’s so important that you balance your baby’s needs with your own.

For some moms, knowing what’s off-limits in the food and beverage departments while breastfeeding can be a major stumbling block, especially when it comes to the question of alcohol.

Can you drink while you’re nursing? Consider these helpful tips to learn more.

Is it actually okay?

For moms who decide to breastfeed, the thought of drinking while nursing can seem strange or even dangerous. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics noted that – while heavy drinking is not recommended while nursing – the occasional glass of wine or beer shouldn’t have a harmful impact on babies. The latest research urges moms to be smart. A good barometer to follow is this: If you can drive, you can nurse. No one’s going to get behind the wheel when they’re buzzed, right? If you need a firmer guideline, allow two hours to pass for every drink you’ve consumed. This will give your body time to clear the alcohol.

Beer and milk production

Did you know that some experts actually recommend that nursing moms have a beer every so often in between breastfeedings? Barley, one of the key ingredients in beer, contains a polysaccharide that could stimulate the production of prolactin, which in turn could increase the amount of milk you have in your breasts.

While it’s always important to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about changes in diet while you’re breastfeeding – as well as any other questions you may have about your health and wellness – you shouldn’t feel stressed if you happen to have a drink or two several hours after breastfeeding. Doing so in moderation likely won’t have an impact on the health of your little guy or gal, and it could help you relax after a long day spent at the office or running errands!

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