Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Alcohol & Breastfeeding

For the health and safe development of their babies, mothers avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy, according to the World Health Organisation guidelines of NO alocohol in pregnancy due to its teratogenic effects. However, many women want to drink again during the baby's first year of life when they are breastfeeding. Obviously not drinking alcohol during breastfeeding is the safest. Knowing the facts about how alcohol affects breastfeeding will help in deciding how best to combine breastfeeding with drinking some alcohol. As a general rule, it takes 2 hours for an average woman to get rid of the alcohol from 1 standard drink, 4 hours for 2 drinks, 6 hours for 3 drinks etc. It is best to avoid all alcohol in the 1st month after the birth. What & how much you have eaten, your weight, how quickly you are drinking, the strength & amount of alcohol in your drink all affects this. Expressing breastmilk will NOT reduce the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk, only time does but this is a way of relieving the breast engorgement until you can breatfeed again (& obviously throwing this breastmilk away). Breastmilk with a small amount of alcohol is still better than formula for your baby. Express milk ahead of time & freeze it. Your milk flow will reduce while drinking alcohol but this will rectify once your body has cleared the alcohol. Both you & your baby may not sleep as well as usual, falling asleep faster but waking up sooner. Arrange for someone who is not affected by alcohol to look after your baby and never sleep with your baby in your bed if you have drunk alcohol. Contrary to popular belief, stout or Guiness does not improve breastmilk supply but stops the milk flowing freely so the milk stays in the breast, giving the false impression that breasts are making more milk. To read more, www.breastfeeding.asn.au
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