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Newborn and Infant Care

Breastfeeding and alcohol

04/20/1998

Question:

I'm breastfeeding my four month old daughter. I avoided all alcoholic beverages during my pregnancy but want to know if it is okay to have an occasional glass of wine now. Will the alcohol pass on to my baby?

Answer:

The effects of alcohol on the breast-fed baby are directly related to the amount of alcohol consumed by the mother. When the nursing mother drinks two or less drinks per day, the amount of alcohol the baby receives through breast milk has not been shown to be harmful. To decrease the amount of alcohol your baby receives do not drink alcohol within 2 or 3 hours of nursing. High levels of alcohol may result in sedation, irritability, weak sucking and decreased milk supply.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati