Is it safe to drink alcohol when breastfeeding?

Jul 29, 2017

Yes, in moderation.

Less than 2 percent of the alcohol a breastfeeding mother consumes makes it into her breast milk, and research has found no effect to the nursing child from a couple of drinks.

That being said, health authorities recommend that if a breastfeeding mom has more than two drinks or starts to feel drunk, that she waits until she’s sober again before breastfeeding, and instead offers the child stored, previously pumped breastmilk or infant formula.

Do I need to pump and dump?

No. Pumping out the breast milk and disposing of it – a.k.a. pump and dump – doesn’t reduce the alcohol content of a mother’s breastmilk or speed up the timeframe in which she can breastfeed again. The mother’s body breaks down alcohol in the breasts just as it does elsewhere in the body, so as soon as the body’s free of alcohol the breastmilk will be as well.

Why should I trust you?

In doing thorough research on this topic, we found these to be the most useful and factual sources. We recommend reading them if you’d like more in-depth information:

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