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Can You Drink Wine While Breastfeeding? (Safe Limits Explained)

Drinking a glass of wine while breastfeeding is considered safe, provided you follow the correct precautions. Wine does make its way into your breast milk, so nursing mothers must be careful because no amount of alcohol is safe for a baby to consume. That said, breastfeeding mothers are able to enjoy wine and breastfeed their children.

Is wine safe to drink while breastfeeding?

The safe limit for drinking wine while breastfeeding is a single serving per day. Moreover, the timing between drinking the wine and breastfeeding is a critical consideration. It is recommended to wait up to three hours after drinking wine to begin breastfeeding. Additionally, the type of wine makes a difference; white wine is a safer bet for nursing moms than red wine, because white wine passes out of your system quicker. The vital thing to remember when drinking wine and breastfeeding is that babies and children should never be exposed to alcohol.

Below, we discuss in greater depth how to safely drink a glass of wine while breastfeeding and how much wine you are allowed to drink. We also tackle how long wine stays in your breastmilk, the effects of drinking while breastfeeding, and other concerns mothers have about wine and breastfeeding.

Can I have a glass of wine while breastfeeding?

Yes, you can have a glass of wine while breastfeeding, but there are several things to remember before treating yourself to your favorite red. The CDC states, “Not drinking alcohol is the safest option for breastfeeding mothers.” However, the CDC also notes that nursing mothers can safely drink one glass of wine daily because the low levels of alcohol do not harm nursing babies. Consuming more than the standard glass daily causes developmental delays and stunts growth, so it’s best to stick to one a day.

While enjoying a daily glass of wine, make sure that you wait before nursing your little one. Most moms pump and dump to ensure that the alcohol is out of the breast milk before nursing. The CDC recommends that moms wait at least two hours after they’ve finished their glass of wine to breastfeed babies.

Is two glasses of wine while breastfeeding safe?

No, drinking two glasses of wine while breastfeeding is not safe. The CDC specifies that mothers should only consume one alcoholic beverage per day while breastfeeding. One alcoholic beverage per day means one standard glass of wine. More wine than the standard amount leads to significant levels of wine in your breast milk, which isn’t safe for your baby.

Breastfeeding mothers that do drink wine while breastfeeding should note that alcohol is found in breast milk two to three hours after drinking. Therefore, it’s best to pump and dump until you’re sure that it’s safe to feed your little one.

As for moms that accidentally have more than one glass of wine, the CDC recommends that you wait for two hours per drink. That means you should avoid feeding your little one for four hours if you’ve had two glasses of wine, pumping and dumping for that time. The CDC organization also suggests that moms pump and dump for two to three hours. Breastfeeding moms who want to be as safe as possible should pump and dump for three hours per drink.

How much wine can you drink while breastfeeding?

The amount of wine you can have while breastfeeding depends on how much you want to pump and dump. Nursing mothers that drink one glass of wine should not feed their little one for two hours. Moms that drink more than one glass won’t hurt their babies as long as they don’t breastfeed for two to three hours per drink. Meanwhile, Moms that have six glasses of wine shouldn’t breastfeed for at least 24 hours.

Is it okay to have a nightly glass of wine while breastfeeding?

Yes, it’s okay to have a nightly glass of wine while breastfeeding, as long as you’re not breastfeeding while there is still alcohol from the wine in your breast milk. Make sure you’re not scheduled to feed for at least two hours to better enjoy your glass of wine.

Conversely, a nightly glass of wine while simultaneously breastfeeding is not okay. Alcohol from wine gets into your system quickly and shows up in breast milk within an hour. Make sure there is ample time for the alcohol to be out of your breast milk before nursing again. Knowing how long to wait after consuming a glass of wine is crucial to ensuring you don’t expose your infant to alcohol.

How long after a glass of wine can I breastfeed?

You must wait two to three hours after a glass of wine to breastfeed, according to three different sources. First, the CDC recommends that breastfeeding women wait two hours per drink. Other areas on the CDC website recommend two to three hours. Second, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises waiting two hours after alcohol consumption to begin nursing. And finally, Dr. Ruta Nonacs, a perinatal and reproductive psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital, indicates mothers should wait two to three hours to breastfeed.

Dr. Nonacs further breaks down how long alcoholic beverages like wine remain in breast milk. The studies Dr. Nonacs cites in her article state alcohol is detectable in breast milk for two to three hours per drink. For example, alcohol remains present in breast milk for six to eight hours after drinking three glasses of wine. Therefore, it’s best to follow the most extended guidelines relating to wine and breastfeeding. Doing so ensures your infant doesn’t consume alcohol, which often results in developmental delays. After drinking a glass of wine, avoid breastfeeding for three hours to guarantee that your breastmilk is alcohol-free.

How much wine actually gets into breast milk?

Only a small portion of wine actually gets into breast milk. A study by the National Institution of Health shows that less than 2% of the alcohol in wine makes its way into your breast milk. The low amount of alcohol isn’t enough to cause long-term damage in most cases. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Breastfeeding mothers should either avoid wine and other types of alcoholic beverages or wait the recommended amount of time before feeding their little ones.

How long does wine stay in breast milk?

The alcohol from one average 5oz glass of wine stays in breastmilk for two to three hours after you finish drinking.

The length of time also depends on how many glasses of wine a breastfeeding mother has. The general rule is that it takes two to three hours per glass of wine for the wine in breast milk to pass. For example, if you have two glasses of wine, it will take approximately four to six hours before it is considered safe to breastfeed your baby.

Remember that pumping and dumping do not eliminate alcohol from breast milk. Pumping and dumping are recommended to prevent engorgement or discomfort. However, as long as you still have wine in your bloodstream, the alcohol will continue to make its way into your breast milk. Waiting until your body has fully metabolized the wine is the only way to ensure that there is no wine in breast milk. Alcohol will pass out of the breast milk as it leaves your body.

What are the effects of drinking wine while breastfeeding?

The effects of drinking wine while breastfeeding depends on how much you drink and if you wait until the alcohol is out of your system to breastfeed. Mothers that follow the recommendations of drinking only one glass and waiting three hours before breastfeeding will not see any adverse effects on their babies.

Two harmful effects noticed by mothers who don’t wait two to three hours per glass of wine to breastfeed are impeded milk production and reduced latching time. Drinking wine impacts how much milk you produce, as well as how much milk your baby drinks. According to Elizabeth LaFleur, RN’s response to the Mayo Clinic, alcohol in breastmilk leads to babies consuming up to 20% less than babies nursing from alcohol-free breastmilk.

. Breastfeeding mothers who drink wine produce less milk than mothers who don’t. Babies also tend to nurse less when their mothers drink wine while breastfeeding.

Below are six short-term effects on babies that consume wine due to breastfeeding.

  • Drowsiness
  • Deep sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • Missed feedings
  • Poor sucking reflex

The effects listed above are far from the only consequences of drinking wine while breastfeeding. Infants often suffer lifelong complications if they drink alcohol as a baby.

Below are the five main long-term side effects of infant alcohol exposure.

  • Developmental delays
  • Delays in cognitive development
  • Delayed motor development
  • Stunted growth
  • Behavioral problems

Moms who drink too much wine expose their children to alcohol, and then the mother and baby have to deal with a life full of complications and delays. Therefore, it’s important to always wait for the recommended period after drinking wine. The American Academy of Pediatrics also has specific breastfeeding guidelines for moms that enjoy the occasional glass of wine while pregnant.

What does the American Academy of Pediatrics say about drinking wine while pregnant?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has strict zero-tolerance guidelines about drinking wine while pregnant. A 2015 by the AAP remarks, “Prenatal exposure to alcohol can damage the developing fetus and is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics additionally recognizes that there are lifelong consequences to drinking wine while pregnant. Another 2015 publication from the Academy states, “Children and adolescents with known PAE (Prenatal Alcohol Exposure) experience various behavioral and cognitive difficulties, ranging from subtle learning and/or behavioral problems to significant intellectual disability.”

The same publication from the Academy acknowledges data proving there are several secondary consequences to drinking wine while pregnant. The study states that “Children and adolescents with FASD (Fetal Alcohol Syndrom Disorder) have a 95% lifetime likelihood to experience mental health issues, and among the most prevalent are anxiety and mood disorders, particularly depression, as well as ADHD, substance use, addiction, and suicide. Individuals with PAE have greater rates of school disruptions, trouble with the law, and under- or unemployment.”

Is wine the safest alcohol to drink while breastfeeding?

No, A detailed look at the alcohol content in various drinks tells us that wine is not the safest alcohol to drink while breastfeeding. A standard glass of wine has an alcohol level of 12%—which is significantly less than hard liquor or vodka but more than beer or fermented drinks like Kombucha.

There is a prevailing myth that wine is considered the safest alcohol to drink while breastfeeding because it offers health benefits like antioxidants. Wine does have more health benefits than other alcoholic beverages, but that doesn’t mean that it’s safer for breastfeeding women. The overall safety of wine for breastfeeding babies depends on the alcohol content.

The alcohol content determines how much alcohol makes it into your breast milk and how quickly your system metabolizes the alcohol. Therefore, officially, the drink with the lowest alcohol content is the safest to drink while breastfeeding. In addition, wine also isn’t safer for your liver, which must process all the alcohol in it.

Is there a difference between red and white wine while breastfeeding?

Yes, there are slight differences between drinking red and white wine while pregnant. The main difference between red and white wine while breastfeeding is the alcohol content. Red wine typically has a higher alcohol content than white, as white wine has a higher sugar content.

Therefore, breastfeeding moms often enjoy white wine more often than red wine because it will be out of their systems sooner. However, regardless of the wine you drink, it is always recommended to wait for 2-3 hours between finishing a glass and nursing your baby.

Can I have a wine cooler while breastfeeding?

Yes, breastfeeding mothers can enjoy a wine cooler while breastfeeding. It’s essential to follow the same rule that you would for other wines while breastfeeding. Wait two to three hours per wine cooler before breastfeeding. Don’t forget that the time limit only starts after you’ve finished drinking. So, if you open a wine cooler and then sip it for an hour, that means that the clock doesn’t start until you’re completely done drinking the wine cooler.

Does wine increase milk supply?

No, wine doesn’t increase the milk supply in breastfeeding mothers. Wine inhibits the production of milk, which is contrary to popular belief. Try lactation cookies instead of a glass of wine to increase your milk supply. Most breastfeeding mothers start to see an increase in their milk supply within a week after beginning lactation cookies.