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Alcohol, even in small amounts, can travel through breast milk into a baby's system. Babies who have injested alcohol in breast milk will become sleepy, but they won't rest for very long, and their sleep won't be very restful either. Breast milk may also be reduced in supply, and babies who were exposed to regular amounts of alcohol while breastfeeding were sometimes found to be developmentally delayed. The bottom line...don't drink if you are breastfeeding. If you do have a drink, time it so that you will not breastfeed for at least a couple of hours after the drink.
There is also the option of expressing breast milk should you fear traces of alcohol in your milk. You can do this with your hands, gently expressing it into a sink. Just make sure you have a back-up bottle of breast milk while your milk comes in again.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|