Advice for Drinking Alcohol and Breastfeeding

It is advised to be alcohol-free while breastfeeding as it will pass into your breast milk. This is especially important for the first month after birth.

 

The Ministry of Health (MOH) advises that it is best to be alcohol-free while breastfeeding as alcohol will pass into your breast milk. Being alcohol-free is especially important for the first month after birth and at least until breastfeeding is well established. The level of alcohol in your breast milk is approximately the same as the amount in your bloodstream. Regularly drinking alcohol or binge drinking can harm your baby and can make them unsettled, irritable or unable to feed well – it can also impair your ability to look after your baby safely. Drinking alcohol inhibits the role of the oxytocin hormone, delaying the let-down of your milk and affecting your milk supply too. 

If you choose to have a drink or two on occasion, you can minimise the risk to your baby by waiting to breastfeed at least 2-3 hours afterwards for every standard drink you have had. This allows the alcohol to clear from your breast milk.

The Feed Safe NZ app uses your height, weight and alcohol intake to estimate how long it will be until there is no alcohol in your breast milk. The app is free to download.

Join The Soteria Community

Join the Soteria community and receive our
e-newsletter and selected offers straight to your inbox!