Alcohol and Breastfeeding: Fact v. Fiction

Breastfeeding, despite being a very natural thing, can be surrounded by a lot of misconceptions, myths and complications that can throw any mom into a tizzy.

How can you know if there's alcohol in your breast milk? Holidays, birthdays and other celebrations can sometimes be minefields for breastfeeding moms to navigate.

Despite all the information that's out there about common breastfeeding myths, many moms are still unclear about fact v fiction when it comes to breastfeeding and alcohol.

Join us as we sit down with UpSpring cofounder, Julie Jumonville, about the breastfeeding myths surrounding drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. Does pumping and dumping really work?

Are alcohol test strips accurate? How is breast milk made and how much alcohol is passed to baby after drinking a glass of wine, beer or liquor?

Watch the video below for all these questions about breastfeeding and alcohol answered!  

Breastfeeding & Alcohol: Fact V Fiction

With the holidays around the corner, can you drink if you're breastfeeding? How long should you wait to breastfeed after drinking a glass of alcohol? We answer these questions and more with Julie Jumonville, inventor of Milkscreen, the first at-home detection test that detects alcohol in breast milk! SHARE with other moms who want to extend the life of their breastfeeding but still want to enjoy a (much deserved) glass of wine.

We sat down with the inventor of Milkscreen, Julie Jumonville, in the UpSpring studio to discuss what prompted her to invent these alcohol test strips for breastfeeding moms (the answer will surprise you), but also to learn about the common myths around this taboo topic of drinking alcohol while breastfeeding.

It's a common misconception amongst many moms that if they drink alcohol, they can pump and dump to get ride of it, but that's not how the transmission of alcohol through breast milk works. 

After being a volunteer and serving on the board at the Mother's Milk Bank in Austin, TX, Julie, became increasingly involved in the breastfeeding community. Through her work with this empowering organization, she learned how breast milk is made, the chemistry behind it, as well as the many ways breastfeeding benefits babies.

One weekend while attending her sister-in-law's wedding, she wanted to have a glass of wine but was breastfeeding.

She was concerned about passing alcohol along to her baby and that's when it dawned on her. This was a 'light bulb' moment that led to the amazing process and creation of the Milkscreen alcohol test strips.

Since hitting the shelves of BuyBuyBaby, Target, Babies'r'Us, Amazon and other major retailers, Milkscreen has sold over 10 million test strips!

Milkscreen Breastmilk Alcohol Test

Here are a few of the main myths about breastfeeding and alcohol ANSWERED:

1) How do I know if there's alcohol in my breast milk? 

The answer is, it depends. Your individual metabolism is going to be different than the next mom.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a great FAQ page that explains how alcohol passes through breast milk to baby, but that the average woman should wait 2 hours after having an alcoholic drink before breastfeeding their baby.

Check out this great informational segment by 'The Doctors' for more information about what's considered 'safe' for breastfeeding. Watch it here.

2) What is an unsafe blood alcohol level for breastfeeding?

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that anything over a .03 blood alcohol level is considered 'unsafe' for the baby.

Since breast milk is made from blood, it's important to give your body enough time to metabolize the alcohol in your blood stream before breastfeeding your baby.

Milkscreen's at-home alcohol test strips are formulated to detect anything .02 and higher, which helps give moms peace of mind while breastfeeding after having a glass of wine, beer or liquor.

3) How much alcohol can I drink before passing it on to my baby?

Again, every woman's metabolism is different, but on average the American Academy of Pediatrics says it's OK for a breastfeeding mom to have an occasional or celebratory drink in the amount of 1 oz of liquor, 4 oz of wine or 12 oz beer. 

Breastfeeding, like the other parts of the motherhood journey, can come with many ups and downs.

Next time you want to have a night out with the girls or unwind after a long day, rest easily knowing you're not passing alcohol along to your baby and use a Milkscreen alcohol test strip before feeding your little one.

If you're looking for other information about common breastfeeding topics, please check out the rest of our blog including: Breastfeeding and Returning to WorkHow to Know If You're Making Enough Milk, and Solutions to 6 Common Breastfeeding Issues.

Are you having trouble with breast milk supply? Try the UpSpring Milkflow which has been shown to help mom increase her breast milk supply!