5 Dangerous Risks of Drinking Wine and Beer While Breastfeeding

In fact, women are warned to avoid consuming alcohol during their pregnancy, as the ample evidence showed that this action poses an avoidable and severe risk to the unborn baby. Meanwhile, the risks of drinking wine while breastfeeding are not well defined. Recently, breastfeeding mothers get conflicting advice regarding the negative or positive effect of alcohol consumption on her baby. It led to the situation that the moms sometimes feel like there are more questions and concerns for them regarding this matter. So, let’s discuss on whether a mother should consider drinking wine during her nursing time

Effects of drinking wine on the baby via the breast milk

  • Daily wine consumption of more than one drinks was associated with the decrease in the motor development.
  • If you drink more than two bottle of wine per day, it is indeed harmful for your baby.
  • Some research stated that drinking wine while breastfeeding increase the potential risk for the slow gain in the weight of the infant.
  • There are changes in a wake-sleep patterning of an infant after a mother is a light wine drinker for a short time. So, these babies will tend to sleep less after exposing to small volume of wine in breast milk.
  • Alcohol, especially wine may not increase the milk production. Adversely, about 20% decrease in the volume of breast milk due to drinking alcohol while nursing. As a matter of fact, nursing babies may receive less milk during 3 hours after the mothers had a drink.

How can we balance between breastfeeding and drinking alcohol?

You should wait a minimum of 2 hours after drinking beer while breastfeeding to nurse the baby. So, you are giving the body a good opportunity to clear the beer. The same advice is used for wine and other alcohols. The alcohol level in your blood and also in your milk generally reach the highest concentration during about 80 minutes after drinking. Although the time length may indeed take the alcohol out of your body but the necessary time duration varies for different person.

Can you drink wine while breastfeeding? Yes, with the moderation. Furthermore, the breastfeeding mother should control her time after the drink so your baby will not be nursing for at least 2 hours afterward. It means you can take a cup of wine immediately after the feeding time of your infants or during their longer sleep stretches. For these reasons, wine is listed as the top in the drinks and foods to avoid while breastfeeding.

Another option is to pump as well as store your breast milk before drinking. With this way, you do not have to control your time. All you need to do is to feed your infant expressed milk by using a bottle. But remember not to pump after drinking as it will not remove alcohol from the system for the minimum of two hours.

It is obvious that the effects of drinking wine while breastfeeding is as unclear as those of drinking coffee while breastfeeding. By keeping your drink at the moderation and in right time, your baby will avoid almost all possible risks. It is considered an excellent idea to have something to eat prior or when having the drink. This way helps lower down the alcohol amount in your milk and your blood.

Should you drink more than 1 cup when breastfeeding?

It is highly unsafe for your babies if you intend to drink more than 1 cup of wine per day. The more cup of wine you drink, the longer time the alcohol need to clear the system. And for over-weight mother, you are luckier as your weight helps much in reducing the waiting time after your drink.

If a mother drinks too much and is in the intoxicated status, please stop nursing her infant until she feels better. To resolve your swollen breasts, you can pump and throw away your expressed milk. In the case your infant is able to sleep overnight without waking, you may drink more than 1 cup in the evening.

However, you should be cautious whenever doing this. Because you are unable to care for your infant if you are intoxicated. Also, you cannot sleep together with your infant in the safe way if you are under the effects of wine or other alcohol and drugs. Such intoxicants may interfere with the awareness of the child’s presence and cries. So, our advice is not to keep a child in your bed while you drink.

Will drinking wine increase the supply of breast milk?

No, of course not. There is no scientific and logical evidence to prove the common wisdom of drinking wine while breastfeeding. We also answer the same for other alcohol types. Some over-weight mother wrongly think that drinking wine not only boosts their milk supply but also helps to lose weight. After getting the general idea over how many calories does breastfeeding burn, you might find another way to reduce the weight while staying healthy.

Even alcohol dehydrates the body as well as makes a mother lose her body fluid, it negatively impacts the total amount of breast milk she makes. Besides, drinking alcohol may disrupt all hormones which were involved in the milk production. In the case you concerned about the low volume of milk supply, please talk to the lactation consultant or the healthcare practitioner of your baby.


I hope our article has been useful for all breastfeeding mothers. Remember, you do not have to avoid every seem-to-be harmful thing to breastfeed! You accurately enjoy almost everything, including alcohol in moderation. The suggested limit of alcoholic per day for a breastfeeding mom is one drink. At last, drinking wine while breastfeeding may not be harmful if you can control it at moderation.


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