Breastfeeding and Alcohol

By Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC

Full article can be found here


  • Current research says that occasional use of alcohol (1-2 drinks) does not appear to be harmful to the nursing baby.
  • Per Hale (2012), “mothers who ingest alcohol in moderate amounts can generally return to breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal.”
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding notes: “ingestion of alcoholic beverages should be minimized and limited to an occasional intake but no more than 0.5 g alcohol per kg body weight, which for a 60 kg mother is approximately 2 oz liquor, 8 oz wine, or 2 beers. Nursing should take place 2 hours or longer after the alcohol intake to minimize its concentration in the ingested milk.”
  • Many experts recommend against drinking more than 1-2 drinks per week.
  • There is no need to pump & dump milk after drinking alcohol, other than for mom’s comfort — pumping & dumping does notspeed the elimination of alcohol from the milk.
  • Alcohol does not increase milk production, and has been shown to inhibit let-down and decrease milk production (see below).
  • If you’re away from your baby, try to pump as often as baby usually nurses (this is to maintain milk supply, not because of the alcohol). At the very least, pump or hand express whenever you feel uncomfortably full – this will help you to avoid plugged ducts and mastitis.

In general, if you are sober enough to drive, you are sober enough to breastfeed. Less than 2% of the alcohol consumed by the mother reaches her blood and milk. Alcohol peaks in mom’s blood and milk approximately 1/2-1 hour after drinking (but there is considerable variation from person to person, depending upon how much food was eaten in the same time period, mom’s body weight and percentage of body fat, etc.). Alcohol does not accumulate in breastmilk, but leaves the milk as it leaves the blood; so when your blood alcohol levels are back down, so are your milk alcohol levels.

Image credit: kizzzbeth on flickr CC BY 2.0

Image credit: kizzzbeth on flickr CC BY 2.0

Always keep in mind the baby’s age when considering the effect of alcohol. A newborn has a very immature liver, so minute amounts of alcohol would be more of a burden. Up until around 3 months of age, infants detoxify alcohol at around half the rate of an adult. An older baby or toddler can metabolize the alcohol more quickly.

Is baby ready for solid foods? (What do the experts say?)


Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it’s best to wait until your baby is around six months old before offering any food other than breastmilk. There has been a large amount of research on this, and most health organizations have updated their recommendations to agree with current research. Unfortunately, many health care providers and written materials are not up to date in what they are advising parents.

Following are just a few of the organizations that recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (not the first 4-6 months):

Most babies will become developmentally and physiologically ready to eat solid foods between 6 and 8 months of age.

Why wait until 6 months for solids?

Although many of the reasons listed here assume that your baby is breastfed or fed breastmilk only, experts generally recommend that solids be delayed for formula fed babies also.

Full article here

Picture: Instagram

How to Have a Great Milk Supply

Written by Donna Bruschi, IBCLC

…even if your breasts are small, even if you have twins, even if you’re worried.

Don’t wait to feed!

One of the biggest misconceptions I run into is “waiting for breasts to fill up” before you feed your baby. The fastest way to make abundant milk is to keep your breasts empty. Emptier breasts signal your body to make milk while full ones tell your body to stop making milk.

It’s like being at a buffet. When the serving dishes get low, a waiter keeps bringing new ones. If no one eats anything, the tray just sits there. Your body will continue reabsorbing and producing fresh milk, so, unlike the buffet, the milk is always fresh and ready to eat, but over time, you will make less and less milk. Your baby may show signs of hunger and be less content. Their weight will plateau or drop.

Full article here

Fenugreek Seed for Increasing Milk Supply

By Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC

Effect on milk production

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum L.) appears to be the herb that is most often used to increase milk supply. It has been reported to be an excellent galactagogue for some mothers, and has been used as such for centuries. The few studies that have been done have had mixed results [Swafford 2000, Reeder 2011, Turkyılmaz 2011] . Keep in mind that in almost all cases, non-pharmaceutical methods of increasing milk supply should be tried first, as there can be significant side effects from both herbal remedies and prescription medications used to increase milk supply. See the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s protocol #9 on the use of galactogogues.

Mothers generally notice an increase in production 24-72 hours after starting the herb, but it can take two weeks for others to see a change. Some mothers do not see a change in milk production when taking fenugreek.

Read full article over at

Montgomery Glands – 7 Interesting Fact


Have you noticed little bumps on your breast that encircle the area around your nipple (areola)? Have you ever wondered what they are and what they are for? Those little bumps are called Montgomery glands. These little bumps may have several important functions. Some women wonder if the changes they have noticed are a sign of pregnancy. So, what do montgomery glands do and what are they for? Do they signal pregnancy? Montgomery Glands Here are 7 interesting facts about Montgomery glands.

#1: There’s An Average Of Nine On Each Areola Women have an average of nine Montgomery glands on each areola. Although some women have none and others have up to 38. More Montgomery glands are located on the upper outer part of the areola. Interestingly, this is the area towards which a baby’s nose is often pointed when breastfeeding.

#2: They Get Bigger During Pregnancy Most mothers notice that their Montgomery glands become more prominent during pregnancy. Clearly, they must increase in size because they have an important role to play when your baby is born.

Find the remaining 5 facts here