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can i breastfeed if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

Can I breastfeed if I drink alcohol?

By | Breastfeeding, Breastfeeding support, breastfeeding tips, Can I breastfeed if?

A common question we get in our community of moms begins with “Can I breastfeed if….” And it’s no wonder! We are told to avoid everything from roller coasters to alcohol to X-rays while pregnant, and  the conflicting recommendations can carry over after birth when our body is still nourishing our little ones. So today we are launching a new series, “Can I breastfeed if…” and we will discuss some commonly asked questions about the safety of various activities and substances while pregnant.  If you have a question share it on instagram with the hashtag #canibreastfeedif and we will repost and answer our favorites!

A common question we get in our community of moms begins with “Can I breastfeed if….” And it’s no wonder! We are told to avoid everything…

Can I breastfeed if I plan to drink alcohol?

The short answer is yes when done with a few guidelines in mind.  The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding recommends that mothers limit their alcohol intake while breastfeeding, and ingest no more than 2 oz. liquor, 8 oz. wine, or 2 beers, as well as abstain from breastfeeding for about 2 hours after drinking to further minimize any alcohol in breastmilk. (1)

can i breastfeed if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

Pumping and dumping shouldn’t be necessary when following the above guidelines as it does not reduce the alcohol in milk any faster. Just be sure to feed baby right before leaving home and consuming your alcohol fairly soon after arriving.  This gives the alcohol time to work its way out before becoming reunited with baby.  Since milk is made from your blood, once your own blood alcohol level has gone down, so has your milk’s alcohol level.

can i drink alcohol if i plan to drink alcohol? via lactation link

So feel safe to enjoy that holiday eggnog and return to breastfeeding a few hours later. Do you have any questions for us in this series? Let us know in the comments and on social. Lots more info about how substances and food interact with breastmilk in my video classes.

Get more breastfeeding wisdom with my Top 10 Breastfeeding Tips. Click below to get started.


Thanks for stopping by,


Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC


  1. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. (2012, March). Pediatrics, 129(3), 842-856. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/3/e827

Elevator Breastfeeding Position

By | Breastfeeding, Classes, Home/Hospital Visits

Many unexpected things can come up during lactation.  You can hit bumps early on, a few weeks in, or even months or years into your breastfeeding experience.  In addition to breastfeeding issues which require education and support, sometimes maternal illness can occur.  Sometimes an illness, incision,  or soreness will make it tough for you to sit upright or even turn comfortably.  If you find yourself saying, “My baby and I are healthy and I’ll just stay away from any surgeries while breastfeeding,” keep in mind – most women who experience sudden illness or have surgery aren’t planning on it!  To relay a personal experience, I had 3 unexpected surgeries while breastfeeding my daughter.  It’s nice to be equipped with ways to continue breastfeeding in the face of unexpected obstacles.  Today I wanted to share a breastfeeding position that may come in handy if you find yourself recovering from something while breastfeeding.

Elevator Position


The Elevator position allows you to breastfeed on both breasts without having to roll over to change positions.  For this Mama, she started out breastfeeding in this sidelying position on her left breast.  When baby was done on the left side, we placed a pillow beneath baby.  The pillow acted as an elevator, allowing baby to access the second side (in this case right breast) without having to change positions or roll over.


Same principles apply as in any breastfeeding position we use – make sure baby is tummy-to-tummy with you with no space in between.  You can place a body pillow behind your back for comfort and support.  You can also place a roll behind baby’s back to help keep them facing you.  Here, we are using a thin muslin blanket rolled up.


Ofcourse I hope you never find yourself with an illness, injury, surgery, or recovery anytime — let alone when you are breastfeeding.  But life happens!  Having as much knowledge and support as possible will increase your chances of getting through whatever comes your way.

Many more great tips like this in my breastfeeding  classes.  My video classes are available anytime – they never expire, can be watched over and over, and you can learn in the comfort of your own home!  Anytime after 12 weeks in pregnancy is a great time to start preparing and they also come with a notes outline.  My in-person classes are held in Highland, UT – upcoming dates are 12/10, 1/16, 2/20, and 3/12 and 4/9.  Will travel for groups of 10 or more!  First priority for my limited home/hospital visits is given to those that attend the classes.  Email me to arrange personal consultations.

Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

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