Alcohol in Breast Milk

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Effects of Alcohol in Breast milk

There are facts breastfeeding mom’s need to know about alcohol in breast milk.


Alcohol passes through your milk to your baby, so it’s best to avoid habitual use while breastfeeding.Woman having a glass of wine

What You Should Know:

  • Drinking beer does not increase your milk supply, as urban myth suggests.
  • Consuming alcohol of any kind may decrease the amount of milk your baby drinks.
  • Alcohol can change the taste of your milk, and this may be objectionable to some babies.

If You Choose to Have an Alcoholic Drink:

  • If you are going to have an alcoholic drink, it is best to do so just after you nurse or pump milk rather than before.
  • Allow at least 2 hours per drink before your next breastfeeding or pumping session. That way, your body will have as much time as possible to rid itself of the alcohol before the next feeding and less will reach your infant.
  • Note: One alcoholic drink is the equivalent of a 12-ounce beer, 4-ounce glass of wine, or 1 ounce of hard liquor.

Repeated Exposure of Infants to Alcohol:

There are concerns about long-term, repeated exposures of infants to alcohol via the mother’s milk, so moderation is definitely advised. Chronic consumption of alcohol may also reduce milk production.

Additional Resources:

Last Updated 11/21/2015
Source Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Toolkit (Copyright © American Academy of Pediatrics 2012)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.