It can be a common myth among new moms, the idea of pumping and dumping. Many mothers think that if they drink alcohol, pump breast milk, then dump it rather than let their babies drink it, the alcohol will be flushed out of their system.
But it turns out, the alcohol is still in your body. Dr. Laurie Jones is a pediatrician at Agave Pediatrics and a board certified lactation consultant.
“If you’re tipsy, it’s in your milk,” said Dr. Jones.
She says everyone breaks down alcohol differently, depending on several factors:
3. If you’ve eaten
“If you've had food, it'll take a little longer to process, but it won't hit quite such a high than if you have it on an empty stomach,” said Dr. Jones. She adds, “If you're trying to lower the amount of alcohol in your milk by pumping and throwing it away, that does not work. Whatever is in your bloodstream is the same amount in the milk.”
What does work? Time.
“Time makes the alcohol content of your milk go down, because it's the amount of alcohol in your blood that's metabolized by your body,” said Dr. Jones.
She suggests two and a half hours for the average woman to completely metabolize one drink.
The best advice for new moms who still want an occasional drink- “I would recommend drinking it quickly, enjoying it, and then letting it have time to get out before you get back home to your baby.”