Can I drink alcohol whilst breastfeeding?

So you’ve just gone 9 months without so much as a glass of wine, and now you’re wondering whether you’re going to have to do the same for the next 6 months, or however longer you aim to breastfeed for.

Well, don’t worry – according to the NHS guidelines, it’s safe for breastfeeding mothers to drink alcohol – although it is worth noting that guidelines recommend you should limit your alcohol intake to 1-2 units, twice a week.

red glass of wine
Image via

I want to go out and have more than 1-2 units, do I have to stop breastfeeding?

No, you do not have to stop breastfeeding! If you are having over the recommended amount of alcohol, you can express milk for baby for during this period of time, then feed baby as normal once you are back home. There is no need to ‘pump and dump’ your breast milk before you resume feeding, as the alcohol will leave your milk freely in the same way that it will leave your blood alcohol levels.

‘If you’re safe to drive, you’re safe to breastfeed.’

What must I avoid if I have had alcohol?

If you have consumed any alcohol, you must not bed-share with baby, as this goes against safe sleeping guidelines.

If you want to find out more about breastfeeding and alcohol, please head here



References: (2017). Breastfeeding and drinking alcohol – Pregnancy and baby guide – NHS Choices. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

 (2017). Alcohol and breastfeeding – La Leche League GB. [online] La Leche League GB. Available at: [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].

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