Alcohol and breastfeeding: Fact versus fiction

Breastfeeding, despite being a very natural thing, can be surrounded by a lot of misconceptions, myths and complications that can throw any mum into a tizzy. How can you know if there's alcohol in your breastmilk? Holidays, birthdays and other celebrations can sometimes be minefields for breastfeeding mums to navigate. 

Despite all the information that's out there about common breastfeeding myths, many mums are still unclear about fact versus fiction when it comes to breastfeeding and alcohol.

Join us as we sit down with UpSpring cofounder, Julie Jumonville, about the breastfeeding myths surrounding drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. Does pumping and dumping really work? Are alcohol test strips accurate? How is breastmilk made and how much alcohol is passed to baby after drinking a glass of wine, beer or liquor?


Watch the video below for all these questions about breastfeeding and alcohol answered! 


Breastfeeding & alcohol: fact versus fiction

With the holidays around the corner, can you drink if you're breastfeeding? How long should you wait to breastfeed after drinking a glass of alcohol? We answer these questions and more with Julie Jumonville, inventor of Milkscreen, the first at-home detection test that detects alcohol in breastmilk!

Share with other mums who want to extend the life of their breastfeeding but still want to enjoy a (much deserved) glass of wine. 

We sat down with the inventor of Milkscreen, Julie Jumonville, in the UpSpring studio to discuss what prompted her to invent these alcohol test strips for breastfeeding mums (the answer will surprise you), but also to learn about the common myths around this taboo topic of drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. It's a common misconception amongst many mums that if they drink alcohol, they can pump and dump to get rid of it, but that's not how the transmission of alcohol through breastmilk works.

After being a volunteer and serving on the board at the Mother's Milk Bank in Austin, Texas, Julie, became increasingly involved in the breastfeeding community. Through her work with this empowering organisation, she learned how breastmilk is made, the chemistry behind it, as well as the many ways breastfeeding benefits babies. One weekend while attending her sister-in-law's wedding, she wanted to have a glass of wine but was breastfeeding. She was concerned about passing alcohol along to her baby and that's when it dawned on her. This was a light-bulb moment that led to the amazing process and creation of the Milkscreen alcohol test strips. Since hitting the shelves of BuyBuyBaby, Target, Babies'r'Us, Amazon and other major retailers, Milkscreen has sold over 10 million test strips 

Here are a few of the main myths about breastfeeding and alcohol ANSWERED:

1) How do I know if there's alcohol in my breastmilk?
The answer is, it depends. Your individual metabolism is going to be different than the next mum. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a great FAQ page that explains how alcohol passes through breastmilk to baby, but that the average woman should wait 2 hours after having an alcoholic drink before breastfeeding their baby.
Check out this great informational segment by 'The Doctors' for more information about what's considered 'safe' for breastfeeding. Watch it here.
2) What is an unsafe blood alcohol level for breastfeeding?
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that anything over a .03 blood alcohol level is considered 'unsafe' for the baby. Since breastmilk is made from blood, it's important to give your body enough time to metabolize the alcohol in your bloodstream before breastfeeding your baby. Milkscreen's at-home alcohol test strips are formulated to detect anything .02 and higher, which helps give mums peace of mind while breastfeeding after having a glass of wine, beer or liquor.
3) How much alcohol can I drink before passing it on to my baby?
Again, every woman's metabolism is different, but on average the American Academy of Pediatrics says it's OK for a breastfeeding mum to have an occasional or celebratory drink in the amount of 39 millilitres of liquor, 120 ml of wine or a 360 ml beer.

Breastfeeding, like the other parts of the motherhood journey, can come with many ups and downs. Next time you want to have a night out with the girls or unwind after a long day, rest easy knowing you're not passing alcohol along to your baby and use a Milkscreen alcohol test strip before feeding your little one.

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