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Should I "Pump and Dump" After Drinking Alcohol?

After a busy day, a new mom might want to relax with a glass of wine. But will alcohol make her breast milk unsafe for the baby?

While not drinking alcohol is the safest option, moderate alcohol consumption is not known to be harmful to the baby, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“For a nursing mom, minimal alcohol should not impact breastmilk,” says Elizabeth Kirts, MPH, a lactation consultant and manager of patient services at University of Utah Health. “That means one serving of alcohol, such as a glass of wine, a shot of hard liquor, or a 12-ounce beer.”

The body clears alcohol from breast milk and the bloodstream at the same rate, so pumping and dumping won't make milk any safer. A concerned mom should postpone breastfeeding by at least an hour after drinking or if they are feeling altered from drinking.

However, pumping and dumping may be important if a mom is taking certain medications. To find out whether your medication is safe for the baby, call or text the Mother to Baby help line or reach out to your doctor.

Dump and Pump Infographic