Q: Is it safe to consume wine while breastfeeding?—Hannah, Nantucket, Mass.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), avoiding alcohol is the safest option for breastfeeding mothers. However, the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists suggests that moderate wine consumption is safe as long as mothers wait at least two hours to breastfeed after consuming wine. Alcohol levels are typically highest in breast milk 30 to 60 minutes after alcohol is consumed.
"You do not need to 'pump and dump,' or express and discard, your breastmilk, as the alcohol will leave your milk just as it leaves your bloodstream," Dr. Catherine McCarthy, a family medicine physician at the University of Nevada at Reno School of Medicine, told Wine Spectator. "It is recommended, however, not to have more than two drinks per day on a regular basis, as that may be harmful to your baby, cause weight gain and make you drowsy."
Consult with your personal physician before incorporating wine as part of a healthy lifestyle.—Shawn Zylberberg