Effects of Alcohol Drinking by Breastfeeding Mothers

Are there any effects of alcohol drinking by breastfeeding on their children? If so, what is it?

Drinking by Breastfeeding Mothers

Researchers studied the the effects of drinking by breastfeeding mothers on the later development of their children.

drinking by breastfeeding mothersThe scientists recorded women’s drinking during pregnancy. They also recorded the same data at eight weeks and one year after the women gave birth.

Sixty-one percent of the breastfeeding women were drinking eight weeks after birth. Seventy percent did so 12 months postpartum.

Most women had 14 or fewer drinks per week. And they had fewer than three drinks per occasion. They also used ways to minimize alcohol in their milk. For instance, by timing their drinking.


The researchers collected data on breastfeeding duration as well as infant sleeping and development. And they adjusted for confounders. They found drinking unrelated to infant sleeping. The same was true of most infant developmental measures at eight weeks and 12 months.

drinking by breastfeeding mothersThere was only one exception. Mothers who drank at eight weeks had infants with better personal-social development at 12 months. That’s compared to mothers who abstained from alcohol at eight weeks.

Therefore, women who were light drinkers during breastfeeding did not have infants with adverse outcomes at age one.


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    • This site gives no advice. Please see your doctor about drinking by breastfeeding mothers. Or for any other medical or health concern you may have.