Yesterday I took a trip to Shopper’s Drugmart to pick up a prescription. They said it would be about 20 minutes so Sawyer and I went to pick up a few things.
As I was scanning the baby section for some good deals I saw it.
For $16.99 a kit of test strips that you can use to test your breast milk for booze could be yours.. If the strips change colour apparently your milk is too alcoholic for your baby.
From the Babies R Us Website:
In just two minutes, milkscreen quickly and accurately analyzes breast milk for alcohol. Every mother is unique so, naturally, the way our bodies metabolize alcohol is unique, too. Metabolizing alcohol depends on several factors including body weight, type of alcohol consumed, and food intake so milkscreen was created to eliminate those variables. Milkscreen also helps ensure that the alcohol concentrated in Mom’s breast milk is not at a level that may have negative impacts on Baby. Studies have shown infants consuming breast milk with alcohol concentrations at approximately 30mg/dl, or 0.03%, and higher have exhibited distinctive changes in feeding behavior and sleep. Babies consume less if the milk contains alcohol and they also sleep less and wake more frequently. We’ve set the milkscreen test to show a color change at 0.02% to help Mom stay within recommended feeding guidelines.
I was torn between thinking that hey, it is a pretty cool idea, and OMG, if you drink the much that you need to check your breast milk then you have other problems!
Personally, I am not a big drinker (have been in the past at times, but I never drank during either pregnancy). I don’t see a problem with having a drink now and then and breastfeeding. I have done lots of research and basically your breast milk will have the same amount of alcohol in it as your blood stream. So if you drink a beer that is 4% it will make your blood alcohol be like .04% (forgive the incorrect numbers I am just hypothesizing). So if your baby drinks that 0.04% milk, it will only elevate their blood alcohol level to 0.004% (or something along those lines).
I think pumping and dumping is stupid because any new milk you make as long as you have alcohol in your bloodstream, there will still be some in your milk, and you just wasted your liquid gold. You see, breast milk is not like urine in your bladder where it just collects to excretion. The milk in your ducts constantly has things passing in and out of it, so you can’t just “dump” the affected milk and start fresh. Personally, I have nursed three babies after a few drinks and never seen any immediate or long term effects in any of them (but I would never drink all the time or a lot).
I mean really, the thing that prevents new moms from drinking is not that they have to nurse, it’s that they have a newborn to take care of! You can’t just come home and pass out like the olden days. You have diapers to change and night feedings to cope with. And nothing is worse for a hangover headache than a wailing baby! In my case, after nine months of sobriety I pretty much had no tolerance for alcohol and was “hung over” after two beers!
Once the girls are older and I get my tolerance back, then I will have a celebratory drink, but until then I think I will stick with my diet coke :-) But, if you are nursing and decide to indulge yourself this holiday season then you can purchase Milkscreen. I wouldn’t but $16.99 isn’t that crazy a price to pay for piece of mind.
Below I have included a helpful table from Mother Risk about how long to wait if you are drinking and breastfeeding.
Table 1. Time from beginning of drinking until clearance of alcohol from breast milk for women of various body weights: Assuming alcohol metabolism is constant at 15 mg/dL and woman is of average height (1.62 m [5'4"]).
|Mother’s Weight kg (lbs)||No. Of Drinks* (Hours : Minutes)|
*1 drink = 340 g (12 oz) of 5% beer, or 141.75 g (5 oz) of 11% wine, or 42.53 g (1.5 oz) of 40% liquor. Example no. 1: For a 40.8-kg (90-lb) woman who consumed three drinks in 1 hour, it would take 8 hours, 30 minutes for there to be no alcohol in her breast milk, but for a 95.3-kg (210-lb) woman drinking the same amount, it would take 5 hours, 33 minutes. Example no. 2: For a 63.5-kg (140-lb) woman drinking four beers starting at 8:00 pm, it would take 9 hours, 17 minutes for there to be no alcohol in her breast milk (ie, until 5:17 am