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Breastfeeding and Alcohol: Pump and Dump Breast Milk

Updated on June 22, 2011

Breastfeeding and alcohol don’t mix well. But just because you’re nursing doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. As long as you pump and dump breast milk, it’s okay to drink alcohol while breastfeeding. It’s one of the wonderful benefits of using a breast pump. But pump and dump nursing isn’t the only reason to use a breast pump. Breast pumps are freedom!

This breastfeeding video explains how to introduce your baby to a bottle in preparation for giving him expressed breastmilk. It also walks you through the process of expressing manually—using a manual breast pump and using an electric breast pump—to help you decide which method may be best for you.

Video Credit: gurgle, YouTube

Pump and Dump: Pump Out That Chardonnay Before You Nurse

One of the most common breastfeeding questions new mothers ask is, is it okay to drink alcohol while breastfeeding? Yes and no. No, you don’t want to pass on potentially harmful alcohol to your baby, but as long as you pump and dump, breastfeeding doesn’t have to mean the end of your wine sipping (or tequila slamming or whatever) days.

What is pump and dump breastfeeding? Just what it sounds like: pump out the alcohol laden breast milk and dump it down the drain.

Nursing Mothers Gain Freedom by Using a Breast Pump

Nursing mothers can feel chained their babies, but freedom to do things like leave the baby alone with a caregiver for extended periods, or to have a few glasses of wine can be yours. Being away from your baby for significant periods can decrease breast milk production, but a breast pump provides the solution. Freedom from the constant demands of baby breastfeeding is easy when you have a good breast pump. Any time you want to take a break from your baby, the breast pump is your best friend.

Use a Breast Pump To Be Away From Baby

Many women worry about how to produce breast milk when they return to work. Pumping breast milk is a great way to maintain the nursing schedule that your baby has set. The expressed milk can then be left with the baby and caregiver, decreasing dependence on formula. When my son was three months old I returned to work. Along with drinking a lot of water, faithfully using my hospital grade breast pump was one of the most effective ways to increase breast milk supply.

Using a Breast Pump Provides Freedom From Pain

Pumping breast milk instead of breastfeeding is also a great option when breasts are injured (cracked nipples are no fun to nurse with!) or so sore or engorged that breastfeeding becomes unbearably painful. There is simply no reason to suffer. Breasts will often heal quicker if you use a pump. The suction is strong, but can be gentler than baby’s aggressive latch.

I recommend investing in a hospital grade breast pump, but even if you opt for one of the cheap breast pumps, make sure you get one with a good carrying case so you can easily transport it from home to office.

Image Credit: russelljsmith, Flickr

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