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Beer and Breastfeeding?

Is it true that drinking a beer can help with my milk supply? Is it safe to drink beer while breastfeeding?
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profile picture of Amy Spangler, MN, RN, IBCLC, author of Breastfeeding: A Parent’s Guide
ByAmy Spangler, MN, RN, IBCLC, author of Breastfeeding: A Parent’s Guide
Lactation Specialist
Updated
February 28, 2017
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Yes, there’s some truth to this old wives’ tale. There’s an ingredient in beer — both alcoholic and nonalcoholic — that can trigger the release of prolactin, a hormone that stimulates milk production. But no one has been able to prove that drinking beer actually increases a mother’s milk supply.

If you want to put this theory to the test, go ahead, but stick to nonalcoholic beer. Alcohol passes readily into breast milk, and even small amounts of alcohol can affect milk production and milk release. (Defeats the purpose, right?) Most experts recommend that breastfeeding mothers drink no more than two drinks (that means two ounces of liquor, eight ounces of wine or two beers) per week to prevent baby from being exposed to alcohol and keep your body’s  milk production on track.

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Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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