Beer and Breastfeeding?

Is it true that drinking a beer can help with my milk supply? Is it safe to drink beer while breastfeeding?
ByAmy Spangler, MN, RN, IBCLC, author of Breastfeeding: A Parent’s Guide
Lactation Specialist
Updated
Feb 2017
Hero Image

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.

More from The Bump:

Related Video

Mom's Viral Photo Makes a Case for Breastfeeding and Bottle Feeding

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
10/13/2017

Husband Asks Wife to Stop Breastfeeding for an Appalling Reason

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
11/03/2017

The States Where It’s Legal to Breastfeed In Public

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
08/04/2014

Breast Pumping Mom Pranks Her Coworkers

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
07/22/2016

Q&A: Are Nuts Okay to Eat While Breastfeeding?

Jack Newman, MD, FRCPC
Pediatrician

Mom Banned From Facebook After Sharing Breastfeeding Article

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
10/06/2017