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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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Is it true that drinking a beer can help with my milk supply? Is it safe to drink beer while breastfeeding?

The Bump Expert

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:

What to Drink While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Tips from Real Moms

Top 10 Breastfeeding Problems Solved

Amy Spangler, MN, RN, IBCLC, author of Breastfeeding: A Parent’s Guide

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