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Mother Arrested for Breastfeeding After Drinking: What you Need to Know About Alcohol Use

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By now, most mothers-to-be have gotten the message that drinking during pregnancy is harmful to the baby and should be avoided. Less clear is whether drinking during breastfeeding is acceptable.

Tasha Adams, a 28-year old mother of three found that this is a gray area when she was arrested for endangering the welfare of her then six-month-old daughter after she was allegedly drinking while breast-feeding in an Arkansas restaurant. The details of this case are rather unclear. Adams said that she had two beers over the course of a couple hours. An off-duty waitress said that Adams was drinking large amounts of hard liquor and the baby was “getting fussy”.

The waitress called the police, and Adams was arrested. The officers admitted themselves that they weren’t entirely sure what they should do in the circumstances, since drinking while nursing is not illegal in Arkansas. The charges against Adams were dropped and the waitress has been fired. Adams maintains she was not doing anything wrong and that she was sober enough to feed her child.

Alcohol Use and Breastfeeding: Less is More

Breast-feeding lot nursing may not be illegal, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for your baby. The Canadian pediatric society suggests that the safest choice is not to drink alcohol at all during breast-feeding. If you decide to drink, the best choice for your baby is to limit the amount you are drinking to be one or two standard drinks on each occasion. The standard drink is:

12 oz. (341 mL) of beer (5%)

5 oz. (142 mL) of wine (12%)

1.5 oz. (43 mL) of spirits (40%)

It takes an average of two hours for one drink to be absorbed by the body. If you want to have a drink, haven’t after feeding, Not before.

Effects of breast-feeding on baby

Babies may not like the taste of breast-milk that contains alcohol and major in class at a feeding.

They need more time than an adult to process alcohol. The younger the baby, the greater the difficulty his or her system will have a clear and alcohol from the body.