Last update: March 21, 2018

Ethanol

High Risk for breastfeeding


Poorly safe. Evaluate carefully.
Use safer alternative or interrupt breastfeeding 3 to 7 T½.
Read the Comment.

While breastfeeding it is recommended to avoid use of alcohol or do it occasionally and moderately (ABM 2015). Drinking beer does not increase milk production (Mennella 1993-2001, Comité Lm AEP 2012).

Long term consumption may cause: sedation, failure to thrive, psychomotor delay in the infant (Little 1989, Moretti 2000, Koren 2002, Backstrand 2004, Sachs 2013), although the data are inconsistent (Little 2002, Haastrup 2014, ABM 2015). One case of Pseudo-Cushing Syndrome was reported that disappeared after alcohol stop by the mother (Moretti 2000). It is controversial that alcohol consumption is associated with shorter duration of breastfeeding (Giglia 2008, Rebhan 2009, Mgongo 2013).

Despite of low increase of Prolactin serum level (Sarkola 1999), acute consumption affects the infant with sedation, and, inhibits Oxytocin secretion in the mother (Cobo 1973, Coiro 1992, Chien 2009) and hence affects the ejection reflex of breast milk with a decrease of 10% to 25% of milk production (Mennella 1991-1993-1997-1998-2001-2005).

Excessive acute ingestion by the mother may induce coma, seizures and danger of death in the infant (Swiderski 2011).

Both beer 0.0% and non-alcoholic (<1%) may be drunk by the nursing mother (Koletzko 2000, Schneider 2013). Increase of anti-oxidant properties of the milk have been recognized (Codoñer 2013).

Elapsing time required to resume breastfeeding after occasional consumption of alcohol by the mother in order to ensure disappearance of milk and blood (Ho 2001) depends on mother's body weight (lesser weight needs longer time to wait), and, on the amount ingested (higher amount needs longer time). Stop breastfeeding for longer than two and a half hour for every 10 - 12 g of ingested alcohol: 330 mL of 4.5% beer, 120 mL (1 glass) of 12% wine, or, one cup of 40% - 50% liquor. Suggested time-periods to stop breastfeeding for a 60 kg of body weight woman are: 1 glass of wine = 2.5 hours; 660 mL of beer = 5 hours; 3 cups of liquor = 7.5 hours (ABM 2015: See reference values at Can Fam Physician 2002)

Some medicinal products containing high concentrations of alcohol as an excipient should be avoided during breastfeeding (Nice 2000).

Avoiding bed-sharing is recommended to mothers who have drunk alcohol (UNICEF 2006, ABM 2008, Landa 2012, UNICEF 2013).

When topically used as disinfectant, alcohol is compatible with breastfeeding (WHO 2002).

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Ethanol is also known as


Ethanol in other languages or writings:

Tradenames

Main tradenames from several countries containing Ethanol in its composition:

Pharmacokinetics

Variable Value Unit
Oral Bioavail. 100 %
Molecular weight 46 daltons
Protein Binding 0 %
VD 0,5 l/Kg
Tmax 0,5 - 1,5 hours
T1/2 0,3 hours
M/P ratio 1,4 -
Theoretical Dose 1,6 - 36 mg/Kg/d
Relative Dose 0,5 - 6 %

References

  1. Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC Breastfeeding and Alcohol KellyMom.com 2018 Full text (link to original source)
  2. UNICEF UK. Caring for your baby at night. A guide for parents. 2018 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Ball H, Blair PS. (For UNICEF UK). Caring for your baby at night. Health professional´s guide. 2017 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. ABM Protocolo clínico de la ABM n.º 21: Pautas para la lactancia y el consumo de sustancias o trastorno por consumo de sustancias, revisado en 2015. Breastfeed Med. 2015 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Reece-Stremtan S, Marinelli KA. ABM Clinical Protocol #21: Guidelines for Breastfeeding and Substance Use or Substance Use Disorder, Revised 2015. Breastfeed Med. 2015 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. Magnus MC, DeRoo LA, Håberg SE, Magnus P, Nafstad P, Nystad W, London SJ. Prospective study of maternal alcohol intake during pregnancy or lactation and risk of childhood asthma: the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2014 Abstract
  7. Haastrup MB, Pottegård A, Damkier P. Alcohol and breastfeeding. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. UNICEF UK. Statement on co-sleeping following publication of new NICE postnatal guidance. Infosheet. 2014 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  9. Schneider C, Thierauf A, Kempf J, Auwärter V. Ethanol concentration in breastmilk after the consumption of non-alcoholic beer. Breastfeed Med. 2013 Abstract
  10. Codoñer-Franch P, Hernández-Aguilar MT, Navarro-Ruiz A, López-Jaén AB, Borja-Herrero C, Valls-Bellés V. Diet supplementation during early lactation with non-alcoholic beer increases the antioxidant properties of breastmilk and decreases the oxidative damage in breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeed Med. 2013 Abstract
  11. Mgongo M, Mosha MV, Uriyo JG, Msuya SE, Stray-Pedersen B. Prevalence and predictors of exclusive breastfeeding among women in Kilimanjaro region, Northern Tanzania: a population based cross-sectional study. Int Breastfeed J. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  12. Nascimento AL, de Souza AF, de Amorim AC, Leitão MB, Maio R, Burgos MG. Alcohol intake in lactating women assisted in a University Hospital. Rev Paul Pediatr. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  13. Rowe H, Baker T, Hale TW. Maternal medication, drug use, and breastfeeding. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013 Feb;60(1):275-94. Abstract
  14. Sachs HC; Committee On Drugs. The transfer of drugs and therapeutics into human breast milk: an update on selected topics. Pediatrics. 2013 Sep;132(3):e796-809. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  15. UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative statement on Bed-sharing when parents do not smoke: is there a risk of SIDS? An individual level analysis of five major case-control studies. 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  16. L.Landa Rivera, M.Díaz-Gómez, A.Gómez Papi, J.M.Paricio Talayero, C.Pallás Alonso, M.T.Hernández Aguilar, J.Aguayo Maldonado, J.M.Arena Ansotegui, S.Ares Segura, A.Jiménez Moya, J.J.Lasarte Velillas, J.Martín Calama, M.D.Romero Escós. El colecho favorece la práctica de la lactancia materna y no aumenta el riesgo de muerte súbita del lactante. Dormir con los padres. Rev Pediatr Aten Primaria. 14:53-60 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  17. Comité de Lactancia Materna AEP. Preguntas frecuentes sobre lactancia materna. Folleto. 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  18. Swiderski P, Zaba C, Tezyk A, Wachowiak R. [Problem of exposure to direct danger of death or grave detriment to health of a child breast-fed by an alcohol-abusing mother in medico-legal opinions]. Arch Med Sadowej Kryminol. 2011 Abstract
  19. Maloney E, Hutchinson D, Burns L, Mattick RP, Black E. Prevalence and predictors of alcohol use in pregnancy and breastfeeding among Australian women. Birth. 2011 Abstract
  20. Mennella JA, Pepino MY. Breastfeeding and prolactin levels in lactating women with a family history of alcoholism. Pediatrics. 2010 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  21. Rebhan B, Kohlhuber M, Schwegler U, Koletzko B, Fromme H. [Smoking, alcohol and caffeine consumption of mothers before, during and after pregnancy--results of the study 'breast-feeding habits in Bavaria']. Gesundheitswesen. 2009 Abstract
  22. Chien YC, Huang YJ, Hsu CS, Chao JC, Liu JF. Maternal lactation characteristics after consumption of an alcoholic soup during the postpartum 'doing-the-month' ritual. Public Health Nutr. 2009 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  23. ABM - The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Protocol Committee. ABM Clinical Protocol #6: Guideline on Co-Sleeping and Breastfeeding. Breastfeeding Medicine 2008 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  24. ABM - Comité de protocolos de la Academia médica de lactancia materna (Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine). Protocolo Clínico de la ABM #6: Lineamientos sobre la práctica de dormir al bebé junto con la madre y la lactancia materna Revisión, marzo de 2008. Breastfeeding Medicine 2008 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  25. Giglia RC, Binns CW. Alcohol, pregnancy and breastfeeding; a comparison of the 1995 and 2001 National Health Survey data. Breastfeed Rev. 2008 Abstract
  26. Giglia RC, Binns CW, Alfonso HS, Scott JA, Oddy WH. The effect of alcohol intake on breastfeeding duration in Australian women. Acta Paediatr. 2008 Abstract
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  28. Pepino MY, Steinmeyer AL, Mennella JA. Lactational state modifies alcohol pharmacokinetics in women. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2007 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  29. UNICEF UK. Compartiendo la cama con tu bebé. Guía para madres que amamantan. Folleto 2006 Full text (in our servers)
  30. Chien YC, Liu JF, Huang YJ, Hsu CS, Chao JC. Alcohol levels in Chinese lactating mothers after consumption of alcoholic diet during postpartum "doing-the-month" ritual. Alcohol. 2005 Abstract
  31. Wiersma T, Flikweert S, Zeeman K, Schagen van Leeuwen JH. [Use of alcohol during conception, pregnancy and lactation]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2005 Abstract
  32. Mennella JA, Pepino MY, Teff KL. Acute alcohol consumption disrupts the hormonal milieu of lactating women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  33. de Araújo Burgos MG, Bion FM, Campos F. [Lactation and alcohol: clinical and nutritional effects]. Arch Latinoam Nutr. 2004 Abstract
  34. Backstrand JR, Goodman AH, Allen LH, Pelto GH. Pulque intake during pregnancy and lactation in rural Mexico: alcohol and child growth from 1 to 57 months. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  35. Koren G. Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. Will it harm my baby? \ (ALGORITHM TO ESTIMATE HOW LONG IT TAKES TO ELIMINATE ALCOHOL FROM BREAST MILK). Can Fam Physician. 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  36. Little RE, Northstone K, Golding J; ALSPAC Study Team. Alcohol, breastfeeding, and development at 18 months. Pediatrics. 2002 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
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  44. Nice FJ, Snyder JL, Kotansky BC. Breastfeeding and over-the-counter medications. J Hum Lact. 2000 Nov;16(4):319-31. Review. Erratum in: J Hum Lact 2001 Feb;17(1):90. Abstract
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  46. Mennella JA. Short-term effects of maternal alcohol consumption on lactational performance. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998 Abstract
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  48. Mennella JA. Infants' suckling responses to the flavor of alcohol in mothers' milk. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1997 Abstract
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  50. Mennella JA, Beauchamp GK. Beer, breast feeding, and folklore. Dev Psychobiol. 1993 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
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  52. Argote-Espinosa RM, Flores-Huerta S, Hernández-Montes H, Villalpando-Hernández S. [Plasma clearance of ethanol and its excretion in the milk of rural women who consume pulque]. Rev Invest Clin. 1992 Abstract
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  55. Little RE, Anderson KW, Ervin CH, Worthington-Roberts B, Clarren SK. Maternal alcohol use during breast-feeding and infant mental and motor development at one year. N Engl J Med. 1989 Abstract
  56. Lawton ME. Alcohol in breast milk. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 1985 Abstract
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  58. Cobo E. Effect of different doses of ethanol on the milk-ejecting reflex in lactating women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1973 Abstract

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