Alcohol in breast milk.

  • Michael Lawton
  • Published 1985 in The Australian & New Zealand journal of obstetrics & gynaecology


At fixed intervals after the ingestion of alcohol by 8 nursing mothers, sets of breast milk and blood samples were collected and their alcohol levels compared. One set of milk samples was solely hind-milk while the remainder were fore-milk samples. The results showed that alcohol appeared quickly in both fore- and hind-milk at a level equivalent to or higher than the corresponding blood samples. Elimination of alcohol from the milk was closely related to its elimination from blood and was unaffected by breast feeding. However, despite this, the large dilution of the alcohol contained in the milk by the baby's body water renders the baby's resultant blood alcohol level very low in all but the most extreme cases.


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