Health Specialist comment on affects of Alcohol on Breast Feeding

Monday, March 29, 2010 General News
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Consumption of alcohol in men and women are highly hazardous to the overall body condition. The major consequences are observed especially in women at the period prior and after pregnancy. Consumption of alcohol has lead to numerous hazardous effects
that the poor baby has to fall prey off. According to the latest surveys the major and most commonly observed syndrome in females is while breast feeding. There has been a misconception that alcohol improves the quality of breast milk experts are of
the opinion that drinking as little as two glasses before breast feeding can majorly affect the amount of milk production in mums apart from this alcohol consumption may also slow down the release or flow of milk when the baby starts sucking. Doctors explain breastfeeding process is highly associated with prolactin and oxytocin hormones Prolactin stimulates the mother’s breast to fill it with milk Where as oxyticin functions by stimulating the release of milk when the baby starts sucking. The study was carried out by taking 20 non-smoking mums who possessed breastfeeding babies from the age group of two to four months. These women were given a glass of orange juice on two separate days on the first day the drink contained pure orange juice extracts whereas on the other day the juice was mixed with alcohol equivalent to the quantity of two wine glasses. After researching the females used breast pumps to stimulate milk flow and a major change has been observed in the levels of breastfeeding hormones. Health care professionals explain that drinking alcohol to moderate quantity does not seriously harm the baby’s health. Mums should not stop breastfeeding because they have had an alcoholic drink. The basic consequence behind drinking alcohol during the phase of breastfeeding is highly related to milk production levels. Although it has been experienced for a short term basis it is in a way hazardous to the health of mums involved in drinking alcoholic drinks. Drinking of alcohol increases the levels of prolactin hormones tremendously where as a fall in the levels of oxytocin hormones has been observed by 78 percent. The fall in the levels of oxytocin results makes it difficult the production of the first drop of milk and the further procedure associated with the milk production is also delayed. On the contrary the rise in the levels of prolactin hormones may give the feeling of breast fullness. The major question that a pregnant lady faces is whether the alcohol consumed passes in to breast milk It is highly possible that the alcohol consumed pass on a small amount to the baby through breast milk the cases are highly possible if breastfeeding is done immediately after drinking alcohol. Alcohol contents can make the milk smell and taste different. Hence mums are advised not to consume alcohol before breast feeding. An occasional drink like one glass of wine or beer would not necessitate interrupting breast feeding. Experts never recommend daily drinking as it can inhibit milk production and can lead to gradual weight gain in infants.

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