Quick Guide to Alcohol and Breastfeeding + 4 Lactation Supporting Mocktails 

by Katie Black


We all know you shouldn’t drink at all while pregnant, but what about after your baby is born and you’re breastfeeding? Here’s a quick guide of everything you should know about drinking while breastfeeding, including some handy charts you can save for the next time you’re at that boozy event or just having a self care night in. Keep in mind that this information is meant to be a general guide, and not taken as medical advice or 100% accurate for your body’s response to alcohol.



You’re most likely not going to find a doctor that recommends you ever drink while breastfeeding. That being said, having one standard drink a day hasn’t yet been proven to have bad effects on a breastfeeding infant if Mom waits two hours to breastfeed after that one drink. However, drinking more than that moderate amount of alcohol can definitely cause irreversible growth and developmental issues in infants.   

The amount of time alcohol can be found in breast milk increases 

with the amount of alcohol a mom drinks.”



Alcohol does travel into breast milk. Levels are generally highest 30 to 60 minutes after drinking one alcoholic beverage but can still be in breast milk for about two to three hours afterwards per drink. The amount of time alcohol can be found in breast milk increases with the amount of alcohol you drink. So two drinks can affect your breast milk for about four to five hours, and three drinks can be detected for about six to eight hours etc..



It’s a harmful myth that you can just pump and dump to get rid of the alcohol. Pumping and dumping does not speed up the time it takes for alcohol to leave breast milk—as long as alcohol is in mom’s bloodstream it’s in her milk too. This also means you don’t need to pump and dump if you wait the right amount of time to breastfeed after drinking—the amount in your bloodstream reflects what’s in your milk.

The amount of alcohol that can get into your breast milk also depends on things like weight, height, how fast you drank, and if you drank on an empty stomach or with food. 

Excessive drinking for women is defined as drinking more than one drink a day on average. Over time, excessive drinking can lead to ending breastfeeding early, and health risks for both mom and baby increase. 

Something to keep in mind is that not every alcoholic beverage has a standard serving of alcohol. For example, cocktails vary in the amount and proof of alcohol and often contain two to three (or more) times the alcohol than a standard serving so always double check what’s in your drink. 

Of course alcohol isn’t good for anyone’s health and it’s always better to have a less is more approach when it comes to drinking. But while drinking isn’t encouraged, the odd glass of wine or beer shouldn’t be overly concerning or risky. Keep in mind alcohol is very dehydrating so drink more water than you would sober. 

And speaking of staying hydrated, why not skip the alcohol all together and opt for a refreshing lactation supporting mocktail? Here are four recipes to experiment with:

1. Carrot Sunrise Mocktail

Carrots are a wonderful source of beta carotene and Vitamin A.  Beta carotenes are full of healthy antioxidants. Some moms even notice an increase in supply after drinking carrot juice.

Orange juice on the other hand gives you lots of Vitamin C, fiber, and some potassium as well. Keep in mind it has a higher sugar content than other fruits and can sometimes cause an upset stomach in babies if you consume too much.

  • 3 oz. carrot juice 
  • 4 oz. orange juice 
  • 2 oz. sparkling water 
  • Simple syrup to taste (optional)
  • Ice 
  • Lime wedge to garnish

2. Pineapple Coconut Water Mocktail:

Coconut water is both hydrating and a great source of natural electrolytes while being low in sugar and calories. Plus, it contains minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium, all of which you need to stay healthy and make nutritious breast milk. 

Pineapple juice is anti-inflammatory (something to keep in mind if you’re dealing with engorgement) and it’s also chock-full of Vitamin C and fiber.

  • 4 oz. pineapple juice
  • 1.5 oz. coconut water
  • Lime juice to taste 
  • Ice


3. Ginger Mojito Mocktail

Ginger has quite a few benefits. Some moms report ginger as working as a galactagogue (try saying that three times fast). Galactagogues are foods that can increase your breast milk supply. Ginger also has high levels of antioxidants, is anti-inflammatory, supports digestion, and even boosts your immune system!

  • 6 oz. ginger beer (make sure it contains real ginger) or make your own
  • 2 oz. Sparkling water (optional)
  • 1 oz. Lime juice 
  • Ice 

Skip the mint leaves for this mojito because they can reduce your letdown reflex. Garnish with cucumber, ginger slice, or lime wedge instead.

4. Beetroot Ginger Mocktail 

In addition to all the benefits of ginger, this mocktail’s beetroot contains beta carotene, as well as a whole host of vitamins and minerals. Some find the taste of beetroot off putting so experiment with the ratios in your mocktail to get your perfect balance. 

  • 2 oz. sparkling water 
  • 2 oz.  cup beet juice 
  • 1 oz.  lime juice 
  • ½  tablespoon simple or maple syrup
  • ½ inch thinly sliced ginger 
  • Ice


Wind down at the end of a long day or simply treat yourself with one of these creations and let us know how it goes!


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title image source

Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/women-sitting-and-drinking-6966483/

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