I’m not a big drinker. I never really was (okay, college does NOT count!) 😂 I didn’t drink much before pregnancy, I didn’t drink at all while pregnant, and I didn’t really think much about it after delivery. It wasn’t something I craved or felt like I was missing out on anything…Until the night my aunt came over to visit and brought a 6 pack of chocolate beer with her. Yes, that’s right! CHOCOLATE BEER! But I couldn’t even try it- let alone drink it, right!? WRONG! That’s a common misconception about breastfeeding! I love the phrase the Best For Babes Foundation uses — Booby Trap! Here’s an excerpt from their website that explains the term: (www.bestforbabes.org)
—“Women are being pressured to breastfeed but set up to fail!
Most moms are not making it past the first few weeks of breastfeeding because they are being sabotaged daily by cultural and institutional barriers — or as we call them, the “booby traps!” Think about it. Why, all of a sudden, for the first time in millennia, do women fear that they are not capable of producing enough milk for their babes? Why do we hear so many stories of women who “couldn’t” breastfeed, or that it was hard, or painful? Why are so few women making it to the recommended goals? Have our breasts mutated? Have our babies mutated? Of course not!”—
New mamas are told to completely abstain from drinking alcohol or they’re told they must “pump and dump” after consuming alcohol. WE NEED TO END THESE MYTHS! EDUCATE! STOP THE PUMP AND DUMP. It’s hard to find up to date information on drinking and nursing – especially when you’re new and you’re still building your village! Online information and advice from family/friends can be misleading or conflicting. The following is also from Best for Babes because they’re amazing!
— “You go online and don’t realize you are swimming in a sea of misinformation–even from well-respected, popular parenting sites. You go to a breastfeeding website, and it is either totally unappealing, or the language is so technically scientific, it’s over your head.- Cultural Booby Trap!” —
This is rough, right? You just want to taste the delicious beer your aunt brought over, but you don’t want to mess up this whole motherhood thing you’ve got going on! R E L A X!
Don’t get booby trapped! Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Self care is necessary! You need to take care of yourself. If your postpartum self wants to try a chocolate beer (or something similar!) then you should. Being a mama doesn’t mean completely losing yourself. (Multiple sources do suggest: waiting until your baby is older than 3 months & consumption should be limited to 8 oz of wine, a beer or two, and 2 oz of liquor -American Academy of Pediatrics).
2. If you can drive a car, you can nurse your baby. It’s best to have your partner/spouse with you when taking care of your babe after a drink or two. (http://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/lifestyle/alcohol/)
3. I’m a big fan of co-sleeping and bed-sharing, (I’ll post about that sometime soon!) but you to be completely should never drink and then bed-share! Gotta stay safe!
4. Pumping and dumping is never necessary! You can always use liquid gold for baby’s bath!
5. Chocolate beer is AMAZING and should be available year-round and not just in the fall/winter!
Your mama intuition is rarely wrong. Trust yourself, trust your body, and make good choices. That’s all we can do!
Oh and shoutout to my online support group- badass breastfeeders! I don’t know what I’d do without your love, support, encouragement, and guidance! Luv u mamas!