Alcohol Reduces Breast Milk

Women who drink alcohol while nursing produce less breast milk for their children, according to researchers from the Mondell Chemical Senses Center in Pennsylvania.

The BBC reported April 6 that the small study involved 17 women who were given the alcohol equivalent of two glasses of wine daily. Researchers said the mothers produced less breast milk on the days when they drank. The reason: alcohol disrupts the release of oxytocin and prolactin, two hormones critical for milk production.

Some maternity experts said that breastfeeding women should not worry about having the occasional glass of wine, but the author noted that the study should at least disprove the myth that drinking wine stimulates breast-milk production.

“If a mother is drinking alcohol just to improve the quality or quantity of her milk, she needs to know that there is no evidence to support this claim,” said author Julie Mennella. “Since breast milk is a critical form of nutrients to infants, it is important that women remain as healthy as possible during the breastfeeding stage.”

The report was published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. Mennella, J., Pepino, M., & Teff, K. (2005) Acute Alcohol Consumption Disrupts the Hormonal Milieu of Lactating Women. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 90(4): 1979-1985

From; Join Together Online

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