Can you tell us what happened when you posted a picture breastfeeding and having a glass of wine?
It was a stunning summer night in NYC, so my husband, baby and I went out for a nice dinner in my neighborhood. I nursed my baby while sipping on a glass of rose, and posted a photo on Instagram. I was surprised that many people were up in arms about it! They were very concerned that I was sipping on wine while nursing her, and one woman even protested that I should get arrested.
IRL while you were actually having the glass of wine, did you feel like people were giving you stink eye or did anyone say anything to you?
No one noticed. And to be honest, it really didn’t cross my mind, either. I rarely drink and when I do, I make responsible decisions that are best for me, my baby and my family.
I try to exude love in what I do and respond with positivity and grace.
Were people trying to be helpful or just hurtful? How did it make you feel?
I’m not much of a drinker (and when I do, I usually only have about half of a glass of wine), so at first I found it quite funny that people were so concerned with my drinking habits. I soon realized the seriousness of the conversation and decided to respond mindfully.
What are your thoughts on this kind of bashing that happens on social and the best way to handle it? You were very gracious by the way!
OMG – mom bashing is a thing, and it’s so terrible. I’ve got my own daily challenges and mom guilt to deal with, so I choose not to digest other people’s negativity, opinions and fears. I love the motto: “You can’t control how people treat you, but you can control the way you respond.” I created my blog and @bewellwitharielle Instagram account to inspire others to live well and feel great every day in an approachable and positive way. I try to exude love in what I do and respond with positivity and grace.
Why is while nursing actually the safest time to have a glass of wine if you choose to do so?
Many people specifically expressed concern about me sipping on a glass of wine while I was breastfeeding because they assumed that the alcohol went directly into my breastmilk. According to Dr. Bridget Young, a doctor of Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition who specializes in maternal and child nutrition and is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), an occasional glass is actually best consumed during a breastfeeding session. This is because the alcohol does not immediately affect the breast milk, and there is ample time for the body to process it before the next feeding session.
Dr. Young says, “Your BAC (blood alcohol level and thus your milk alcohol) is highest 30 – 90 [minutes] after drinking. Since alcohol leaves the breast milk as quickly as it enters, we can take advantage of timing to even further minimize any infant exposure. This way [the baby] is exposed to very minimal alcohol and then [the mother has] at least three hours before [the baby’s] next feed, which is plenty of time to process one glass of wine.”
There are so many other factors to consider around healthy breastfeeding. What should a mama consider when she is breastfeeding to ensure her milk is healthy for baby?
As a Certified Health Coach and healthy chef, I am very intentional about what I eat and how I take care of my body. It’s pretty simple – I take good care of me so I can take good care of my baby (and husband)! The better I feel, the better my baby will feel. To make sure I start off the day on a happy and grounded note, I eat right when I wake up, typically no later than 30 minutes after getting out of bed. It’s usually a mug of chicken bone broth with two pasture-raised eggs scrambled in, and a handful of whatever veggies I have in my fridge that day.
Can you recommend resources for anyone that might have more questions around drinking and breastfeeding?
I love Dr. Bridget Young’s approach. She is a doctor of Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition and a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). She specializes in maternal and child nutrition, so she’s also super passionate about optimizing infant health and improving the experience of breastfeeding mothers. I’m always drawn to experts who are non-alarmists, yet trustworthy and practical, and look out for both the baby and the mother. Read more about Dr. Young’s take on drinking and breastfeeding here: http://www.bewellwitharielle.com/baby/drinking-while-breastfeeding. And to get in touch with Dr. Young, visit babyformulaexpert.com.