Blue Zones Power 9: Wine @ 5
“Enjoy a glass of wine with good friends each day.” Need we say more? Well, maybe. The key here is moderation and social interaction. The health benefits of wine are well known - from digestive benefits to stress reduction and antioxidant support - who doesn’t want to enjoy a glass of wine now and then?
Obviously this is not recommended during pregnancy, or for underage individuals. Nor is it recommended with certain medications and medical conditions. If you have questions about safely indulging in Wine @ 5, be sure to ask your physician.
In our practice, this recommendation can be a tricky one to navigate since we work with a lot of pregnant and nursing parents. We have answered some commonly asked questions below.
Can I indulge in the occasional glass of wine during pregnancy? According to the CDC, “There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink.” Until and unless research proves conclusively that there is a safe time during pregnancy to drink or a safe amount to drink during pregnancy, we must recommend against even occasional drinking while pregnant or trying to conceive.
What about while I’m breastfeeding? According to an article published in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics, alcohol (ethanol - the alcohol found in wine) is listed as “maternal medication usually compatible with breastfeeding.” It should be noted that large amounts of alcohol consumption during breastfeeding can have negative effects on the baby’s growth and development, and the ingestion of more than 1g/kg of alcohol can decrease the milk ejection reflex. In plain english, the current consensus is that a small, moderate amount of drinking is generally recognized as safe during breastfeeding.
Do I need to “pump and dump”? According to the La Leche League, alcohol typically metabolizes out of your breastmilk similarly to how it metabolizes out of your blood, so once you lose your buzz, you can breastfeed your baby without having to pump and dump. Current recommendations are to wait 2-3 hours after drinking to breastfeed, and to avoid breastfeeding if you drink excessively or chronically. Additionally, nursing parents should be cautioned against pumping while drunk or buzzed and giving that milk to your baby later…alcohol does not metabolize out of breastmilk once it is outside of your body.(Article Referenced in #2: American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Drugs, The Transfer of Drugs and Other Chemicals Into Human Milk.)