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Mum defends drinking alcohol while breastfeeding

Callum Jones

Published 
| Last updated 

Mum defends drinking alcohol while breastfeeding

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/the.lauren.mcleod

A mum has defended her decision to drink alcohol while breastfeeding her young children.

Lauren McLeod, from Perth, Australia, has gained a loyal following of nearly 5,000 followers on Instagram for posting her honest and raw experiences of breastfeeding her two children.

The Aussie mum is honest about still breastfeeding her five-year-old son Bowie and two-year-old daughter Tigerlily.

While she does face criticism from some sides of the internet who say she is breastfeeding past the 'traditional' age children stop, that hasn't stopped her from being honest about family life on social media.

In a post just before Christmas, McLeod uploaded a picture of herself breastfeeding her daughter while drinking a glass of wine.

The post has divided opinion on social media. Credit: Instagram/the.lauren.mcleod
The post has divided opinion on social media. Credit: Instagram/the.lauren.mcleod

National guidelines in Australia - the country where McLeod is based - recommends that women who are breastfeeding should not drink alcohol.

Research shows that around five to six percent of the amount of alcohol in the mum's bloodstream would enter the baby's from breastfeeding.

Speaking to Tyla, McLeod said: "I just want breastfeeding people to know that if they want to enjoy the occasional drink while breastfeeding, it’s okay to do that.

"There are a lot of misconceptions about drinking alcohol while breastfeeding, so I always encourage breastfeeding people to do their own research from credible sources, so that they can make an informed decision about whether it is something they feel comfortable doing, or not."

Speaking to news.com.au, McLeod added: "Many people probably assume that alcohol goes straight into breastmilk and will make the baby drunk.

"Or they assume that a breastfeeding parent is going to get blind drunk and harm their child, which usually is absolutely not the case.

"I have definitely seen quite a few comments in parent-related groups on Facebook saying negative things about drinking while breastfeeding, which all have quite clearly come from a lack of education."

She added: "A good rule of thumb when it comes to breastfeeding and alcohol is, if you can drive, you can breastfeed.

The mum spoke about drinking while breastfeeding. Credit: Instagram/the.lauren.mcleod
The mum spoke about drinking while breastfeeding. Credit: Instagram/the.lauren.mcleod

"However, if you have had a few more drinks and your baby is still desperate for a breastfeed, the amount of alcohol in your breastmilk would still be so minimal that it is extremely unlikely that your baby would be affected in any way."

After posting the picture, McLeod says that she has been contacted by many women who didn't know much about the relationship between breastfeeding and alcohol.

She said: "I've received hundreds upon hundreds of comments and messages over the last couple of years when I have shared posts about breastfeeding and alcohol.

"They say that they feel much better about enjoying a drink or two while still breastfeeding their children.

"Many don’t realise how harmless it actually is when done responsibly."

The Independent organisation Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education advises that it's important to wait at least two hours after each drink before breastfeeding to ensure the milk is alcohol-free.

Topics: Food and Drink, Parenting

Callum Jones
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