What does science say about pumping and dumping?

What does science say about pumping and dumping?

Aug 22 , 2022


Team Lilu

You may be surprised, and excited to hear.

As new moms we proceed with caution reading countless books, connecting with other new moms, joining online chats—all to ensure we keep our babies safe. While we all crave that first glass of (insert your favorite alcoholic beverage here) after 10 months…we worry about passing alcohol through our breast milk if we decide to nurse.

“Just pump and dump” they say…however, most moms aren’t excited to pour that liquid gold down the drain. And the truth is, you really don’t have to. Alcohol leaves your breast milk just like it does your bloodstream. 

Only time can remove tainted milk from your breasts—not pumping and dumping. 

Do I really need to pump and dump?

Studies have shown that although consuming alcohol can temporarily decrease your milk supply, drinking occasionally while breastfeeding has not been linked to any adverse effects on nursing babies. Typically, breast milk is alcohol free within 2-3 hours.

According to the Mayo Clinic, it takes about two to three hours for 12 ounces of 5 percent beer to clear your system, and roughly the same amount of time for 5 ounces of 11 percent wine or 1.5 ounces of 40 percent liquor. If you are out with your partner or friends, it’s enough time to come home, relax and be woken up to nurse.  

It's not recommended to go out all night on a bender (as if you could if you have a newborn at home), but studies show you can have a couple of drinks and not have to worry about harming your baby. Only you know your limits. Moms should consider their weight, how much they have eaten, how quickly they process alcohol, how alcohol affects them in general. Precautions should always be taken but relax…you can (safely) enjoy a glass of wine or two with dinner. 

The science behind pumping and dumping

This blog is not meant to be taken as advice. We are not medical experts, and you should always consult your doctor. For more information on alcohol consumption and breastfeeding, you can reference this article from Northwestern Medicine here.

Lilu is a Women’s Health company building tech-enabled devices to empower new moms. Our first product, the Lilu Massage Bra, mimics compression massage, so you can empty your breasts fully to establish, increase and maintain your milk supply. Pump up to 50% more milk each session, all while going hands-free.
Lilu Massage Bra with flanges

Lilu Massage Bra

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