The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends breastfeeding mothers avoid alcohol but notes that an occasional or celebratory standard size drink (12 oz. of 5 percent beer) won’t be harmful to the baby. Because alcohol does enter breast milk within 30-60 minutes, the CDC recommends waiting a minimum of two hours after drinking before breastfeeding. Alcohol from three drinks will still be detected in breast milk six to eight hours later, and pumping and discarding the milk during that time window (known as “pumping and dumping”) won’t change that. Alexandra H. Antonioli, Ph.D., is completing a combined M.D./Ph.D. training at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She is currently working with the ABC News Medical Unit.
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