Breastfeeding & Drinking - Everything You Need To Know

Jul 31, 2021

Alcohol-free drinks are a game changer for breastfeeding mums. Here, I talk to midwife and maternal & child health nurse Belinda Joyce to find out why. 

Belinda Joyce, Midwife holding a book titled survive and enjoy your baby

When I opened the flagship Sans Drinks physical bottle shop earlier this year I had the opportunity to meet more of my customers face-to-face. It didn’t take long to notice that pregnant and breastfeeding mums make up a big chunk of my customer base. In fact, at one point, it seemed that every other person through the door was pushing a pram.
It’s easy to see why. Non-alcoholic drinks are an absolute game changer for mums-to-be, new mums and breastfeeding mums. In additional to being alcohol-free, non-alcoholic drinks also offer an array of benefits that are ideal for women who are sleep-deprived and low on energy. Crucially though, they give new mums the confidence to enjoy a relaxing drink without having to worry about her baby.

Happy Sans Drinks customer holding her baby

Sans Drinks customer, Melissa (pictured above) is mum to four-month-old Tanner. She tells me that it's nice to be able to attend BBQs with friends and still be able to have ‘drink’. “I love that I can enjoy a non-alcoholic beverage knowing that this will not have any sort of effect on my baby," she says. 
“I love the Naked Life English Garden Spritzer, it tastes very similar to a Pimms,” Melissa adds.

Baby yawning

Can you drink alcohol while breastfeeding?

So, what is the official advice to mums about breastfeeding and alcohol? I asked Belinda Joyce, a midwife, maternal and child health nurse and author of 'Survive and Enjoy Your Baby' to tell me more.

“We do not know what level of alcohol exposure is safe for a baby and therefore the advice given is that it is safest not to drink alcohol while breastfeeding,” she explains. 

She continues: “Although, one or two occasional standard alcoholic drinks is not considered to be harmful, there is more research required in this area.

“Alcohol starts to be evident in your milk 30-60 minutes after starting to drink. Milk alcohol levels are highest 60-90 minutes after starting to consume alcohol and it is best to wait at least 2 hours after drinking 1 standard drink to get rid of the alcohol before breastfeeding.”

Is non-alcoholic wine safe for breastfeeding mums?

On the other hand, alcohol-free drinks are totally safe. “Alcohol free drinks are safe for a breastfeeding mum to drink guilt free,” says Belinda. “Like everything you consume while breastfeeding, enjoy in moderation.”

A woman holding her newborn baby

While many of our drinks are completely free of alcohol, some have a 0.5% ABV. Legally, this is still considered to be alcohol-free because the amount of alcohol is negligible. Belinda tells me that these drinks are also safe for breastfeeding mums.

“Some foods and drinks we consume with no hesitation have small quantities of alcohol such as fruit juices, soy sauce, vinegar, bread products and ripe fruit. This is because alcohol is produced from ethanol fermentation and this process is used in the production of many foods and drinks and naturally in fruit,” she explains. 

Delicious alcohol-free drinks to enjoy when breastfeeding

Naked Life Wimbledon Spritz

Inspired by Pimms, this refreshing drink is sugar free and top noted with distilled botanical of cucumber. Perfect over ice with a wedge of orange and sprig of mint.

Lyre's G&T

The Lyre's perfectly pre-mixed G&T in a can is almost identical to a classic London Dry and tonic - with all the classic notes of citrus, juniper and highly refreshing tonic. Simply chill and pour and enjoy!  

Wild Life Botanicals Sparkling Blush

Packed with an impressive array of plant powered goodies, this blush sparkling evokes rosehip tea, strawberries as well as Cornish orchard fruits. With a rounded, mineral palate and aromas of juicy strawberry, this premium sparkling wine is known as "bubbles with benefits".

NON 4 Roasted Beetroot & Sansho

NON 4 is a non-alcoholic alternative to a sparkling Dry Shiraz. It's a deep ruby red shade and lightly sparkling and has flavours of Woodfired vegetables, Cabernet musk and a charred herb-esque, slightly spicy aroma. You can read more about this range in my blog Your Guide to the NON range of alcoholic-free wine-alternatives.

ZERO+ Pale Ale

This non-alcoholic beer contains magnesium, potassium and polyphenols for muscle recovery and hydration. It's a refreshing and easy-drinking Pale Ale brewed with notes of caramel and a crisp and refreshing finish.

Get 15% off your first order and a chance to win $500. Join my newsletter for exclusive weekly discounts and offers.