Australian Government Department of Health
www.alcohol.gov.au
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If you are breastfeeding, the safest option is not to drink alcohol

If you are breastfeeding, the safest option is not to drink alcohol.

New guidelines for alcohol consumption. A guide for breastfeeding mothers.

There are new national guidelines for alcohol consumption that have been developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council to help you reduce the risk of harm from alcohol to both your baby and you.

The guidelines are based on the best available scientific research and evidence.

If you are breastfeeding, the safest option is not to drink alcohol.

If you are breastfeeding and you choose to drink alcohol:

  • Try to avoid alcohol in the first month after your baby is born until breastfeeding is well-established.
  • After that, alcohol intake should be limited to no more than two standard drinks a day.
  • You should not drink alcohol immediately before you breastfeed.
  • You should consider expressing milk in advance if you want to drink alcohol.

What is a standard drink?

A standard drink contains 10 grams of pure alcohol.

It is important to note that drink serving sizes are often more than one standard drink. There are no common glass sizes used in Australia. The label on an alcoholic drink container tells you the number of standard drinks in the container.

For more information about alcohol and breastfeeding:
  • Call the 24-hour National Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 MUM TO MUM (1800 686 2 686)
  • or talk to your Doctor or Child and Maternal Health Nurse

The advice in this brochure does not replace advice from your health care provider.

For more information about the new Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol please visit Alcohol website.
A downloadable version of this page is available as a PDF
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