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Breastfeeding and Beer

Breastfeeding and Beer


Sometimes when new mothers first go to feed their brand new baby, they struggle to produce milk. It is tremendously common and yet endlessly stressful.

The struggle to produce milk can lead to a spiral of stress, exhaustion, and anxiety that ultimately worsens the situation. But what is a new mother to do? The answer that some peopel give may surprise you. 

Drink a beer. At least, that’s what the old wives tales say. 

breastfeeding drink beer

Whether or not drinking a beer will assist with letdown or not is hotly debated to this day. Some mothers swear that just one beer stimulates their milk production, and amazingly, there is a scientific explanation for that. Barley, an ingredient found in all beer, can increase the secretion of prolactin. Prolactin is one of the hormones responsible for milk production. But while milk production may be stimulated, some mothers believe that their children don’t actually wind up drinking as much, and amazingly, there is a science to support that claim too. In fact, several studies have shown that the alcohol in the beer actually inhibits milk production. 

So who is correct?

Unfortunately, no one seems to know for sure. Everyone metabolizes alcohol differently, so what might work for one mother might not work for another, but at the end of the day there is a reason this topic is still debated. We may never know the answer. 

If you are a new mom who is struggling with milk production, don’t be surprised if someone mentions beer, but be sure to take a moment to call your doctor before you imbibe. All mothers just want to feed their babies, and medical professionals can help you find the best and most responsible way to do that. It may involve a beer and it may not, but whatever choice you make will be the right choice for you.