If you’re thinking about breastfeeding and wondering if you can enjoy a nice tequila in the process, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ll outline the facts and provide some advice to help you make your decision with confidence.
Let’s start by addressing the big question: How long after drinking tequila can I breastfeed? The answer is a bit of a balancing act – it depends on how much and how quickly you drink.
It also depends on when and how often you plan on breastfeeding.
Of course, there are some general guidelines we can provide that will at least give you a starting point when making your decision.
In this article, we’ll discuss what experts have to say about alcohol consumption while breastfeeding, as well as the best practices for combining tequila with breastfeeding in a responsible way.
Can I Drink Tequila While Nursing?
The short answer to this question is no — you should not drink tequila while breastfeeding.
Alcohol can transfer to breast milk, exposing your baby to its potentially harmful effects.
Even if your baby is not drinking the breastmilk directly, the aroma of alcohol that permeates it could be enough to cause some disruption in their sleep or feeding patterns.
It’s important to note that as you nurse your baby, the amount of alcohol transferring through to your breastmilk can vary over time depending on a few factors, such as how much alcohol you had and whether or not you are actively nursing when the tequila was consumed.
That’s why the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastfeeding mothers should avoid consuming any sort of alcohol at all while they are nursing.
It’s also important to keep in mind that before you drink tequila, it’s important to eat since food and fluids will help keep your blood alcohol level low and slow the rate at which alcohol passes through your body and into your breastmilk.
However, it is still not recommended that you drink tequila while nursing.
How Alcohol Is Processed in the Body
The body processes alcohol quickly—and this includes alcohol ingested through breast milk.
However, the amount of time it takes for alcohol to leave your system will depend on how much you drink, your size, and your overall health.
So, it’s important to consider these factors when determining how long after drinking tequila you can safely breastfeed.
Generally speaking, it’s recommended that you wait at least two hours after having a drink before breastfeeding.
For every additional drink you consume, wait an additional hour before breastfeeding.
It’s also equally as important to note that some of the byproducts of alcohol metabolism can linger in breast milk for 15-20 hours after drinking.
This means that if you have more than one alcoholic beverage in a single sitting and don’t give yourself an adequate “sobering up” period before breastfeeding your baby, it can result in higher concentrations of alcohol byproducts being introduced into their system via your breast milk.
Finally, remember that alcohol can start affecting the quality of your breast milk shortly after consumption and remain detectable up to 12 hours later—so take care not to drink too close to nursing sessions!
Alcohol and Breastmilk Levels
When it comes to drinking tequila and breastfeeding, timing is everything.
You need to be mindful of when you drink and when you breastfeed, as alcohol can be passed into your milk and can affect your baby if it gets consumed.
The amount of time that passes between drinking and breastfeeding is crucial in determining the impact of alcohol on your baby.
The reason for this is due to how quickly your body processes the alcohol—it enters the bloodstream about 15 minutes after consumption, and then it slowly exits the body over the course of several hours, depending on factors like individual metabolism, age, sex, and how much you drank.
If you’re nursing your little one right away after drinking tequila—say within 5-6 hours—the level of alcohol in your breastmilk will be higher than if you wait several hours before breastfeeding.
For example, if you wait 12 hours after having 1-2 drinks before nursing, the level of alcohol in your breast milk will be very low.
As such, it’s generally recommended that mothers wait 2-3 hours after one drink or 4-5 hours after two drinks before feeding their baby with breastmilk again.
By following this waiting period, you can ensure that minimal if any alcohol has passed through into your milk by the time you start nursing again—and more importantly, that any effects on development are kept to a minimum for your little one!
Risks Associated With Drinking Alcohol While Nursing
When it comes to drinking alcohol while breastfeeding, there’s no hard and fast answer.
You may think that the tequila you had a few hours ago isn’t going to be an issue since you’ve had time to metabolize it, but the truth is that even if you wait more than two hours before nursing your baby again, you could still be passing on tiny traces of alcohol that could potentially affect their development.
Breastfeeding after consuming one or two alcoholic beverages, might reduce the baby’s milk intake by 20 to 23% and result in agitation and irregular sleep patterns.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests limiting consumption to no more than 0.5 g/kg (2 oz/lbs) of body weight per day which equates to just one drink per day.
Women should also wait at least two hours between consuming an alcoholic beverage and breastfeeding their baby — anything else may be considered risky behavior in regard to infant well-being.
If you decide to take tequila in moderation and to wait the recommended time before breastfeeding, then the risk to your baby is probably minimal.
That said, it’s important that you understand that no amount of alcohol is considered 100% safe for breastfeeding, and even small amounts can be passed through breast milk.
If you do decide to have a drink, always plan ahead and make sure you’re not breastfeeding until at least two hours after your last drink.
No one should ever feel guilty or ashamed for making a choice that’s right for them, and that includes how you decide to consume alcohol while breastfeeding.
In the end, the best advice is to do what makes you, and your baby, feel safe and secure.