The Bachelor's Bekah Martinez Drinks Wine After Breastfeeding: Is It Safe? An Expert Weighs In
According to one lactation consultant, an occasional drink will not harm your baby — but be cautious when it comes to the "pump and dump" method
Snuggly baby cradled in her arm with a glass of wine in her hand — The Bachelor alum Bekah Martinez seemed to have it all in a photo she posted Monday, where she wrote she was “waiting patiently” for her 10-week-old daughter Ruthie May to finish nursing so she could have her “single!” drink.
But is it safe to have alcohol at all while still breastfeeding? One expert says it technically is.
According to Chicago-based registered nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Elizabeth Sjoblom of Lactation Partners, minimal, infrequent alcohol consumption while nursing does not have a major effect on baby.
“Current research says that one to two drinks, occasionally, is not harmful for a nursing baby,” Sjoblom told PEOPLE via email in August 2018. “The general rule of thumb is if you feel fine, you are fine to feed your baby.”
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But you really have to feel fine.
“If a mom chooses to have more than one to two drinks, or feels very buzzed or drunk, she can ‘pump and dump’ her breasts for comfort until she feels more neurologically okay to feed her baby,” Sjoblom explained, adding a mother should wait until she feels sober to resume feeding.
“Alcohol metabolizes out of the milk supply just as it does out of your bloodstream,” she continued.
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“Pump and dump” is a term used when women use a breast pump to express milk and then dump it out, sometimes after drinking or taking a medication that isn’t compatible with breastfeeding. (Behati Prinsloo was mom-shamed for sharing a snap of herself doing just that at Coachella in 2018.)
However, it isn’t a quick fix for feeding your baby, Sjoblom cautioned.
“Pumping and dumping the milk does not metabolize alcohol out of your system faster,” she explained to PEOPLE.
Martinez’s Monday post prompted a number of fellow moms to comment on how relatable the moment was, with one writing, “If that isn’t a picture of motherhood, I don’t know what is.”
“Go Bekah! Keep showing us how to be both a powerful woman and awesome mom!” added another.
Fans of the country star were divided in the comments section, with some cheering her on for enjoying herself while breastfeeding (“Love it!!!” said one) as others scolded the singer, asking questions like, “Why is it okay to drink while breastfeeding?”