Mom’s Question: Does Beer Increase Breastmilk Supply?

More and more moms are asking:

Does beer increase breastmilk supply? 

To be honest, the answer is yes and no.

It turns out that drinking beer is like a two-edged sword. The beer that your grandmother used to drink a few centuries ago is not the same factory-made beer that you can buy nowadays.

In the past, a beer concoction is made by hand, but now, it is mass-made in a facility somewhere offsite. The quality of beer nowadays has more alcohol and less flavor and even lesser grains. They do not compare to the older craft beers, so they won’t function just as good.

As a result, here are the changes to the milk production.

More...

​Hops, Barley And Malt For More Milk

Researches and medical professionals are saying that it’s alright to drink beer in moderation. Beer is already drank by mothers since time immemorial to increase their milk quantity.

Why?

The natural ingredients in beer such as hops, barley, malt, and oats are all galactagogues. These grains are nature’s natural milk stimulant.

What’s surprising is that you can best increase your milk supply by drinking a minimal quantity of non-alcoholic beer. But it can also dry it up if you take in too much.

So going back to the question:

Does beer increase breastmilk supply?

Basing on this finding, yes it does.

​Alcohol: The Milk’s Enemy

The other side of the equation advises against drinking beer due to its intoxicating content. Alcohol can certainly reduce breast milk production. It can also endanger the baby especially if the mom is a little tipsy.

Alcohol decreases your ability to let down milk, which will make you produce less and less. Increased alcohol exposure can also affect baby’s health in the long run. Anything that a mother consumes ultimately ends up in the blood and breast milk.

Babies are not yet as developed as adults. Their small bodies cannot tolerate the spike of alcohol in their veins.

What are the possible results?

Delayed motor development, hypoglycemia, decreased appetite and unusual sleep patterns might be a manifestation of too much alcohol exposure while breastfeeding.

Again, let's go back to the question:

Does beer increase breastmilk supply?

In this case, yes.

​Timing Is The Key

But we've all been there...

There comes a time when only a bottle of booze can save the day.

If you are to drink, better schedule it once the baby is already done with breast feeding. Limit your intake to no more than one small beer bottle.

Also:

Do not attempt to breastfeed if you feel intoxicated. It is better to wait for 3-4 hours since you last had your drink before you breastfeed.

Some mothers advise the “pump and dump” method whereby moms can pump their milk and then dump it since it still has remnants of alcohol. You may use this if you are evidently tipsy, but if not, then you can just bid your time before you breastfeed again.

Meeting Midway

If you want to reap the benefits of increased milk without getting all that alcohol into your system, you can try non-alcoholic beer. You will get all the goodness of barley, hops, malt and oat without subjecting yourself and your baby to the perils of alcohol exposure.

And that's not your only option!

You may also try other remedies to increase your breast milk quantity such as through using warm compresses, showering in hot water and using other natural galactagogues.

Green leafy veggies can certainly give you that much-needed milk boost. Try oatmeal for breakfast and sprinkle some barley in your soup. Sweet potatoes, carrots and certain herbal teas such as alfalfa and milk thistle may also help.

Conclusion

So does beer increase milk supply?

Yes, but it depends on the type of beer.

To be safe, go for the non-alcoholic type so as not to compromise your breastmilk supply. 

Or...

Time your beer time properly. This is ideal if your baby can sleep for longer periods without feeding.

Then do not fret too much. 

I understand that motherhood can be backbreaking sometimes, and all you want is a bottle of liquid courage to get you going. Know that you're not alone. A lot of mothers, me included, went through the same phase.

Yes, it's challenging but we always have to think about our little ones. It's not forever anyway.

So for now, just endure and enjoy. Cheers!

Sarah Morgan
 

Chief editor of WellBeingKid.com and striving mom-extraordinaire.Let me share and inspire you with my daily struggles to live a healthier and more fulfilling life.

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