World Breastfeeding Week, Day 5:
Where was this product when I was breastfeeding? Seriously, I’m going to go out on a limb with this one and say I would have loved this product when I was breastfeeding. Go ahead, judge me, I write a blog for a living so I’m out there and I expect it.
But yes, I drank while I was breastfeeding. Nothing crazy – I wasn’t out painting the town red, doing a bunch of shots and then coming home to nurse my child, but I did enjoy a glass of wine or two on several occasions with dinner or at parties while I had a breastfeeding child.
I was careful about it – or what *I* deemed careful. There were times that I pumped and dumped my milk – I hated watching it go down the drain (*gasp*) – but I did what I thought was right. And I know there were probably times that my milk was safe for my baby to ingest, but I didn’t want to take the risk. And there were times I may have had wine in my milk and probably should have done the pump & dump but didn’t. (Yeah yeah. If he’s a wino later in life you can all point fingers, throw some stones my way and give me the bad mother award. Glass houses people, glass houses!)
The bottom line is that I would have loved to have milkscreen to know for certain. It does exactly what it sounds like it does – it screens your milk for alcohol. If it’s gotten into your milk, the strip will come up positive and you can pump and dump. Or it comes up negative and you know you are safe to nurse your child.
I’d love to hear others comments on this one – I haven’t actually tested it as I no longer have a breastfeeding child. And this one is certainly controversial – what are your thoughts? Leave a comment. And if you love the idea and want to buy a box, you can find it on the Mom4Life website. You get 8 strips in a box for $9.99. Go through this exclusive link for Mommies with Style readers to visit their site and to receive 8% off your entire purchase on the site (then search for “milkscreen” and it will come up.)

Comments

  1. I’ve read that pumping and dumping doesn’t actually work, unless your only goal is to relieve fullness while you wait for the alcohol to be metabolized in your system. See here: “Alcohol does not accumulate in breastmilk, but leaves the milk as it leaves the blood; so when your blood alcohol levels are back down, so are your milk alcohol levels.” from kellymom
    But either way, you could use this milkscreen product to be aware of what your current alcohol level is!

  2. I think I did hear that too at some point. By the time I had some wine, he was a few months old and I could handle the fullness but I dunno – there was something mental about the pump and dump. Waiting it out just seemed wrong. I should have mentioned too that I had a nice stash of frozen BM – that was helpful too.

  3. Btw, hope my comment didn’t sound too preachy. It really wasn’t meant that way!
    Oh, and I’m jealous you had enough BM that you were able to store some!

  4. These are sold out on the website you linked! I would love to order this!!! I drink a beer with my husband now and again, I think it’s OK but would be nice to know for sure!! Do you know where else I can order these?

  5. So interesting- I may have considered this too at the time.
    Christina

  6. So interesting- I may have considered this too at the time.
    Christina

  7. Thank you for the link to Mom 4 Life as a place to buy! We sold out today (due to all the interest from your blog) but thankfully we ordered more last week that should be arriving soon. I just opened it back up for sales on our site (for pre orders) so if you are not needing your order RIGHT away, this is a way you can still get free shipping and your 8% discount if you use your Mommies with Style link.

  8. That’s a pretty neat product. I didn’t drink much when I nursed my girls but I would have liked to drink more! haha. nursing and drinking is one of those taboo subjects. i bet more moms have snuck a glass or two while nursing than would be willing to admit!

  9. I’ve used this product, I ordered it about 3 weeks ago. I really didn’t drink anything while we were trying to conceive (over 2 years!) or of course during the 9 months of my pregnancy, and now I am breastfeeding my beautiful 6 week old baby! Ironically, since prior to this whole process, wine tasting was a favorite hobby for me and my husband. I can wait another few months to resume that hobby, but it does seem only fair to have an occasional glass of wine to celebrate all that effort!
    I ordered the milkscreen to see what really was happening in my milk, which was difficult to determine based on my reading about how much alcohol might be safe. Alcohol metabolism will differ widely among women, so it is probably best to just know for sure.
    I think it is true that “pump and dump” doesn’t really address the issue. The alcohol in the blood and milk will be metabolized over some period of time, so what you really need to do is to wait that period of time, whatever it might be. I use the strips to do that.
    I will nurse and/or pump before I have my glass of wine. Then, if the baby wants to nurse before 90 minutes have elapsed, I test the milk. I was surprised to see that one glass of wine did turn the strip positive, because you often hear that one drink is OK. I can then give the baby a bottle of pumped milk if the strip is positive. I then retest the milk before I nurse again later. Both times I have tried this, the strip was initially positive and has been negative after 90 minutes or more have passed.
    I have found this a very useful product. I can feel reassured that either the milk contains alcohol and I need to use a bottle, or that it is negative and it is OK to nurse, and there is no need to ever pump and dump and waste any milk. The strips are very sensitive, which is probably a good thing.
    I ordered them from Amazon, and was able to order some today, although they only have the 3-strip and 8-strip boxes, while the 20-strip boxes seem to be slightly more economical. Yes, it is a little pricey, especially using 2 strips each time I have a drink, but it is worth it to me for the reassurance that I am I keeping my baby safe, and able to have an occasional treat myself.

  10. Rebecca Ward says

    i don’t understand why people would feel this product is controversial. i think that if it provides peace of mind for a mom who wants to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer then it’s money well spent. consider how many women abstain from alcohol while trying to get pregnant, then throughout pregnancy, then throughout extended nursing…that can be about 3-4 years. we sacrifice enough! we should be allowed alcohol every now and again. i don’t advocate hitting a fraternity keg party but a glass of wine isn’t an issue. face it, after your baby is born sometimes you need a romantic glass of wine in order to “reconnect” with your partner. hehehehehe. i did my post-doc in substance abuse treatment and research and drinking ONE drink never made me run for my pump because i simply waited around 2 hours until the alcohol had been broken down before I nursed. some moms might want more reassurance and these strips provide just that.

  11. THESE ARE AVAILABLE ALSO AT BABIES R US!!!
    trust me.. before i got pregnant i was a party girl.. when i found out i was pregnant, i quit everything cold turkey. i always thought about the next time i have a drink after i deliver this child..
    one day at the doctor’s office, i was reading those mommy magazines and came up on this ad for milkscreen. looked it up and it was available at babies r us.. went there, and they have them for sale.. i think prices are the same.. but if you can’t find them anywhere else.. they’ve got it there. 😉
    now i have my 2 week old baby.. and for some reason i don’t have the urge to drink.. (which is kinda weird because when i was pregnant all i thought about was drinking and smoking cigarettes again..) but i will be prepared when i do get that urge 😉

  12. THESE ARE AVAILABLE ALSO AT BABIES R US!!!
    trust me.. before i got pregnant i was a party girl.. when i found out i was pregnant, i quit everything cold turkey. i always thought about the next time i have a drink after i deliver this child..
    one day at the doctor’s office, i was reading those mommy magazines and came up on this ad for milkscreen. looked it up and it was available at babies r us.. went there, and they have them for sale.. i think prices are the same.. but if you can’t find them anywhere else.. they’ve got it there. 😉
    now i have my 2 week old baby.. and for some reason i don’t have the urge to drink.. (which is kinda weird because when i was pregnant all i thought about was drinking and smoking cigarettes again..) but i will be prepared when i do get that urge 😉

  13. Rebecca, I think your comment was very well stated. I nursed my son for a year, and am now pregnant with my second baby (who I also plan to nurse for a year). More and more breastfeeding advocates are voicing that society is so sensitive to the idea of women breastfeeding and having a drink that it may actually discourage women from nursing to begin with (taboo, taboo), yet a majority of women in our society do NOT breastfeed their babies. To have an occasional alcoholic beverage while breastfeeding (and, yes, absolutely within limits/using wise judgment) is far less detrimental to a nursing baby than is not nursing at all! On the other hand, if a breastfeeding mother is drinking alcohol on a frequent basis, that is unwise and certainly CAN be detrimental to the baby…just as I think it would be unwise to drink frequently when you aren’t nursing. When I nursed my son, I waited until he was a few months old (and by that time I hadn’t consumed any alcohol in over a year), then I would have a cocktail or glass of wine a few times a month. At those times, I would make sure to nurse him just before I had the drink, so that by the time his next nursing came around, I was confident that the alcohol had metabolized out of my milk. Breastfeeding moms deserve to have a little luxury, just like anybody else! I think these milk screening strips are a great way to ensure that we are keeping our babies healthy and safe!

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