For centuries, some midwives and doctors have claimed that drinking alcohol will help a lactating woman produce more milk. But a recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism declares that this is simply untrue.
The study, involving about 20 breastfeeding women, revealed that even moderate consumption of alcohol interferes with milk production. Drinking alcohol disrupts the hormones cortisol, oxytocin and prolactin, which are associated with the manufacture and ejection of breast milk. As a result, lactating mothers who drink have a reduced and lower-quality supply of breast milk.
"Breast milk is a critical form of nutrients for infants," notes Judy Mennella, Ph.D., the study's lead researcher. "It is important that women remain as healthy as possible during the breast-feeding stage."
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