Not sure if you’ve had too much to drink? This free breastfeeding and alcohol calculator can help you determine your breast milk alcohol level and decide when to nurse again.
Breast Milk Alcohol Calculator
If you have decided to drink alcohol while breastfeeding, you might wonder how long alcohol stays in your system. We’ve developed this calculator to give you a general idea of what your breast milk alcohol level is based on what you’ve been drinking and how much time has elapsed. This is based on recommendations from the AAP, CDC, and InfantRisk.
Notes about this Calculator
Please remember that this tool is not a medical calculator but just a tool. You should use your best judgment when deciding to resume breastfeeding after you drink alcohol – not just because this calculator told you that it was okay.
Types of Drinks
The following is what we are referring to when we say one drink:
- 12 ounces of 5% Beer
- 1.5 ounces of 40% vodka
- 5 ounces of 13% wine
This doesn’t cover every type of alcohol you might be drinking, but it should be a good starting point.
Factors that Impact BAL
Your breast milk alcohol level is the same as your blood alcohol level. This level will depend on various factors, such as your weight, height, if you’ve eaten anything, etc.
Ensure you are truthful with your weight, how many drinks you’ve had, and how much time has elapsed since you last drank. None of this information is stored, so we cannot know what information you put in the calculator.
Again, this should only be used as an estimate. Listen to your body, be safe, and use good judgment. If you have been drinking a lot, have a responsible caretaker to care for your child.
Please note that the part at the bottom that gives an estimated amount of time until your breast milk alcohol level is at zero doesn’t change when you put the hours elapsed – this is based simply on the information you provided about the number of drinks, weight, and gender.
Is it Safe to Drink Alcohol While Breastfeeding?
There are a lot of varying opinions on this topic, however, the general consensus from most professionals is that if you are safe to drive, you are safe to nurse.
In our article, Alcohol and Breastfeeding, we share a lot of information on breastfeeding and alcohol consumption. It’s important to note that the decision to drink alcohol while breastfeeding is a very personal one, and it’s important to be aware of all the pros and cons – and, of course, to drink responsibly.
Do I need to pump and dump?
The main reason women are told to pump and dump is that people used to think it would speed up the rate at which the alcohol was removed from your breast milk.
This is not true.
There is no need to pump and dump for this purpose. It doesn’t remove the milk from your body any faster, as it is based on your blood alcohol level.
The only reason to pump and dump is if you are uncomfortable and feel that your breast milk has too much alcohol in it. If you are drinking a lot – or if you are separated from your baby while drinking, I would definitely recommend pumping to keep up your milk supply.
Learn more here – Do you have to pump and dump after alcohol?
Printable Breastfeeding Chart
If you would like to have a handy printable chart that you can print off and put in your purse or wallet for quick reference, make sure you download this free printable:
If you’re curious about your alcohol level, or if you want to be proactive about protecting your breast milk supply, give the breastfeeding and alcohol calculator a try. It’s free and easy to use! And if you have any questions about drinking while nursing, don’t hesitate to reach out to an expert for help. Have fun and drink responsibly!
More Articles You Might Enjoy:
- The Best Free Macro + Calorie Calculator for Breastfeeding Moms
- Interactive Breastfed Baby Growth Chart
- How Much Breast Milk in a Bottle – Baby Milk Intake Calculator
Katie Clark is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has helped thousands of mothers and families around the globe navigate breastfeeding challenges and questions since 2015. She has a passion for creating research-based, helpful breastfeeding education and helping parents find a way to make breastfeeding work for them. Katie is a mom of three little boys and lives in the great state of Colorado. She also has a degree in Communications with an emphasis in print journalism.