Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Kahlua and Breast Milk

I have lurked and unwillingly been dragged into a few threads about women's issues in my brief blogging career. I've read about total strangers' menstrual cramps, hot flashes and parenting philosophies. But this weekend I discovered seomthing new from the mother of a two week old baby girl: the "pump and dump."

Several of us were at the surprise birthday party of one of our friends, but we were also eager to see the new mommy for the first time since her emergency C section. The mother is a sweet young lady, who always seemed rather naive and wide-eyed about the whole process of gestation. Everything was a wonderful surprise to her, except for the fact that drinking and recreational drug use were off-limits until term.

I was worried that during the breast feeding period her monasticism would have to continue, and she wouldn't have any fun at the party. Then I noticed her knocking down a Jager shot. "What's up with that?" I asked. "Pump and dump, dude! Pump and dump." Whereupon, she excused herself to the ladies room, drained the udders and flushed it down the loo. She said she had been pumping all day to get ready for the pary and had a pretty good alcohol-free reserve built up.

I don't know whether I'm revolted or tickled by this practice. Is this for real? Can you just wait to process everything out like sitting at the bar drinking cokes until your BAC gets low enough to drive? I'm glad she's happy and the child is being fed naturally, but WTF?!

We also discussed the incongruity of the fact that you can take no depressants at all during pregnancy, but if you get a Caesarean, apparently Percocet and morphine are immediately back on the menu. I came up with the idea that if that were to happen anyway, why not have a tattoo artist standing by to go ahead and get that Maori symbol for strength or your baby's name scripted out while you have the spinal block and morphine buzz going good?

That's another reason why I have not been encouraged to breed...


Anonymous Jackson said...

This is for real. It is recommended by doctors and midwives (I know having been with my wife through 3 pregnancies with 3 different doctors/midwives at 3 different hospitals).

They know how long it takes for the alcohol to get in and out of the breast milk. It is even recommended that new mothers who are having a hard time breast feeding drink a beer right before breast feeding and then dump a round an hour or two later (check with your doctor for the specific time frames).

As with everything involving alcohol, moderation is the key.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I don't have time to actually read these articles right now, but here's a PubMed search and resulting citations. One of them seems to specifically address the "pump and dump" concept, and includes a table that "shows the length of time an average woman of a given body weight should delay nursing, after consuming a given number of drinks, before assuming a zero level of alcohol in her milk."

12:17 PM  
Blogger SistaSmiff said...

Maybe it's cause I don't drink and don't get the whole mentality of WHY it is important to consume a lot of alcohol...I can understand college kids whooping it up but something in me says "I'm a mom now, maybe this isn't in the best interest." I know I'm bass-ackward when it comes to matters of likka and partying and all...I just don't get it.

I also don't get the love affair of breastfeeding. I found not a second of that enjoyable or something I wanted to continue.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

Gah. I am so frikkin' naive. I would never have even thought of this.

12:31 PM  
Blogger Malia said...

Well...where to begin?? Yes, you can do that. But...I hate to get all soapbox-y on you, I don't even know you or the mother in question but there's more to this than drinking while breastfeeding. Sure, you can make sure that your baby doesn't get the alcohol by pumping and dumping but can you make sure that your baby has a fully functioning mother the next morning at 5 or 6 am when the next feeding hits (even if it is from a bottle) after you've been consuming the night before?? I think it's plain irresponsible. I didn't drink any alcohol (and I drink very rarely) until I had weaned. It's just too risky, IMHO.

Also, you said, "We also discussed the incongruity of the fact that you can take no depressants at all during pregnancy, but if you get a Caesarean, apparently Percocet and morphine are immediately back on the menu." Did you mean anti-depressants? Because a pregnant woman can take certain ones during pregnancy (I was on Zoloft during and after my second pregnancy) as well as many higher-end pain killers (under strict doctor supervision) if needed. I had two C-sections and was never prescribed morphine, so I don't know about that one but yes percocet was prescribed and I took it (in the hospital only).

12:54 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

My lactation nurse said "pump and dump" was a thing of the past... she recommended just waiting for the alcohol to leave my system before feeding or pumping.

Of course, we were talking about having a glass or two of wine with dinner, not partying like a rockstar.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Kat Coble said...

We also discussed the incongruity of the fact that you can take no depressants at all during pregnancy, but if you get a Caesarean, apparently Percocet and morphine are immediately back on the menu."

Okay, this I DO know. I think he meant depressents. Alcohol, Percocet and morphine are ALL classed as depressants.

5:09 PM  
Blogger newscoma said...

"Pump and Dump"
I shall only know how the other life lives through blogging but this seems really weird to me.
However, the closest thing I've ever had to a child is a Welsh Corgi mix and so I am not qualified to comment and breast feeding was not required as she eats kibble.
Seems sort of odd to be slamming back shots of Jager and then be coherent enough to take care of a baby, but that's just me.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I can't believe that you would say something like "you don't get what the love affair of breastfeeding is", that "you didn't enjoy one minute of it" and then have the nerve to think that you are so much better of a mom by not "pumping and dumping". Maybe you should have a drink of two every now and again to loosen you up off your high horse. There is nothing wrong with having a drink from time to time and then dumping the milk afterwards. Also, maybe you should read a book or two about all the health benefits for the baby and mother that result from breastfeeding instead of being so selfish and only thinking about "your enjoyment". Why don't you preach all this to 7,000 children who are sick right now due to recalled formula in China. I breastfeed both my kids for just under 2 years and I enjoyed every minute of it. It will be the greatest success of my my children the very best.

5:22 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home