Beer and Breastfeeding | National Lager Day

December 10th is National Lager Day and because I live in Burlington, VT, one of the coolest (no pun intended given our winters) craft beer cities in the country, I thought this story about beer and breastfeeding was appropriate.

When I was nursing Indy, my firstborn, the prevailing wisdom was that beer was good for milk supply. It has to do with a polysaccharide in the barley used to make beer which seems to stimulate prolactin, the hormone involved in milk production.

I LOVE beer. Having abstained throughout pregnancy, Indy’s grandmother brought me a bottle of Heineken (it was 1985) with a bow on it to the hospital. I loved my beer with dinner, especially given that it was good for making breastmilk!

Then a study came out stating that, “Daily consumption of alcohol (1+ drinks daily) has been associated with a decrease in gross motor development (Little et al 1989).”

S**t! Indy didn’t walk until she was 14 months old. I TOTALLY f***ed her up! At this point, I was pregnant with Hallie and didn’t drink any beer while nursing. NOT A SINGLE BEER.

Hallie didn’t walk until she was 14 months old.

Moral of the story?

You can make yourself crazy (we sure do, don’t we) with all the conflicting studies and position statements out there.

Only you can determine what risk means to you.

I like how Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC of, a really thorough breastfeeding site, presents the current data around breastfeeding and alcohol.


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