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Breastfeed Med. 2007 Sep;2(3):152-7.

Alcohol consumption among breastfeeding women.

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Division of Epidemiology and Prevention Research, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Rockville 20892, Maryland, USA.



To determine the prevalence of alcohol consumption among breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding women at 3 months postpartum.


We analyzed the most recent data available, which were from the 1993-1994 Food and Drug Administration Infant Feeding Practices Study I, a longitudinal panel study of infant-mother pairs. Self-reported data on alcohol consumption were analyzed for 772 breastfeeding women and 776 non-breastfeeding women age > or =14 years.


At 3 months postpartum, 36% of breastfeeding women and 40% of non-breastfeeding women consumed alcohol (p = 0.09). In multinomial regression models adjusted for age, race, education, income, marital status, region, smoking, and alcohol consumption before and during pregnancy, breastfeeding women were significantly less likely than non-breastfeeding women to consume two drinks per week (p < 0.01), or equal to or more than three drinks per week (p < 0.01), but equally likely to consume one drink (p = 0.23).


A substantial percentage of breastfeeding women consumed alcohol. Their infants may or may not have been exposed, as some women may have used alcohol avoidance strategies. Nationally representative data are needed on alcohol consumption and infant feeding practices among breastfeeding women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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