Did we mention the Mama Loves team loves a good drink?
And we’re not fussy. From our first coffee to our nightcap, and all those healthy infused waters in between. Beverages are there to be enjoyed, but always in moderation (except water, you can never have enough water).
Whilst yes, we DO love alcohol and we DO have kids, we always recognise there are points where the two should and shouldn’t mix.
We also have a role as responsible parents in educating our children on the effects all sorts of beverages have on our body – from sugary juices and soft drinks, through to caffeinated stimulants and alcohol
We expect our mamas and mamas to be to approach the topic with the same sense of responsibility.
On this page we would like to set out some responsible drinking guidelines, mostly related to alcohol but also other stimulants that can be found in drinks. We will cover:
- Alcohol and pregnancy
- Breastfeeding and alcohol
- Designated drivers
- Knowing your own limits
- Caffeine limits
Alcohol and pregnancy
Depending on your country and up bringing, you may have heard varying advice from strictly no alcohol whilst pregnant to varying standards of what is acceptable at what stage of pregnancy. As a couple of examples:
There is no known safe amount of alcohol use during pregnancy or while trying to get pregnant. There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink. All types of alcohol are equally harmful, including all wines and beer.Centres for Disease Control & Prevention, USA
Where as their UK counterparts have a slightly different attitude, albeit the wording on their policy has tightened up since 2007:
“Pregnant women or women trying to conceive should avoid drinking alcohol”.
This was a shift from previous advice, which advised pregnant women not to drink “more than one or two units of alcohol once or twice a week.”Department of Health, United Kingdom
What about caffeine with pregnant women?
There are also guidelines on how much caffeine a pregnant women should consume – again variable depending which authority you ask.
The generally accepted standard though seems to be limiting caffeine to 200 mg a day whilst pregnant and 300 mg while breastfeeding.
Drinking alcohol while breastfeeding
Any breastfeeding mama can tell you just how important fluids are! But what do you do if you’d like that postnatal beverage with your girls or a celebratory champagne soon after baby’s arrival?
Just how much of that celebratory drink is your baby going to enjoy too? The advice is pretty similar to when you’re pregnant. What you drink does impact on bubba. You may find certain food and beverages you consume make your baby more gassy or they drink less – alcohol can be one of these.
If you are planning a larger night out though, pump and dump might make you feel better, but is by no means an exact science; you are better of limiting your alcohol intake.
The best advice we can find from the American Academy of Pediatrics states:
While alcohol intake should be limited, an occasional drink is acceptable. Moms should have no more than 0.5 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight—which for a 60-kilogram mother (about 130 pounds), is about 2 ounces of liquor, an eight-ounce glass of wine, or two beers.
If you will be doing any sort of winery road trip, or even just a night our locally with your mama friends it’s essential you decide at the outset who will be the driver that day, or even better arrange a driver or taxi service for special occasions.
Drink driving rules can vary by country, even state, and in many circumstances the driving limit is zero blood alcohol content. You can see how blood alcohol content is measured here.
Know your limits
These can vary vastly by country, there is no one standard international measure so pay attention!
In Australia a sample at a winery is approximately 30 ml of wine. A standard glass is likely poured to 150 ml of wine – but the alcohol units in Australia are calculated based on 100ml – confused already? Therefore after five winery samples you have had the equivalent of one glass of wine you’d likely order at a bar.
The recommended drinking standard for a women to remain under the blood alcohol limit in Australia of 0.5 is one standard drink per hour (whilst men the limit is 2 in the first hour then one thereafter, as many on average have a larger build) – so your five small samples can add up pretty quickly.
Better safe than sorry and if you’re hitting the road on a winery trip, pick that designated driver before you set out.
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Individual tolerance for alcohol
We each have a different tolerance level when it comes to alcohol. So other than legal drink driving limits to consider, you should consider your own tolerance levels too. To decrease the chance of transcending from jolly to drunk, it is recommended you should:
- Eat regularly whilst drinking alcohol – wholesome foods rich in protein and loaded in healthy fats work best
- Always keep a glass or bottle of water with you whilst consuming alcohol
- Limit yourself to one alcoholic drink per hour
- It’s OK to sit “rounds” out, or opt for a mid-session mocktail or juice instead
Don’t forget caffeine limits too
Alcohol is certainly the more frowned upon beverage of pleasure, but caffeine isn’t without its downsides too. Enjoy your coffee and caffeinated teas (and even cocktails) wisely.
Disclaimer: We are NOT medical professionals. We strongly suggest if you have any concerns on whether alcohol is legal of the right thing for you, you talk with a qualified medical practitioner. You should only drink alcohol when it is legally allowed and medically safe to do so.