Did you even know you could be arrested for this? Actually ... you can't, at least it's not technically illegal in Arkansas. A mom was arrested for breastfeeding while drinking after an off-duty waitress spotted her at a restaurant. Tasha Adams says she and her parents ate some pizza and spinach dip, and then she drank two beers. She also nursed her 6-month-old baby. After the waitress (who was not serving her) called the police, Adams was jailed and charged with child endangerment. Drinking and breastfeeding, oh my -- is it really that bad?!?
Adams admits she drank and breastfed her baby. "I didn't know it was illegal," she adds. "If I'd known it was illegal, I wouldn't have done it." Actually, where Adams lives, it's not technically illegal as long as you don't drink to the point where you can't care for your child.
In Adams' case, the police didn't give her a breathalyzer test, and the charges were dropped because they couldn't prove she was too intoxicated to care for her baby. The waitress who accused Adams claims she wasn't drinking beer, she was drinking something stronger. Regardless, it's still alarming that breastfeeding while drinking would land a mother in jail.
We've asked this question before: Is it safe to drink alcohol if you're breastfeeding? The American Academy of Pediatrics says it's all right to have a drink on rare occasions just as long as you wait two hours after drinking before you breastfeed. Alcohol will go into your breast milk, and we just don't know enough about how alcohol affects a newborn's brain. The AAP urges moms to play it safe.
Alcohol can actually inhibit the production of milk. But what about the popular wisdom that drinking beer is good for milk production? Apparently, some of the ingredients used to brew beer have been shown to boost lactation, if imbibed in moderation.
I would estimate that of the mothers I know, most of us drank a glass of wine or beer maybe once a week while we were breastfeeding. But we were also very mindful of that two-hour rule. I've even seen women express milk into a sink after indulging in a cocktail.
It's one of those parenting calls that makes some of us nervous. We all have to balance being a responsible parent with keeping our kids' best interest foremost in our minds. I know I don't want to completely surrender everything to a squeaky-clean idealistic parenting lifestyle. But I also want to raise a healthy child, safely.
How do you feel about drinking and breastfeeding?
Image via ABC News