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Boozing With Your Baby

I am a mom. Of two under two. Which, I mean, it’s difficult, not gonna lie. I’m also the same person I was before I had kids in a lot of ways. I just turned thirty and I keep asking my husband when I’m going to feel like I’m a grown-up. He’s no help - he’s younger than I am.

So I still have similar interests. I like to listen to oddball true crime podcasts (Hit me up, Murderinos!) and the entirety of Eminem’s discography. I can’t really blast them while I have my toddler in the backseat, but they still totally exist as a part of my tastes and my world. And I’m also a mom who likes to drink. I liked to have a few beers with friends before I had kids, and I still do. Nothing crazy, but I’m not going to shy away from the facts. I’m a woman, and I really enjoy good beer.

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I still do - even though I’m breastfeeding. I breastfed Shep until he was about 16 months. I would have continued our nursing relationship indefinitely, but my milk dried up halfway through my pregnancy with Rory. Today was St. Patrick’s day - I had a friend and her husband and son to visit (you remember, Maria?) and we opened a bottle of wine. I nursed Rory throughout.

I’ve done this - nursing while drinking - since my son was born. Why? Because science backs it. Boobs are really good filters, to put it bluntly. The amount of alcohol in your blood becomes a mere fraction of a percent in your breastmilk. Generally, babies drink a few ounces at most in an hour - and a serving of alcohol metabolizes in a hour. So, this makes sense in not just a, “look someone did a study” way, but also in an application of good old common sense. And the basic way of stating it is: “If you’re too drunk to hold your baby, you’re too drunk to nurse them.”

Oh, baby baby. How was I supposed to know that something wasn't right?

When my son was 6 weeks old, we stopped in to celebrate a friend’s birthday at Hofbrauhaus. I ordered a stein about the size of my head, and nursed my son while I waited for the waitress to return. I nursed him once again about an hour later - and he fell asleep in the baby carrier I was wearing him in. I then finished the rest of the beer (it was delicious) and we left to go home.

On our way out the door, I remember a group of very drunk guys leering at us with a bit of shock. In fairness, I’m sure they didn’t expect to see a baby on 9 pm on a Saturday night at a party spot. But babies are people - and so are their parents. And we both deserve the chance to be a part of a great experience. Now, I’m not going to ask people to tolerate my crying baby for long periods. I’ll remove my kid if and when they cry and aren’t content. Babies, especially potato babies, are fantastic at being super chill.

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Maybe don't do this.

Moms - you deserve a nice glass of whatever-you-like. Please don’t harbor an ounce of guilt - because your boobs aren’t as boozy as you think. Think about how freeing this is - no more buying test strips - no more pumping and dumping! You’ll be able to smell booze in your breast-milk if you’re actually drunk when you pump. No lies, I tried it - they’re right. If you enjoy beer or wine or your pick of liquor, feel free to enjoy responsibly - and know that I’ll never give you any side-eye for nursing your baby with a beer in your hand. 

How do you unwind with friends as a mom? Have you ever pumped and dumped? How many times have you seen a mom in public with a nursing-age baby and a beer in hand? 

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