Drink up, Mama: Debunking the Pump and Dump Myth

If you're a new mom, you've probably heard of the pump and dump myth. It's been floating around for years, telling moms that they have to throw out their breastmilk after drinking alcohol or taking certain medications. It's time to set the record straight - this is total BS. In this article, we'll debunk the pump and dump myth once and for all.

Drink up, Mama: Debunking the Pump and Dump Myth

What is Pump & Dump?

First things first - let's make sure we're all on the same page about what pump and dump means. Essentially, it refers to pumping your breast milk and throwing it away instead of feeding it to your baby due to fears that there are harmful substances in your milk.

The idea is that if you drink alcohol or take medication while breastfeeding, those substances will end up in your milk. And since they could harm your baby (at least according to some), you need to get rid of any affected milk before feeding them again.

Alcohol + Breastfeeding = Okay?

Let's start with everyone's favorite topic - alcohol! You might be surprised (or relieved) to hear that consuming alcohol doesn't mean you have to toss out an entire stash of pumped milk like yesterday's leftovers at a sushi bar.

Breastfeeding mothers can still consume moderate amounts of liquor without worrying too much about whether their newborns are going off-track; generally speaking, less than 0.5% of maternal dosage per kg bodyweight/24 hours seems safe for babies [1].

Moms who want peace-of-mind but also want wine may choose another option however – wait until blood-alcohol concentration has dissipated before nursing again [2]. Infrequent or light drinking presents minimal potential disruption where lactation activity intensification appears as soon as it usually does [3].

So go ahead pour yourself a glass (or two or three) of some red wine, put your feet up and enjoy it - no need to feel guilty.

Medications + Breastfeeding = Okay?

The same goes for medications (with a few exceptions), so don't worry about needing to pump and dump if you're on any type of prescription drug [4]. However, before taking medications while breastfeeding, speak with your healthcare professional first because numerous drugs have warnings attached regarding lactation effects.

This is why most providers prescribe antibiotics that are secure during nursing when possible [5] – what's more critical than the patient's safety? Instead of stressing over whether or not you can take something while still producing milk, find out from professionals who know best. Be sure to include all supplements in this inquiry too!

Does Pump & Dump Actually Work?

Now here's the million-dollar question: does dumping your breastmilk actually get rid of any harmful substances that might be lingering inside??

In a word: no.

If alcohol or medication is present in your breastmilk after consumption, getting rid of pumped milk won't make much difference since these items were absorbed by the body and will be eliminated naturally alongside mother fluids such as urine [6].

Therefore pumping & dumping wastes previously pumped benign milk without adding baby harm prevention benefits!

Pump & Dump commonly occurs thus only creates misconceptions which may cause undue concern and anxiety for new mothers maintaining this practice under other pressures' influence [7].

It’s better talking through fears with medical professionals rather than spending lots on seeing pristine liquid go down drains due to believed toxin transfer straight into newborns.

When should You Pump and Dump

There are only several instances where one truly must pump & dump:

  • If you had undergone surgery requiring anesthesia;
  • If caught transmittable infection like hepatitis B/C/HIV/AIDS.

Always inform care practicioner health info then comply based upon their recommendations.


There you have it - the pump and dump myth has been officially debunked. As new moms, we already have enough to worry about without adding unnecessary fear or remorse for consuming any medication or alcohol while breastfeeding.

Remember that moderate amounts of both are totally fine so go ahead and enjoy a glass (or two) of wine if you want because it won't harm your baby. And when in doubt, always consult with your healthcare provider first.

Take heart too because our bodies naturally clear different substances from there leaving little chance of these molecules penetrating breastmilk – meaning less hard work!

Moms have heaps on their plate; let's remove the pressure around pumping & dumping – no further extra stress kicks needed here!

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