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 May 12, 2005
Alcohol Use Reduces Breast Milk Supply: Study
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A new study dispels a common myth that drinking alcohol will boost the breast milk supply of women who breast-feed. Quite the contrary, say researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, who found that alcohol-induced hormonal disruption actually reduces a woman's supply of breast milk.

Even moderate alcohol use leads to a significant decrease in oxytocin, a hormone that is tied to breast milk production, the researchers said in a statement. But alcohol consumption leads to increased output of prolactin, a chemical that is directly associated with lactating mothers' perception of breast fullness. This may explain why folklore surrounding alcohol use and breast-feeding has persisted for centuries, the researchers said.

After consuming alcohol, women took longer to eject the first drop of milk and produced less milk overall, the scientists said.

Results of the study appear in the April issue of the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.


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