Alcohol consumption during lactation: effects on mother and child
Mendizabal Larrea, Imanol
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Although there is evidence of the adverse consequences of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, the effects of alcohol consumption during lactation have not been that widely established. Consequently, due to this lack of information about the effects of alcohol during lactation, mothers do not receive guidance about alcohol intake during this period and they are unaware of the risks that alcohol intake might have both on them and their developing infant. The aim of this review is to summarize the scientifically demonstrated adverse effects of alcohol consumption during lactation both on mother and child. In spite of the fact that the available data in this field is scarce and contradictory, there is evidence that alcohol intake during lactation is harmful for mothers’ lactational performance and their infants’ development and behaviour. Thus, more research is needed in order to clarify the effects of different doses of alcohol during lactation and to provide educational support for health professionals and mothers so as to ensure secure alcohol intake during this crucial period of infant development.