Advice for mum's following the death of baby breastfed by mother who'd consumed large amount of alcohol the night before

A coroner has recommended women who breastfeed should not drink any alcohol.

It comes after the body of a two-month-old was found to have more than six times the legal blood alcohol limit for an adult driver.

The cause of baby Sapphire's death was inconclusive, but it raises questions about safe breastfeeding practices.

For those who find "breast is best", there are conflicting messages about whether you can safely drink alcohol or not.

After baby Sapphire's death in 2017, the coroner's findings, released on Friday, said no woman should drink alcohol while breastfeeding.

"We need much better scientific evidence as to what are the exact effects of breastfeeding mothers consuming alcohol," Children's Commissioner Andrew Becroft told Newshub. "And on the evidence from the report, it's still uncertain."

Sapphire's mother admitted to breastfeeding after drinking about 18 cans of premixed bourbon and coke the day before her daughter died.

Some general practitioners question the mathematics about it, and suggest it's more likely alcohol was directly ingested by the baby.

But it raises the broader question; what is safe and what isn't?

"If mum's choose to have a drink it's a standard drink - a glass of wine, half a pint of beer - to have it after they are fed, and then wait two to three hours before breastfeeding again," Parents Centre childbirth educator Tania North said.

Breastfeeding organisation La Leche League agreed.

Advice for mum's following the death of baby breastfed by mother who'd consumed large amount of alcohol the night before
Photo credit: Getty

North told Newshub it's always been a popular question for expectant mothers, but the answer has changed over time.

The issue is so contentious, Plunket refuses to comment on what advice it gives mothers who breastfeed.

Newshub.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz