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P.G.J. ter Horst
Mitko Madjunkov
Shahnaz Chaudry


A lcohol, lactation, breastfeeding, pharmaceutical exposure



A safe amount of alcohol that can be ingested by suckling infants is not known. As a result, alcohol consumption by lactating mothers during this crucial time can potentially harm infants.


This article provides an overview of alcohol pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in breast milk.


This paper reviews literature on alcohol exposure as it relates to suckling infants. Intended and unintended alcohol exposure through breast milk may occur by skin contact, inhalation and by use of alcohol co-formulated drugs. A method for calculating the time to alcohol eli mination from breast milk is also discussed.


As there is no evidence on a safe amount of alcohol in breast milk, alcohol exposure throughout lactation should be avoided, to ensure the welfare of suckling infants.

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