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Mom Liquored Up and Breastfeeding

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An infant is breastfed by her drunk mother at a bar.

Allanah Earley

As the debate over whether it's cool to breastfeed in public rages on, one thing is indisputable: Getting tanked while breastfeeding probably isn't cool.

A new mom allegedly brought her seven-week-old daughter to a Connecticut bar and proceeded to breastfeed the baby while getting tanked. Cops say Allanah Earley, 36, of Durham was binge drinking at an unnamed bar Friday and then wandered out into the cold with the infant. Concerned customers immediately called the police.

Police say a drunken Earley ended up at a friend's house, where she continued to drink while breastfeeding. According to police reports her speech was slurred and she could barely stand up.

And what's up with a bar that kept serving the mother?? She admitted that she threw back roughly seven drinks! Richard Kline, a bartender at the famous Blue Room in Burbank, Ca. wonders what she was doing in a bar with a baby in the first place. "Babies aren't allowed in bars." But even so, if infants were allowed to belly up to a bar Kline says he would never serve excess amounts of alcohol to a nursing mother. "I'd cut her off. On the first one."

Hmm, but isn't even ONE too much? We asked momlogic pediatrician Dr. Cara Natterson if it's OK to partake when you're breastfeeding. She says that although the occasional drink is OK for a breastfeeding mom, she recommends the old "pump and dump the next feed," if you start feeling at all tipsy.

There is a product called Milkscreen that solves the problem for those moms who think breast is best, but still like a drink now and again. Each package comes with strips you dip into your milk (a breastalizer, if you will) to determine if it the alcohol content exceeds the safe .03 amount.

While this mom, who is being held on a $10,000 bond, is an extreme case, many of us are guilty of having a little swig during breasting.

What do you think? Is it OK to have a little nip when you're nursing your little nipper? Comment in the momlogic community.

next: What Message Is Barbie Sending Our Kids?
34 comments so far | Post a comment now
ANONYMOUS January 13, 2009, 7:44 AM

people are losing sight of the article and how much training the police need. Child and Family Services should have been called immediately by the police to put the child in a safe environment. As someone said, it was just as likely the child would have suffered illness or physical harm from a mother that inebriated. Also she does need to be ordered into a treatment program as well as a parenting one.
As for your little battle about having a drink or following doctor’s orders to or your own convictions, they really apply to you and you alone, but abuse of alcohol or drugs must have professional treatment. If she’s doing it now, she probably did it throughout pregnancy and the infant may already have fetal alcohol syndrome.

MandyB January 13, 2009, 11:40 AM

You know, this was a really interesting debate until people started getting nasty. And Miranda, you meant to say “You’re all stupid.” You might want to learn some proper grammar before you start insulting the intelligence of others…

Allison January 13, 2009, 12:38 PM

I would definitely recommend MilkScreen to any breastfeeding mom who wants to have a drink. It made me feel safe about feeding my baby after drinking. The article’s “expert” talks of pumping and dumping, but alcohol does not stay in your milk, it will disappear itself, so there is no reason to pump and dump.

Allison January 13, 2009, 1:00 PM

Funny. Miranda said “your” all stupid. It’s you’re all stupid. Just struck me funny.


Miranda January 13, 2009, 2:20 PM

Whoops mustve forgotten my E! But whats funny is that thats what you all picked up on instead of the point I was trying to make. A grammar mistake…really? Maybe I was right about your intelligence, and you all just proved it! In any case… YOU’RE all stupid!!!

Chrissy January 13, 2009, 2:32 PM

I guess someone missed the point that DOCTORS are recommending a glass of wine to nursing mothers. Does that mean that the doctors are “stupid” as well?

Anonymous January 13, 2009, 6:45 PM

depends on the doctor! And not all doctors are saying thats okay.

Alexis January 17, 2009, 5:47 PM

I just cant understand it. If you want to rot your liver away go ahead but theres a thing called formula for those who just must drink. I can’t fathum that someone would think it was ok. I am even upset with the bartender. How could you serve someone with an infant alcohol. If nothing else I would be wondering, How are you getting that baby home? She could have pumped when she didn’t drink and then gave the baby that. There is a million excuses people have but I just cant get some people and why they are allowed to reproduce.

Angie January 22, 2009, 12:34 AM

What this mother did was disgusting and she needs to get some type of help before she should be trusted with her infant again.

I don’t see harm in having an occasional drink as long as it’s not downed in an attempt to get buzzed. I do, however, have issues with the rude, arrogant behavior of some, especially Miranda’s behavior. Because the editor in me cries out, I also must tell her she’s forgotten her apostrophes, as well as scold her for her obnoxious, self-righteous behavior. For shame.

Margaret March 15, 2009, 9:29 PM

If a nursing mother does not have control of her senses, there should be intervention, no question. I think this woman at the bar is an alcoholic and needs serious help. That poor infant. Having said that, I also believe in moderation. I am a nursing mother and I enjoy sipping a glass of red wine with dinner. I DO NOT enjoy being drunk. I didn’t drink any alcohol during pregnancy because I felt it was too great of a risk and worth 9 months of sacrifice. Now, I avoid drinking any alcohol right before nursing, I take a multivitamin and a walk every day. I love my son and care about his and my health. So, it’s not an all or nothing thing with me. However, I understand and respect that some either don’t want to or simply can’t drink any alcohol during lactation. But for me, a glass of red wine with dinner is one of life’s little pleasures that poses little risk to my nursing son, who is a jolly and healthy 8 month old. I think it probably depends on the individual.

Gxaxfgtq June 22, 2009, 7:35 PM

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Janni September 15, 2009, 5:14 PM

It makes me hot.

Jenny November 16, 2009, 2:37 PM

I’ve been taught that breatsmilk has the same alcohol content as the mother’s blood, which means the mother would pass out or maybe even die before her milk could reach even the 1/2% alcohol content of a “non-alcoholic” beer. This woman is made unlikeable by the fact that she subjected her tiny baby to an environment many would deem unwholesome, and then supposedly failed to protect her from the cold.

My thoughts in a nutshell: She probably is a crappy mom, but the “contaminated” milk itself isn’t going to hurt her child.

Kimber March 8, 2010, 2:25 PM

What stupid advice to “pump and dump”. I really can’t believe that’s in this article. There’s no need. When you feel sober the alcohol isn’t in your blood. If you need to pump before then just to ease your pain, do so, but if not there is NO reason to pump. Just wait until your baby wakes and nurse. If you’re not sober, hit baby with some refrigerated/frozen milk.

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