Why a wine when breastfeeding isn't a good idea

Study offers fresh insight into risks of alcohol consumption for nursing mums

Breastfeeding mothers who drink alcohol may be more likely to have children with cognitive problems than women who abstain while nursing, an Australian study suggests.

Researchers examined results of reasoning tests completed by 5107 children, as well as questionnaires completed by their mothers detailing whether they had nursed their babies and how often they smoked cigarettes or drank alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Breastfed babies had lower nonverbal reasoning scores at 6-7 years old when their mothers consumed any alcohol during the period they were nursing, and kids' scores looked worse the more women drank, researchers reported in Pediatrics.

"This matters because it suggests that there is no safe level of alcohol for a breastfeeding mother to drink," said lead author Louisa Gibson, from the department of psychology at Macquarie University, Sydney.

Women who smoked cigarettes