Although some people choose to have a glass of wine during their third trimester (and that's totally OK) most people don't drink while pregnant. That means, if you are anything like me, by the time you deliver you could really use a drink. After all, you did just grow a freaking human in your body and either pushed it out your vagina or had it surgically removed from your body, which is so badass. You can finally have that drink you've been craving, but first, there are a few things no one tells you about your first postpartum drink that you absolutely need to know. So, enter me: because after all of that hard work, you deserve a drink if you want one.
Things like how much of a light weight you might be. No matter how high your tolerance to alcohol was before pregnancy, you should probably pace yourself, because after nine months of no wine, you might get drunk off one glass. That also means that you need to be careful to not overdo things when alone with your new baby and/or make sure you let your partner know it's their turn to be the "designated parent."
You might also find that your tastes have completely changed. In my case, the beautiful Sauvignon Blanc I bought while pregnant now reminds me of lighter fluid, but the sour cherry Belgian Gose tastes like magic. It must be due to all of the sour candy I ate while pregnant.
Then there's the myths and anecdotal stories you've heard about how alcohol impacts breastfeeding. I am happy to let you know that it's not necessary to "pump and dump" your breast milk but, unfortunately and no matter how many people have told you that beer will increase your supply, it's just an urban legend.
Enjoy that cocktail, you badass. You've earned it.
You Can Bring Booze To The Hospital
You might have to sneak it in your purse or hospital bag, but I totally brought beer and wine to the hospital each time I delivered for a post-labor celebratory toast. Just remember to bring bottles with screw tops or an opener with you, or you might have to send your partner out for one.
It Will Taste So Good
Nothing tastes better than a perfect beer, glass of wine, or cocktail after you've been craving it for 40 (more or less and depending on your pregnancy) weeks.
Unfortunately, It Won't Increase Your Breast Milk Supply
As much as I want it to be true, drinking a beer won't increase your breast milk supply. Besides, you are an adult and don't need an excuse to have a beer if you want one. Just have the damn beer.
Know Your Own Limits
Seriously, you have a newborn to care for. Know your limits and if you are too drunk to drive, you are too drunk to breastfeed or care for your baby. Definitely don't bring your baby to bed when you have been drinking. If you accidentally over do it, have a back up plan arranged in advance.
There's No Need To "Pump And Dump"
It was surprising to learn that there's no need for you to "pump and dump" your breast milk, after having a cocktail. Even if you get somewhat drunk, there won't be enough in your breast milk to impact baby. Who knew?
You Might Not Like It
My tastes changed so much after having babies. Also, after my daughter was born, red wine started to give me migraines. Damn pregnancy hormones. So sad.
You Might Get Drunk
I was a total "light weight" after not drinking for nine months. It was both fun to be tipsy after one beer, and annoying AF.
Stock Your Home Fridge
Be prepared. People will probably judge you if you stop at the bar on your way home from the hospital, so it's best to stock your fridge at home before you deliver.
You Might Fall Asleep Mid-Cocktail
Sleep deprivation is real. I can't tell you how many beers I have left on the coffee table untouched after I fell asleep on the couch.
After All That Hard Work, You Deserve A Drink
People don't blink an eye if a marathoner has a beer at the finish line or someone celebrates a big win at work with a champagne toast. You just grew a human. That is the most badass thing imaginable. You deserve to celebrate and don't let anyone tell you otherwise, especially that judgmental nurse (you totally know which one I am talking about). Go ahead and have a drink (or two). No excuses necessary. Cheers!