Are Milkscreen Alcohol In Breast Milk Tests Reliable?

milkscreenMilkscreen, a new product used to check levels of alcohol in breast milk will be on sale this week in Britain and the US.

The level of alcohol in mother’s milk can be tested with the use of special pads that change colour when alcohol is present in the milk.

There is a growing concern that mother’s may use these tests in order to drink, relying on the results of the tests to mark a limit, thus causing serious damage to the babies’ health.

These tests, according to experts are not reliable enough, as there is no data confirming how much alcohol a woman can drink before it is passed through the milk and how long it takes before it is absorbed.

They strongly advise breast feeding mothers to avoid drinking, although Milkscreen manufacturers confirm that breast milk is safe, if the level of alcohol is inferior to 0.03% based on research carried out on the influence milk with an alcohol content could have on the babies’ rhythm.

On the other hand, another research stresses that alcohol in any amount is harmful for babies who breast feed, and that 2% of the alcohol absorbed by the body will pass through the milk progressively during the time lapse of 30 to 90 minutes.

There is an additional concern relating to the accumulation of alcohol in the babies system, for alcohol can remain in their system up to 72 hours, while levels in the mother will decrease after only 12 hours.

Experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists are not satisfied with the reliability of the tests performed by Milkscreen, and observe there is still no confirmation that even low levels of alcohol are not in fact damaging for babies.


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