Article

Acute alcohol consumption disrupts the hormonal milieu of lactating women.

Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-3308, USA.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism (Impact Factor: 6.31). 05/2005; 90(4):1979-85. DOI: 10.1210/jc.2004-1593
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Despite the lack of scientific evidence to support the claim that alcohol is a galactagogue, lactating women have been advised to drink alcohol as an aid to lactation for centuries. To test the hypothesis that alcohol consumption affects the hormonal response in lactating women, we conducted a within-subjects design study in which 17 women consumed a 0.4 g/kg dose of alcohol in orange juice during one test session and an equal volume of orange juice during the other. Changes in plasma prolactin, oxytocin, and cortisol levels during and after breast stimulation, lactational performance, and mood states were compared under the two experimental conditions. Oxytocin levels significantly decreased, whereas prolactin levels and measures of sedation, dysphoria, and drunkenness significantly increased, during the immediate hours after alcohol consumption. Changes in oxytocin were related to measures of lactational performance such as milk yield and ejection latencies, whereas changes in prolactin were related to self-reported measures of drunkenness. Although alcohol consumption resulted in significantly higher cortisol when compared with the control condition, cortisol levels were not significantly correlated with any of the indices of lactational performance or self-reported drug effects. Moreover, cortisol levels steadily decreased on the control day, indicating that the procedures were not stressful to the subjects. In conclusion, recommending alcohol as an aid to lactation may be counterproductive. In the short term, mothers may be more relaxed, but the hormonal milieu underlying lactational performance is disrupted, and, in turn, the infant's milk supply is diminished.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
90 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Drug abuse during pregnancy is a major public health concern, with negative consequences throughout development. Prenatal cocaine exposure (PCE) in rats produces social behavior deficits with corresponding changes in neuroendocrine and monoaminergic signaling. The relevance of parental care in social behavior maturity cannot be ignored, and gestational exposure to cocaine severely disrupts parental care, thus impacting the early environment of the offspring. Oxytocin (Oxt) is critical in regulating social behaviors and central levels are disrupted following acute and chronic cocaine (CC) treatment in postpartum rat dams, coincident with deficits in maternal care. We will discuss studies aimed to determine the relative contribution of PCE and CC-induced deficits in maternal care to social behaviors and Oxt signaling across development. PCE results in decreased social (including parental) behaviors in adolescence and adulthood. PCE is also associated with increased aggression in adults. Rearing by CC-exposed mothers synergistically increases the behavioral effects of PCE. Rearing by CC-exposed mothers, but not PCE, disrupts Oxt levels and mRNA in regions relevant to social behavior, but does not affect receptors in postpartum adult offspring. Preliminary work indicates PCE/CC rearing has dynamic effects on Oxt levels and receptors in neonatal rat pups, suggesting very early regulation of Oxt signaling. This work highlights how the interactive role of Oxt signaling and behavioral context throughout development can be derailed by drug abuse during pregnancy. The relevance of disrupted Oxt to intergenerational transmission of addiction is briefly discussed.
    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 07/2013; · 2.82 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: While the harmful effects of alcohol during pregnancy are well established, the consequences of alcohol intake during lactation have been far less examined. We reviewed available data on the prevalence of alcohol intake during lactation, the influence of alcohol on breastfeeding, the pharmacokinetics of alcohol in lactating women and nursing infants, and the effects of alcohol intake on nursing infants. A systematic search was performed in PubMed from origin to May 2013, and 41 publications were included in the review. Approximately half of all lactating women in Western countries consume alcohol while breastfeeding. Alcohol intake inhibits the milk ejection reflex, causing a temporary decrease in milk yield. The alcohol concentrations in breastmilk closely resemble those in maternal blood. The amount of alcohol presented to nursing infants through breastmilk is approximately 5-6% of the weight-adjusted maternal dose, and even in a theoretical case of binge drinking, the children would not be subjected to clinically relevant amounts of alcohol. Newborns metabolise alcohol at approximately half the rate of adults. Minute behavioural changes in infants exposed to alcohol-containing milk have been reported, but the literature is contradictory. Any long-term consequences for the children of alcohol-abusing mothers are yet unknown, but occasional drinking while breastfeeding has not been convincingly shown to adversely affect nursing infants. In conclusion, special recommendations aimed at lactating women are not warranted. Instead, lactating women should simply follow standard recommendations on alcohol consumption. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology 10/2013; · 2.18 Impact Factor
  • Nutrition &amp Dietetics 06/2007; 64(2). · 0.66 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
9 Downloads
Available from
Oct 21, 2014