It is safe to have a New Year's toast after your baby has gone to bed. It is also safe to have an occasional glass of wine. The key is moderation and timing. Alcohol does enter the blood stream and your breast milk. It is also metabolized quickly. So one glass of wine or beer or an alcoholic drink that contains one shot of liquor is metabolized in one hour. If you baby nurses every 2-3 hours and you have one drink, there is no need to pump and dump. If you have multiple drinks, you should pump and dump. This is not to get rid of the alcohol as time will do that, but to keep you from getting plugged milk ducts if you do not pump or nurse. Use the same rule of thumb you would for drinking and driving. Wait one hour to drive or nurse your baby for each 1 oz of hard alcohol, 6 oz of wine or 12 oz of beer you drink.
There are other reasons to practice moderation with alcohol consumption while breastfeeding. Alcohol decreases milk production, as well as reflexes and good decision making. This can be a detriment to your milk supply and your parenting skills.
To help you ring in the new year with gusto, we are posting a recipe for a delicious mock champagne!