Mom Arrested for Breastfeeding After Drinking Alcohol in a Restaurant

Folks redtikzsba
— As odd as this WABC story is — and it’s a doozy — the truly oddest part is that it took place, literally, in “Toad Suck” Arkansas.

An Arkansas woman was charged with endangering the welfare of her child for breastfeeding after drinking alcohol in a restaurant.

The charge was dropped last week, but the issue of breastfeeding and drinking is still a very real one.

Less than an hour outside Little Rock lies the tiny town of Toad Suck, Arkansas, population roughly 300.

It’s also home for Tasha Adams, a stay at home mother of three. With her baby in tow, she and her parents stopped for dinner in the nearby town of Conway.

“I had a beer, with that, and then I had another one, later on,” said Tasha Adams.

But that’s not what Jackie Connors says she saw. The off-duty waitress showed up early for an after hours staff meeting. “There were two or three, um, drinks in front of her already, when I got there,” said Connors.

Jackie, who has an infant daughter of her own, consulted her own mom.

“She texted me back and said, “Call the police,” said Connors.

She called, they came, and they arrested the mom. Like the report says, eventually the charges were dropped and the busybody waitress was fired.

What makes this a Free-Range issue is:

1) The idea that if a parent does anything the least bit sub-optimal (why wasn’t she drinking organic kale juice???), the child is in immediate and grave danger. That’s  not true. Parents do not have to be “perfect” for children to thrive. But the belief that they do leads to —

2) The idea that therefore everyone should be on the lookout for any imperfect parenting behavior and immediately turn the “bad” parent over to the law.

Let cops jump in if a child is beaten, starved or neglected, not if a mom is enjoying a night out with her family in a way that some waitress somewhere disapproves of. – L. 

See? I didn't make up the name of this town. (Wish I had!)

See? I didn’t make up the name of this town. (Wish I had!)

 P.S. From the La Leche League website:

Dr. Jack Newman, member of the LLLI Health Advisory Council, says this in his handout “More Breastfeeding Myths”:

Reasonable alcohol intake should not be discouraged at all. As is the case with most drugs, very little alcohol comes out in the milk. The mother can take some alcohol and continue breastfeeding as she normally does. Prohibiting alcohol is another way we make life unnecessarily restrictive for nursing mothers.

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92 Responses to Mom Arrested for Breastfeeding After Drinking Alcohol in a Restaurant

  1. BL March 28, 2014 at 9:30 am #

    This is another Arkansas joke, right?

  2. Ben March 28, 2014 at 9:34 am #

    What’s your feeling on drinking while pregnant? Most modern women avoid it at all costs, but my mother often drank wine while carrying.

  3. Crystal March 28, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    What makes it even more Free-Range: the adult waitress had to call her mommy to make the decision to call the police for her.

    Side note: doesn’t anyone in Toad Suck know that what we drink doesn’t instantly go from our mouth to our breasts? It takes an hour or two. So really, the waitress SHOULD have stalked the mom home, waited for her to breastfeed, and THEN pounced on it. — From a long-time nursing mother

  4. Jeanette March 28, 2014 at 9:42 am #

    MAYBE Mom DID have “two or three, um, drinks” and MAYBE Mom is a breastfeeding alcoholic? If that is the case, baby would be alcohol dependent. To withdraw alcohol from baby at this point would be medically dangerous and only done under medical supervision. ETOH withdrawal begins in a matter of hours and can result in, among other things, seizures and death. Not advocating for this as the best-case scenario for breastfeeding, but it’s evidence-based science.

    I just read something today about minding your own business. It went along the line of hearing “thirteen” being chanted from behind a fence. The person stopped, peered through a hole in the fence, was poked in the eye with a stick & the chant “fourteen” arose.

  5. pentamom March 28, 2014 at 9:45 am #

    I noticed that “call Mommy” thing, too. If the waitress had been 18 and childless, okay, maybe. But she has a child of her own?

  6. Lisa March 28, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    I thought I would share this information about some of the myths of breastfeeding and alcohol:

    Thanks for posting this article.

  7. Molly March 28, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    I cannot tell you how much this story upsets me! And scares me. I am starting to think that so many parents have a complex about not being “perfect” themselves, maybe that is why they “tell” on another parent, to make themselves somehow feel more secure in their own parenting? Just doesn’t make sense, why can’t we support each other and talk about and admit our own imperfections as people and parents. Then again, maybe this situation was simply ignorance….

  8. Karen March 28, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    There was a guy in my church, (now deceased), who used to tell hilarious stories about growing up in Toad Suck…the name has something to do with how frogs used to get sucked into the works of the town’s old mill.

    And I’d heard that drinking a beer was a good way to help you relax so your milk could come down.

  9. QuicoT March 28, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Here in Montreal the standard advice moms get is that if they want a drink the best time to have it is WHILE breastfeeding – the alcohol won’t have time to reach the milk that quickly. It makes for a fun image!

  10. Havva March 28, 2014 at 10:15 am #

    Another upshot of hamfisted pregnancy/nursing advice. I think of it as an extension of that ‘every bite’ needs to be optimal for the baby advice. Once that is endemic, you end up with otherwise reasonable moms thinking that if a mom drinks and then nurses her baby it is the same thing as putting a (beer) bottle straight to the baby’s lips. There is almost a sense that what mom does impact the baby, not in a diluted sense, but almost in a concentrated sense.

    The orange juice comparison in Lisa’s link really puts things in perspective.

  11. SKL March 28, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    LOL, my mom used to let the breastfeeding baby taste a tiny bit of the beer or wine she was enjoying, straight. And none of them have brain damage, imagine that.

    People seriously need to lighten up! 😛

  12. Warren March 28, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    A few things to take away.
    1. Another life thrown into chaos by a dimwit busybody.
    2. Though proven out of line, the busybody insists she would do it again.
    3. Busybody called Mommy for advice, so there are at least two morons out there.
    4. The biggest concern is the Police arresting someone without cause, without knowing the law, and purely because the busybody didn’t like what she saw. The officer in question needs to be brought up on disciplinary charges for over stepping his/her authority.
    5. The only positive is that the waitress was fired for her actions. 100% behind that restaurant owner.

  13. Havva March 28, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Meanwhile over at the stir, they are acting like she poisoned the kid…

  14. anonymous this time March 28, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    That waitress can suck my toad.

    But seriously. I remember when it came into vogue to point to pregnant women who had a glass of wine much as the pod people in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” would point at humans and SHRIEK to identify them.

    It was nonsensical to me. I know a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. It’s quite visible in her features, and her abilities to function. Her mother drank an enormous amount of alcohol while pregnant.

    But if a glass or two of wine or beer or whatever, even every day, meant that there would be lasting, irreparable damage to the fetus, then most Jewish folks would be mentally disabled.

    And the French. And the Italians. Make all the jokes you like, but moderate use of alcohol does not a birth defect make.

    It is the “zero tolerance” type of policing that people have begun to do to each other that is really the toxic substance… based in the idea that you mustn’t allow even the possibility of harm to someone else’s child, and that it is YOUR DUTY to run interference, call the Thought Police, whatever. Truly Orwellian.

    And now you can’t put a kid on the tit after you’ve had a beer. Did I mention the Germans?

    CTFO. Really. Let the women be.

  15. SKL March 28, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

    Oh Havva, I weaned myself off the Stir long ago, thank goodness! No pun intended! Too many stupid sanctimonious nasty people on there. Even for my tastes, LOL.

  16. SOA March 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm #

    I don’t approve of drinking while pregnant or nursing. I personally would never do it and honestly I don’t think others should either. A glass of wine or a beer once in a blue moon during those times is okay and probably won’t hurt anything but I still would not do it. If you drink regularly or a lot you should be charged with child abuse.

    If you drink in public when nursing or pregnant expect that you will get some unapproving stares or remarks or questions. That is just the fact of it. So either be okay with that or at least do so at home only.

  17. SOA March 28, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

    But to clarify I would not report anyone for drinking while pregnant or nursing unless I was concerned it was going into dangerous levels. I would not approve, but you know, that is just my opinion and does not effect anyone.

  18. SKL March 28, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    SOA, do you believe the La Leche League is wrong on this then?

    What do you think the dangers are? Do you have any evidence or does it just kind of feel wrong to you?

  19. SKL March 28, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    The brilliant article on the Stir (linked by Havva) quotes the Pediatric docs group as saying that they don’t know if it’s unsafe so moms should err on the side of caution.

    To me that is dumb. If it was unsafe, they would know it because there are so many women who drink and nurse. It would be very easy to conduct a study.

  20. Havva March 28, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    @SKL…Probably wise. Not quite sure why that craziness fascinate me so. But if I want the crazy side of the story, they don’t disappoint.

  21. BL March 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    “The brilliant article on the Stir (linked by Havva) quotes the Pediatric docs group as saying that they don’t know if it’s unsafe so moms should err on the side of caution.”

    Gee, have they tested everything else? Hot cocoa? Black olives? Tums? Unless and until everything is tested should it all be avoided?

  22. Matt March 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    Ah, the absurdities mount: for many years breastfeeding mothers were encouraged to drink beer as a way of stimulating milk production (due to prolactin stimulating substances in the barley).

  23. Papilio March 28, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    “I noticed that “call Mommy” thing, too. If the waitress had been 18 and childless, okay, maybe. But she has a child of her own?”

    She must have been so busy meddling in other people’s lifes she hasn’t had the time to read What to Expect for herself…

    “LOL, my mom used to let the breastfeeding baby taste a tiny bit of the beer or wine she was enjoying, straight.”

    Sounds like a good Catholic 🙂 At least, I think it were Catholics that used to let their babies suck on a piece of cloth soaked in wine and sugar to make baby sleep well…

    Plus, wasn’t FAS something that primarily developed in the first few weeks of the pregnancy, when many women don’t even KNOW yet that they’re pregnant?

  24. Warren March 28, 2014 at 1:33 pm #


    As to your expect stares, questions and remarks attitude….those ready to do so beware. I am not the only one willing to loudly make it known for them to back off, mind their own business and shut the hell up.

    I have no patience for busy bodies, and show them no politeness.

  25. CrazyCatLady March 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    SOA, if you don’t want to drink that is fine. But even you said that if people do once in a blue moon….

    So in seeing a situation like the above, you don’t know. You don’t know that some of the bottles/cans in front of the person are actually theirs or someone else’s who moved it in front of her. You don’t know if she is doing this regularly or this is her once in a blue moon. And that is probably what got the waitress fired….she wasn’t serving and she DIDN’T know.

  26. SOA March 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm #

    I love alcohol. I have even been a lush when I was younger. But when it comes to pregnancy and nursing, I am the type that believes you need to do everything right. I was the type that did not drink cokes while pregnant, eat unpasteurized dairy products, took any meds not prescribed by a doctor even a tylenol, etc. I tried to keep my body a vessel to make sure my babies were born healthy. Since I had pregnancy loss before I go above and beyond to do everything right.

    Same for nursing. With SIDS being so scary, I was the type that follows all the infant care rules to the t as well. That way if something happened to my baby, at least I know I did everything right and it can’t be blamed on me.

    I have over time relaxed a lot more the older my kids got, but at that time I needed to have zero room for error and if I got pregnant again it would be the same way if I wanted the baby to live. I guess if I did not care if it died, I would take more chances.

    I think it is something that people who have never had a miscarriage or a still born or infertility don’t get. When you try so hard just to have a baby you won’t do anything that could jeopardize it. Even if that means sipping a beer.

    Other people can do what they want and I don’t say anything to anybody. I just don’t approve. I would not risk it.

  27. SOA March 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    I guess I also see it as a benefit to the baby versus just benefiting me. Letting my kids be independent and strong and self sufficient and innovative and giving them space-that benefits me and them. But drinking a beer really gives no benefit to the baby. That is just because I want it. So that is the type of things I don’t do. I only do something that can benefit my kid. I was fine giving up alcohol for 9 months and then the 2 months I pumped. It was no big deal to me, so I did it.

  28. lollipoplover March 28, 2014 at 2:32 pm #

    Jackie called her mom and she texted her back “Call the police”. To do what?!
    Should we handcuff the pregnant mom who orders the fish special with high mercury content? Or the one who orders the Brie? Cuff her!
    Has anyone seen this list of what you CAN’T eat during pregnancy?

    What the hell do you eat? I had three healthy pregnancies and ate almost everything from this list. And when I started bruising in my last trimester because my ass was the size of Cleveland, you know what my OB doc told me to drink? Guinness! He also recommended a nice glass of red wine and sex with my husband to induce labor (didn’t work).

    I nursed 3 babies and enjoyed a glass of wine occasionally. I was so happy not to be pregnant anymore so I could have the glass of wine if I wanted it. Breastfeeding benefits far outweigh any *tainted* milk. Besides, the alcohol doesn’t metabolize immediately in the body to transfer to the baby. Most moms I know practiced the pump and dump to not pass that milk to the baby. There is no perfect diet. Everything we eat and drink has risks and benefits.

    What this waitress did to this mom of 3 (who deserves a drink and a dinner out!) is borderline harrassment. She had no right to call police and inflict stress on this nursing mom. I hope the restaurant fires her.

  29. SKL March 28, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Well SOA, I agree that you should do what feels right for yourself. I understand your fear. It’s not that you care about your kids more, it’s that you have more immediate reasons to fear loss. You could consider avoiding the implication that the rest of us don’t care about our kids.

    My mom (who had 6 healthy kids and no losses, thankfully, I realize that is a blessing) breastfed the youngest two kids for 2 years. She liked to have a beer or two in the evening after a long day’s work and to take the edge off being the mom of a whole pile of kids. So what? There is no evidence that it causes problems. I have never heard of any link between alcohol and SIDS. Smoking, yes. Dirty mattresses, yes. Sinus infection, yes. Alcohol, no. My youngest sister stopped breathing in the hospital when she was a couple days old, but never after that, despite the secondhand alcohol. I don’t think there’s any legitimate excuse to judge moms who drink and nurse.

    While I do understand your need to be extra careful after your pregnancy loss, I come at it from the other side. My kids’ birth moms were poor single women in a developing country. I guarantee that they didn’t do any of those things you listed to make sure the kids came out perfect. Nevertheless, my kids were born healthy and are doing quite well. It’s so nice to know that unless you specifically are at high risk, babies are likely to come out healthy despite all the non-ideal things the birth mom may or may not do. Of course drinking excess alcohol while the fetal brain is developing is in a different category. But then again, it’s kind of amazing how many children come out OK even though their moms did indulge a fair amount while pregnant.

    FTR I almost never drink alcohol, never been pregnant, and never breastfed. That’s why I’m eminently entitled to my opinion, LOL.

  30. Lindsey March 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    Always in the south! The south is a huge nanny state!

  31. SKL March 28, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    “I only do something that can benefit my kid.”

    Most professionals would tell you that this is not healthy.

    In my mom’s case, waking up in the morning, getting a pile of kids fed and off to school, going to work full-time, coming home and taking care of more kid stuff and housework and budgeting etc., that was all for the kids. Having a beer in front of the TV (while nursing and loving on the baby) was for her. Give a woman a break.

  32. AmyO March 28, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Definitely was told by my doctor and the nurses in the hospital that a beer would help with milk production. This waitress should be publicly ridiculed for being such an idiot. People need to mind their business!!

  33. Matthew March 28, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Lindsay, As a South Carolinian, I heartily resent the implication Arkansas is a Southern state.

    There may be more frowning on drinking here, but less about letting your kids run around unsupervised in the woods.

    Personally? I figured low stress was good for the babies and encouraged a glass of wine or 2 for my wife whenever she was getting stressed out.

    Years ago as a waiter I’d get lectured for suggestively selling wine to pregnant women (ok…somehow that sounds wrong…oh well). Science says in moderation it’s fine, and my customers were adults capable of making their own decisions.

  34. Jacqueline March 28, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    I’m a currently nursing mother. This makes me want to go pour myself a drink. That being said,I think this is more of the US’s screscrewed up relationship with alcohol.

  35. Backroads March 28, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

    I don’t drink alcohol as it is, so this would be a non-issue for me. I have a friend who, on her first pregnancy, had serious lactation issues. She is currently pregnant, and both her doctor and lactation consultant have unofficially prescribed a regiment that includes… shock shock… beer in hopes of getting her to lactate when the time comes.

    I’m a fairly new mom who read everything and then some when it came to babies. The gist I got? Mild to moderate alcohol consumption for the average healthy woman is not seen as a huge risk factor. And this was the general consensus (same went for a surprising portion of the traditional “do not eat/do” list). Sometimes science and medicine back up pregnancy/nursing myths, other times that’s just what they are.

    So unless the woman was behaving like a raging alcoholic, I see no reason to bother her. Let her have a drink or two.

    As for the waitress calling her mother… sheesh. I knew a situation like this! Last job, I worked with a helicopter mother. On two separate occassions, her adult daughter (who had several children of her own) called her after witnessing in the community some acts that warranted the police. My coworker then told her… call the police! I don’t pretend to know the family dynamic, but the evidence I saw showed an adult woman incapable of handling a situation without phoning her mother.

  36. Jessica March 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    @Lollipoplover, I’m with you. I ran the numbers and decided I was ok with the risks of eating everything they said I shouldn’t (and if someone at that sushi place had made any kind of comment, I would have flipped and called the health inspector, cuz if I’m in danger of getting sick from the food, so is everyone else). That aside, I don’t drink alcohol except in medicine, and about a month after my first son was born, I was sick, he was sick, we were both miserable, and I just wanted to sleep. So I took some nyquil, waited about an hour then nursed him. Way I figure it, he got the perfect dose through my breastmilk cuz we both had a glorious sleep and when we awoke, I could tell we were both that much better for it.

  37. Jen (P.) March 28, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    “The biggest concern is the Police arresting someone without cause, without knowing the law, and purely because the busybody didn’t like what she saw. The officer in question needs to be brought up on disciplinary charges for over stepping his/her authority.”

    Warren is absolutely right about this. I’m horrified that a cop would arrest her. The charge was child endangerment, and the news report indicates the “officers made a judgment call” that this qualified. WTH is wrong with these people? No one seems to dispute that the mom didn’t appear intoxicated. Surely the people she was with backed up her statement that she’d only had a couple of beers. And yet they still arrested her? The degree to which some police officers seem willing to interfere with people’s private lives is truly alarming. I’d be demanding that cop’s badge.

  38. Amy March 28, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    (1) good thing she wasn’t smoking before she breastfed; there would have been a lynch mob and (2) bless her for breast feeding; even with alcohol in her system, it’s better than the artificial ingredients in formula.

  39. bmj2k March 28, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    I can understand this. The waitress is guilty of ignorance (and having to call her mommy reinforces that.) Her thinking was that the alcohol would go right into the baby. In her mind it was the same as giving the baby three drinks right out of the glass. Ignorant, right, but if you saw a mother give a baby three drinks from a glass of alcohol you’d (rightly) call the cops too. So this is not about perfect parenting, this is about an ignorant waitress worried about a drunk baby.

  40. SOA March 28, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    With some things it would not make a regular person sick but only can make someone with a compromised immune system sick such as a pregnant woman. Mostly listeria. Just to clear that up to what someone said.

    I am surprised by how many pregnant women don’t know about listeria. It can straight up cause a still born. My friend was upset when she attended a baby shower and she was pregnant along with the Mother to be that the shower was for and another pregnant woman and all they had to eat was cold cuts. She was like do they honestly not realize you are not supposed to eat cold cuts without heating them up when you are pregnant? And no, they didn’t.

    Listeria is no laughing matter. I don’t really think stuff like that falls under free range.

  41. CrazyCatLady March 28, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    SOA, if you are doing everything right, and drinking alcohol is wrong, why please tell me, did the hospital where I delivered my youngest (a women’s hospital so they did a lot of births,) serve me a dinner that included a bottle of champagne after the birth of my child?

    Being a progressive hospital in CA, of course they pushed breast feeding. If the alcohol was going to cause ANY damage to a newborn baby, I am totally sure that they would NOT have given me that champagne. And yes, it did have alcohol in it.

  42. Jenn March 28, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    My MIL was prescribed Guinness to help bring her milk in after she gave birth to my husband (and his brother). Apparently this was the standard in the UK and Ireland in the 70’s and earlier. The hops and barley in the beer is supposed to help stimulate milk supply and is high in fibre.

  43. Warren March 28, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

    Dolly enough already. Cold cuts, wine and more whine. Stop before the only way to be a responsible mother to be or nursing mother is to be placed in isolation, on a strictly monitored and provided diet.

    You can eat and drink as healthy as you want, but the stress and paranoia is not healthy for you or the child.

    Worried about listeria, really?

    When my bride was pregnant the only worry we had was………..oh wait we didn’t worry. Sorry, we did worry about one thing. We worried my mother in law would never shut up about how we should be doing things.

  44. Jessica March 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    Yes, listeria is a real danger to an unborn child. Those who aren’t miscarried have a greater risk of birth defects and so on. But, let’s talk about the last listeria outbreak. It wasn’t cold cuts, it wasn’t sushi, and it wasn’t cheese. It was canteloupe. I didn’t see fruit on the list of things to avoid (thankfully). Also, if you look at the real numbers, your chances of actually contracting listeria, pregnant or not, is about 0.0006%. Then if I look at the fact that sushi places have some of the most stringent food handling procedures, well, I’ll take my chances. We constantly talk about knowing the numbers so we can make rational choices, and personal, I think any food avoidance during pregnancy is based on the same logic as not standing on a chair or raising your hands over your head to keep the umbilical cord from strangling the baby.

  45. hineata March 28, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    With those who say an occasional drink is a good thing with baby….I seldom drink, and got given a bottle to celebrate the birth of the third. When a combination of being weaned off morphine and having a crazy, stupid lady in the room next door deciding a very crowded maternity ward was the perfect place to start her absolute newborn on one of those crazy ‘sleep routines’ (cried solid for two hours between 2am and 4am, kept us all awake) left me even more sleep-deprived, half a bottle of said wine and a couple of Panadol was enough to knock me right out. Never even thought about the breastfeeding part.

    And she’s the brightest of my kids. Maybe I should have knocked back a few whiskeys with Boy and El Sicko….

  46. Emily March 29, 2014 at 12:03 am #

    If you can’t give up your boozy crutch for the duration of pregnancy and breast-feeding then I don’t think you’re qualified to successfully raise a child to adulthood…

  47. Jenny Islander March 29, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    Gosh, Emily, maybe she was one of that sizeable minority out there that believes that a properly served dinner features an aperitif and/or something alcoholic of harmonious flavor to sip with the main meal. You know, like people have done throughout recorded history on a very large segment of the planet, which nevertheless somehow managed to go on to produce Western civilization as we know it.

    I don’t even like to drink, I grew up with alcoholics, and I think this is ridiculous.

  48. Jenny Islander March 29, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    Addendum: The oldest written recipe on Earth is for beer. It is written in the form of a hymn giving thanks that there is beer. The people who wrote it, and their direct descendants, created the first empires, the first intentionally built roads, the first bureaucracy, the first geometrical texts, the first indexed libraries, the first hymnals, and too many other firsts to mention here. Throughout this period, they drank beer the way people nowadays drink soda pop. All of them, all the time. And yet, somehow, civilization staggered onward.

  49. Warren March 29, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    That is a very bold statement from someone with no kids.

    Until you have had one, talked with your own doctor about what is best, then I really think you should sit this one out.

  50. Marcie March 29, 2014 at 4:55 am #

    There is such a negligible amount of alcohol transferred to breast milk that it is a lie that a mother should not drink a moderate amount of alcohol while breast feeding and pumping and dumping is not necessary. Dr. Jack Newman (Canada’s breast-feeding expert doctor) has so much information about this (google his name and “drinking alcohol”. Here is an especially informative post from him about a mother doing actual lab tests of her milk 1 and 2 hours after drinking 1-3 alcoholic beverages. She explains it so well (basically it is like mixing 1oz of alcohol in thousands of litres of mixers and drinking it all.)

  51. Donna March 29, 2014 at 7:43 am #

    So according to some here liking the taste of beer or wine (or whatever your prefer) and having a glass with dinner automatically makes you an alcoholic if you are pregnant or breast feeding.

    The fact is that I easily could not drink alcohol while pregnant and breastfeeding. I’m not much of a drinker anyway. But the reality is that I don’t HAVE to. It is not dangerous to the baby to drink a glass or two. It isn’t about HAVING to have a drink; it is about WANTING to have a drink and understanding that doing so poses no risk to the child.

    I had major surgery when my daughter was 5 months old and was breast feeding. The surgeon – the same ob/gyn who delivered her and who was known for being overly cautious – advised me to pump and dump until the next morning and then breast feed as usual. If I can breast feed with all that stuff in my system, including regular doses of pain killers, I don’t think an American beer with dinner is going to do a child in.

  52. SOA March 29, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    So just a question Warren…..or anyone else that thinks not being careful about what you eat to not contract listeria is silly….

    If you just ate whatever you wanted and you did end up miscarrying or having a still born from listeria, would you feel guilty? Or would you just be like “Oh well!”

    Because as I said earlier unlike paranoid parents that never let their kids play outside because they might get kidnapped, that is hurting the kids as kids need to play outside. But your baby does not need for you to eat cold cuts. Babies grow just fine without you eating cold cuts, sushi, etc. That is 100% just for your benefit.

    I was perfectly happy and full eating the many other things not on that list during my pregnancy. I am sorry but I will never get behind the idea that people should ignore stuff like listeria contraction during pregnancy. That is not free range. That is common health and safety practices. Or is vaccines not free range either? Or medical treatment? You go down a slippery slope really fast if you act like you can just do whatever you want all the time and never worry about any health precautions ever without calling it paranoia.

    So are your kids vaccinated Warren? Because oh you should stop being so paranoid about them getting mumps and polio duh der!!!

  53. Donna March 29, 2014 at 7:54 am #


    So you would say “oh well” if your child was abducted and murdered while playing in the yard? Or would you feel guilty and regret that decision?

    Despite the fact that playing outside is beneficial to children, there are still some children abducted and murdered every single year and it could be your child. It is extremely unlikely, but it could be. The odds are higher of abduction than listeria as a matter of fact. But we balance the risks and make informed decisions.

    “That is 100% just for your benefit.”

    So? Did I cease to exist as a human being the second I got pregnant? Did my wants stop mattering? You may sign on for martyr parenting, but I don’t think you are going to much, if any, support for it on this blog.

    Reasonable health precautions of one thing Dolly. The last listeria outbreak was in 2011 and only affected 146 people. AND WAS FROM CANTALOUPE.

  54. Betsy in Michigan March 29, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Oh, Emily…. If you are a teetotaler (your “boozy crutch” comment indicates you may be, perhaps even for good reason – alcoholism in your family, say) you may not be the most qualified to comment. Everyone here needs to see the excellent documentary “How Beer Saved the World”. Everything in moderation, folks (especially when it isn’t illegal!). For instance, one spanking does not an abuser make.

  55. AB March 29, 2014 at 9:03 am #

    I’m curious as to why Emily and SOA hate science.

  56. Betsy in Michigan March 29, 2014 at 9:33 am #

    The War on Women is here, in our own backyards. This one goes across party lines:

    If someone had tried to imply I did something wrong that caused me to have a miscarriage at 10 weeks, I would have sued them for slander or libel, as appropriate. Maybe I should have been arrested for getting pregnant at 40? (despite going on to have,with no medical assists until delivery, a healthy pregnancy at 42).

  57. a sociable drinker guy March 29, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    Fetal alcohol syndrome, and its lesser cousin fetal alcohol effect, have near-identical symptoms to vitamin A deficiency.

    Vitamin A in the body is retinoic acid,created from the retinol that you eat. The conversion takes place in your liver.

    Constant drinking keeps the liver busy detoxing and recovering from alcohol. An occasional drink has no such effect.

    That’s my understanding, anyway. Others can do their own research and make up their own minds.

  58. SKL March 29, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    I think it’s good for the info on FAS, listeria, and everything else to be out there, easily accessible to those who are pregnant, nursing, etc. Thank goodness for the internet and a lot of other resources.

    However, it is completely unhelpful to judge others for the way they do or don’t process / act on that information. All that does is prevent us from having a truly supportive community for moms who really need that.

    It is more effective to just say “I did this and here’s why” or “I did this and here’s what the result was.” Or better yet, “here’s a link to some info I found really helpful. Good luck.”

  59. DirtyHooker March 29, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    The first time I got pregnant, I miscarried at 6 weeks. I did drink lightly up until then. I didn’t blame myself at all. Miscarriages that early are, in the vast majority of cases, the result of genetic abnormalities. There was nothing I did to cause that miscarriage.

    I also drank lightly during my second pregnancy, meaning, I had half a glass a few times a week. I had a picture-perfect pregnancy. I didn’t get so much as heartburn. My daughter is developing normally and is even walking a bit early for her age. She’s about 14 months old now, and I’m still breastfeeding and drinking moderately.

    I don’t drink because I need to. I want to, and my wants still matter. There is quite a lot of research on booze and pregnancy/breastfeeding at this point, and it all indicates that rational alcohol consumption is safe. We need to avoid making and enforcing laws based on things that “feel” wrong. Our feelings are often liars.

    I find it interesting that so many people are up in arms about any alcohol at all, but the idea of a pregnant woman eating a pint of ice cream is funny. We KNOW the terrible things sugar does to a body. (More people should mind their own business either way.)

  60. anonymous mom March 29, 2014 at 11:30 am #

    In general, we do worry too much about these things. FAS is a concern, but it’s not caused by a couple of drinks during pregnancy. I’m pregnant, and I avoid alcohol while pregnant (I might have a couple of sips if somebody is drinking a glass of wine or a beer they say is really good), but it’s a personal choice, and mostly because I just generally am a non-drinker. FAS is caused by binge-drinking during critical periods and by long-term alcohol abuse, not an occasional drink or even a regular pattern of light drinking (like 1-2 drinks a week). The explanation I’ve heard for the strong U.S. prohibitions against drinking in pregnancy is that, basically, women cannot be trusted and if you tell them that it’s okay to have a drink once in a while, they’ll think it’s okay to have three drinks a day their entire pregnancy. I think that’s nonsense, and tend to think that any woman who is going to have a few drinks a day her entire pregnancy or will binge drink while pregnant will probably do so whether she’s told only light drinking is okay or not to drink at all. All the advice really does is scare the women who realize they had a couple of drinks before they knew they were pregnant, or who were served an alcoholic rather than non-alcoholic drink at a bar (something that happened to a friend of mine, who was in a panic for a month after) into thinking they’ve irreparably harmed their baby.

    I think the server calling the police was insane. Again, it’s just a total lack of thought. What is worse for a baby: having a mom who has a few drinks on a night out when she’s breastfeeding, or being put in foster care? We love to call the cops without thinking of the ramifications. In a case like this, it’s very clear that getting the criminal justice and child protective systems involved is going to be much worse than the mom having a few drinks.

    I do think these issues can be complicated. If I worked in a restaurant and a clearly pregnant woman came in and ordered a glass of wine or two, it wouldn’t bother me. If she wanted to order half a dozen shots of hard liquor, well, I don’t know that I could in good conscience keep serving them to her. But, I certainly wouldn’t call the police. I think we can show reasonable concern for others without immediately alerting the authorities.

  61. SKL March 29, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    I read somewhere that the waitress came in, saw the lady breastfeeding with evidence of multiple drinks in front of her on the table, and complained to the manager. The manager told her that no, they were not going to cut the mom off. Then the waitress complained to her mommy and ultimately called the cops.

    What a loon.

    I just hope someone calls the cops on her for no good reason regarding her own parenting practices.

  62. anonymous mom March 29, 2014 at 11:41 am #

    @SOA, I think people have to judge for themselves what a reasonable precaution is. Even health care providers can’t agree. If you read What to Expect When You’re Expecting, pretty much anything you, from having a tuna sandwich to eating a Snickers bar to failing to sleep in the right position, may kill your baby and should be avoided at all costs. All of my health care providers, for all four of my pregnancies, have been extremely laid-back and are basically of the mindset that, as long as you aren’t doing drugs, smoking, or regularly drinking, you don’t really need to worry.

    I have two cats. I did research into toxoplasmosis, because conventional wisdom is that pregnant women should never change litter boxes, but my husband really, really, really hates changing the litter box, and I don’t mind at all. I felt very comfortable, after doing the research, changing the litter box for my two healthy inside cats, provided I always thoroughly wash my hands immediately afterwards (which I’d do anyway).

    Would I have felt guilty if I’d miscarried? Probably. Because that’s how people are. I’d have felt guilty about changing the litter box. I’d have felt guilty about getting pregnant in my later 30s. I’d have felt guilty about being overweight when I got pregnant. I’d have felt guilty about continuing to exercise (and if I hadn’t, I’d have felt guilty about not exercising). I’d have felt guilty about taking hot baths and allowing myself to get really stressed out and doing any of the other million things that could potentially harm a fetus.

    But that doesn’t mean that my guilt would have reflected reality. IMO, the chances of harming a child by eating the occasionally piece of lunch meat, tuna salad, or soft cheese is much less than the potential harm from a mom being stressed out all the time about possible harm she might do. Women managed to successfully have babies for all of human history, and we’ve only had all of these rules for a generation or two. I’m not sure they are leading to healthier, happier families. By all means people should take commonsense precautions, but in general I learned after my first pregnancy to just follow the advice and guidelines of my OBs–who are medical professionals I choose because I like and trust them–and ignore stuff I see in books or on the internet.

  63. DirtyHooker March 29, 2014 at 11:42 am #

    My apologies for what is apparently becoming my thesis on alcohol consumption while breastfeeding.

    It seems that the hardline approach to alcohol has become something of a magical talisman against miscarriage, and is about as effective as actually hanging crystals over your bed while you sleep. “If I do this arbitrary thing, then everything will be OK.” It makes sense on an emotional level. We all want control over the terrible and frequently inexplicable things that happen to us. But the truth is that if you miscarry, there’s usually nothing you can do about it. There’s no point at all in blaming yourself.

    Also, it seems like a shit test for women to prove their qualifications for motherhood. How much are you willing to inconvenience yourself for no good reason? We’ll just keep adding stuff to the list until you fail! Anything that brings women pleasure is suspect, especially if you’re a pregnant woman.

  64. anonymous mom March 29, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    @DirtyHooker, I do think the alcohol vs. sugar issue is one where we need to look at actual risks. Is either one great for you? No. But, realistically, there are serious risks that can come with a pregnant woman *overindulging* (not just having 1 or 2 drinks, but having several times more that amount, even just once or twice) in alcohol during critical times in fetal development that simply are not there if a pregnant woman even semi-regularly overindulges in sugar. Unless the woman has pre-existing diabetes or severe GD, an occasional pint of ice cream poses absolutely no risk to her baby’s health and safety. On the other hand, indulging in alcohol occasionally to the same level (one pint of ice cream is four servings, so I’m going to say a woman having 4 alcoholic drinks in one sitting) could indeed cause harm. That doesn’t mean that a single drink, or even two, is going to cause harm. It won’t. But drinking too much poses risks to the developing baby that eating too much ice cream just doesn’t.

  65. anonymous mom March 29, 2014 at 12:19 pm #

    @DirtyHooker, the concern with alcohol consumption isn’t miscarriage, but fetal alcohol syndrome and other birth defects.

    I tend to take a middle ground about this. I do think that alcohol poses serious, demonstrable risks, when overindulged in during pregnancy, that other potentially risky behaviors do not. It’s estimated that about 1% of babies are affected by a mother’s alcohol abuse during pregnancy. On the other hand, stillbirths due to listeria are extremely rare. If you are going to choose between going out and having 4 or 5 drinks with friends in your second trimester and indulging in a plate of unpasteurized brie cheese, you are engaging in a MUCH riskier behavior by having 4 or 5 drinks. I don’t put alcohol consumption on the same level as eating lunch meats, changing litter boxes, eating soft cheese, consuming tuna or sushi, or other activities that ultimately pose an exceedingly small chance of harm. You could eat raw sushi during your entire pregnancy and there’d still be an extremely small chance of any negative effects on your baby. On the other hand, if you drink heavily your entire pregnancy, there is a very good chance your child will have FAS.

    So I’m not really a fan of a very cavalier attitude that conflates clearly, highly harmful behaviors like regular drinking or smoking with behaviors that pose an extremely small risk. If a pregnant woman wants a glass of wine with dinner or a beer when out with friends on occasion, good for her, it’s perfectly safe, and she should face no criticism or judgment. But, I do think pregnant women need to understand the safe limits and that exceeding those safe limits is far more potentially harmful than eating more than the recommended number of tuna sandwiches a week.

    But, again, light drinking should be up to the woman. I understand why some would totally avoid it, and that’s fine. I also understand why some don’t, and that’s fine. I think providing women with real, accurate information on this is incredibly important so they can make informed choices. The problem I see with telling women to not drink at all is that they then *don’t* understand what safe limits are. I think women are probably more likely to think that, if the doctors are wrong about even one drink being unsafe, maybe they are also wrong about four being unsafe, if they are told not to drink at all, than if they are given the actual facts, which is that regularly drinking moderately (2-3 drinks or so most nights out of the week) all throughout a pregnancy can cause harm AND that even a few episodes of binge drinking (4+ drinks) during the 10th to 20th week can cause problems, but that having a single drink a few times a week or less is not going to cause harm.

  66. Andrew March 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

    This is nuts. As they used to say, Guinness is good for you.

    See and and enjoy a glass without fear 🙂

  67. EricS March 29, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Let’s take the alcohol thing and put aside for a moment. The main thing here is the concern for the child’s well being. Many think the mother shouldn’t have been doing that. I don’t believe in drinking while pregnant, or breastfeeding. Do I think it’s dangerous as many think? No. Everything in moderation, I always say. I’ve known plenty of mothers who have a glass here and there while pregnant, or breastfeeding. Their kids are completely fine. No birth defects, no abnormalities. Just plain, happy, energetic “old school” kids.

    But if these busy body, know it all people are so concerned with a child’s well-being, why do they not think twice about putting them in the car. There is far more damning evidence and statistics that put children at much greater risk when in a vehicle. Or how about those cookies, chips, ice cream, fruit drinks, even milk they feed them. Most of these foods are processed. And there’s plenty of evidence and research linking GMO and chemicals in these foods. And their negative long term effects on the human body. Yet, many parents don’t bat an eye when going grocery shopping and feeding their kids on regular basis. Let’s add to that, how many parents don’t allow their children to be active, causing an almost epidemic in the US of obesity in children.

    It’s incredible to see the selective fearing people have these days. Few people ever stop to think of the big picture consequence of their nose poking in other people’s affairs. Unless you see the child in grave and immediate physical danger, leave them be. Mind your own business. Your values are not other people’s. Your values may be important and sacred to YOU. But it doesn’t mean they ARE important and sacred to the rest of the world. Think before speaking, and acting. Use common sense and logic. They never lie in any situation. You know those times when you are conflicted about doing what you think you want to do, and another part is gnawing at you to reconsider. That’s your common sense, trying to override your illogical, fearful, and holier than thou attitude. Listen to it.

  68. DirtyHooker March 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

    Eating a pint of ice cream a day will also likely lead to obesity, which can create its own problems in pregnancy and childbirth. But my point wasn’t to harsh on women eating ice cream. It was to point out that anything taken to excess can be dangerous, even water. There’s nothing special about alcohol in this regard.

  69. SKL March 29, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    “All things in moderation” is an awesome concept. Very simple, easy to remember, easy to implement, doesn’t cost anything, no need to call the doc or your mama. And it’s nearly 100% accurate.

    The other very helpful rule for life is “mind your own [damn] business (unless asked).”

  70. Warren March 29, 2014 at 1:56 pm #


    Taking reasonable precautions in anything is perfectly rational. What you are suggesting is completely paranoid. Secondly where do you draw the line, how many beef recalls have there been for ecoli and other contaminations. Poultry itself is just down right dangerous, not itself, but all the other surfaces and foods it can contaminate. Hell there was just a recall on Dole salads.

    You do realize that for generations many european families at cold cuts and cheese on a daily basis, including the generations that came to North America. This included the moms to be.

    As for vaccines, we follow the advice of our family doctor, which means no flu shots and no vaccine against the chicken pox either.

    Reasonable precautions not paranoia. When you get in your vehicle do you use a seatbelt or do you have a 5 point harness with quick release, full helmet, fire suit, hans restraint and custom fitted seats? Nascar uses the later, which is obviously safer than just a seatbelt.

    As to those so anti alcohol, I assume you are part of the crowd that thinks you should not drink infront of your kids as well. To those I say……if I didn’t drink infront of them, who would grab my next beer from the fridge.

  71. SOA March 29, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Betsy: I am very against those miscarriage reporting laws. I actually contacted the local newspaper and wrote an opinion piece about it and contacted my local politicians about it. That is more about trying to attack women over pro choice stuff than healthy choices when pregnant.

  72. SOA March 29, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    I agree with anonymous mom that I think its good to put the info out there and let the moms decide for themselves. I may not agree with their decisions and they may not agree with mine, and that is fine. I don’t ever tell anyone how I feel on that unless they specifically ask. I would not report anyone either unless it was just blatant child abuse.

    The truth is you can be like my friend and get pregnant at the drop of a hat and drink cokes all day long and even occasionally smoke and have a beer and have a perfectly healthy baby. Then you could be like me and do everything to the letter properly and perfectly and miscarry over and over. So the info being out there is what matters and then letting the women decide for themselves what level of risk they are okay with.

  73. SOA March 29, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Donna: again, if I let my kids play outside the benefits are exercise, fresh air, social activities, independence, etc. So it is worth the risk to me.

    Me drinking a beer or eating cold cuts while pregnant is no benefit to the child. The child would be just as happy if I did not eat those. So the risk is not worth it to me. Would I be happier if I had a beer and some cold cuts? Maybe. But to me that is parenting. I am willing to give up some things for my kids. I look at the risk versus benefit and go from there. I can heat up my lunchmeat or drink water instead and live with that.

    Just don’t ask me to give up chocolate during pregnancy and I will be happy.

  74. baby-paramedic March 29, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    Ahhh, have had two miscarriages whilst eating the things I “shouldn’t”.
    *Examines self for guilt*
    Nope, no signs of it.

    I always found it interesting different, comparable, countries and their lists on forbidden food. The US, UK, Australia and New Zealand all have different lists. I have no doubt Cananda does too, and that is before we even touch mainland Europe. Some things appear quite consistently on the “don’t eat” list, others only appear on one country’s list. I always try and find out *why* it appears on the lists before making my more informed choice.

  75. Donna March 29, 2014 at 6:57 pm #


    You can live however you choose, however you need to accept that the rest of the world doesn’t define parenting as mom’s happiness no longer matters. In fact, I think that is an extremely unhealthy definition of parenting and the root of much of what is wrong with this country today. Mothers don’t stop existing as humans when the sperm meets the egg. It is not wrong for them to take care of their own wants and happiness.

    I don’t form my life completely around my child. This morning I got up at 4am and stood (well sat) in line for hours to register my kid for camp despite it being the last thing in the world I wanted to do. This evening I ditched my kid at my mother’s so that I coukd go out with my friends despite her not wanting to go. It is all about balance. Neither one of us get 100% of our wants and neither of our happiness comes first all the time.

  76. anonymous mom March 29, 2014 at 9:11 pm #

    @DirtyHooker: The thing is that alcohol *is* different. It causes a unique set of problems–caused by the alcohol consumption–in the developing fetus.

    Does an obese pregnant woman have some increased risks? Yes, the same way that an older woman who gets pregnant does. There’s increased risks in particular of problems with the mother, like gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension, that are for the most part readily manageable. But, there is no unique set of problems that the children of women who are obese or older–or who eat hot dogs, or who use hot tubs, or who sleep on their backs–have. And, when you look at numbers, these are still only slightly increased risks. The vast, vast majority of obese and/or older moms have perfectly healthy babies.

    The vast majority of women who binge drink during pregnancy or regularly overindulge in alcohol do NOT have perfectly healthy babies. They have babies with fetal alcohol syndrome, a condition that is only caused by abuse of alcohol during pregnancy. It’s not something, like gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced hypertension or miscarriage, that could happen to any woman but that certain women have increased risks of. It’s something that ONLY the children of women who drink heavily during pregnancy are at risk of. And it’s significantly more serious than any of the problems caused by engaging in most other risky or less-than-ideal behaviors while pregnant.

    So, again, we need to look at real risks. Certainly an alcoholic who becomes pregnant and doesn’t change her drinking habits is putting her baby at an exponentially higher risk than even an extremely obese woman who becomes pregnant. Alcohol drunk in excess seems to have a more negative impact on fetal development than using hard drugs like cocaine or heroin. Again, this doesn’t mean that one or two drinks puts the baby in danger, because it doesn’t. But it does mean that alcohol consumption poses some unique risks that women do need to be aware of so they can make informed choices.

  77. anonymous mom March 29, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    @SOA: I see what you are saying, but you need to not only balance risks with pleasure, but worry with sanity.

    With my first child, I was so nervous and so paranoid. I read a bunch of books. I wanted to do everything perfect. And I ended up an extremely anxious pregnant woman, which no doubt contributed to my developing high blood pressure and severe panic attacks about three months into the pregnancy.

    With my subsequent pregnancies, I chilled out. I avoided obvious risks, like smoking, hanging around people who are smoking, drinking (I’m not a drinker anyway, so I’ll have at most half a drink one or two times during an entire pregnancy, which honestly isn’t too different from my non-pregnancy drinking habits), etc. Other than that, I don’t worry. I don’t worry about whether cheese I’m eating is sufficiently firm, count how many times a month I eat fish, or fret over whether I eat lunch meat. I try to eat a relatively healthy, varied diet (which is often easier said than done in the first trimester, when I am sick enough that I pretty much eat whatever I can stomach), do 30-35 minutes of moderate exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and, most importantly for me, reduce stress. Part of avoiding undue stress, for me, is not worry about small potential risks to the pregnancy. I think my babies have been better off with a mom who might sometimes eat a roast beef sandwich or spread some brie on a cracker than with a mom who is stressed out about very small risks all pregnancy.

  78. anonymous this time March 30, 2014 at 1:59 am #

    Too much is never enough. We can’t ever be too careful, apparently.

    And yet, I say we CAN be too careful.

    We CAN.

    And it’s ruining many people’s lives.

    It’s even ruining the planet. Lots of things used to come in glass bottles. Then, in the name of “safety,” everything started coming in plastic bottles. In the name of “safety,” many food items that used to be loose, or wrapped in waxed paper, began to come to us hermetically sealed in plastic. I’ve seen packaging of apples that makes me just weep for our world.

    There is a larger picture beyond our knee-jerk reactions. I think that women drinking alcohol, or eating foods that *might* be contaminated with pathogens that *might* make her ill and *might* affect her fetus or nursing newborn is A. nobody’s business but hers and B. a sane and reasoned decision in the face of the scientific evidence.

    But no. Because there is SOME RISK INVOLVED, it’s suddenly something to call the cops about. Just like when a neighbour spots your kids at the park by themselves and gets all fussed that CHILDREN ARE ALONE SOMEWHERE and thinks ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN TO THEM and THE WORLD IS SO DANGEROUS NOWADAYS and calls the goddamned cops.

    How, how, how is this story any different from the ones we tear our hair out about… the ones where “busybodies” call in the authorities because we ran in to get milk from the 7-11 while our kid waited in the car? I say it’s the SAME. I say it’s all about OTHER PEOPLE making REACTIVE DECISIONS based on hysteria, and meddling in other people’s lives unnecessarily.

    People who otherwise feel powerless to change the things that are REALLY endangering us in this world decide to try to get a sense of power and influence by knocking the beer out of a pregnant lady’s hand, calling the cops about grade-schoolers walking to get a pizza, or a content 9-year-old reading in a car in temperate weather.

    It’s misplaced logic, it’s neurotic, it’s another sign that we have lost sight of the larger picture of what is transpiring around us.

    Wake up. Wake up. Wake up to what really matters. And then, accept what you can and cannot change. And have compassion for others. And lead with love, not self-righteousness.

  79. colleen March 31, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    So this is a country with enshrined rights to bear arms, but no rights enshrined to feed babies the natural and healthiest way in public places or with a non-approved drink. There is such exaggeration of the risk of alcohol and even smoking on pregnancy, that it makes people stop reading and probably the exaggerations have caused a few panicked abortions as well. This is the world capital (USA) of pornography, boob jobs and Barbies with bottles and nipple-free breasts. It’s a wonder anyone can breastfeed, considering gorillas rely on role-modelling to do it and we have all the forementioned! The idea that you swear off alcohol while brestfeeding presumes you only have one or two children, as few would take such restrictions if have larger families and breastfeeding each for not weeks by years each (the way of other comparable mammmals ie) America is still at war between its puritanical Christian roots and rootless capitalist excess.

  80. Aimee March 31, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    What about those of us who rubbed a drop or two of whiskey on our babies’ gums when they were especially fussy with teething? The HORROR!

  81. Lisa Mary March 31, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    my standard gift to new moms is a 4 pack of Guinness.

  82. John March 31, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    The media, I believe, is partly responsible for starting all this child abuse vigelante mess. Much of it gained momentum during the Penn State child molestation scandal when Penn State authorities were harpooned for not immediately reporting Jerry Sandusky to the police. I remember seeing the “experts” on the likes of CNN and Fox News saying, “If you even suspect child abuse, you must IMMEDIATELY report it to the police”. No exceptions were made and of course, the repercussions of “immediately” reporting SUSPECTED child abuse and being wrong about it were not even discussed or considered. So now you have a large number of vigelantes doing just that and trying to be heroes.

  83. EricS March 31, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    That is also called “holier than thou” attitude. The idea that THEIR way is best, and THE right way. Anything else, is blasphemous, or “unlawful” in their eyes. That common sense has let the building for them long ago. And anyone who goes against these HTT’s, deserves to be punished. The most ironic thing, these idiots have the children’s “best interest” in mind, but in reality, in the big picture, they are actually making things worse for the child and his/her future. It all boils down to self serving, selfishness and ignorance, all to make themselves feel better about what they do.

  84. pentamom March 31, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    “America is still at war between its puritanical Christian roots….”

    Just to clear up an oft-cited historical misconception: the Puritans had no problem with alcohol and loved beer, as well as fertility, enjoyable married sex, and the natural aspects of child-bearing. The Victorians gave us prudery and the anti-alcohol thing was from a different stream also in the 19th century.

  85. delurking March 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    This story is another one of those reminders never to talk to the police. If they ask you a question, you say: “I will not answer any questions and I do not consent to any searches.”

  86. Stacey March 31, 2014 at 5:15 pm #

    So let me get this straight.. technically, a woman can have an abortion and kill the child outright, (not debating abortion just comparing “severity” of harm) but if she has an occasional drink or two during pregnancy,( or while nursing) that is considered chemical endangerment?

  87. Kimberley March 31, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

    If mom is drunk as in .08 BAC the amount of alcohol in her milk is the same as the amount of alcohol in… juice. Or it might have been apple but the point is the same regardless. Would she call about alcohol if the mom feed the baby juice? Pure ignorance.

  88. Warren April 1, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    I get a kick out of all the posters on facebook supporting the waitress, and calling for her to sue the restaurant.

    I applaude the restaurant for sacking her butt.

  89. SKL April 1, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Well, now that I think about it, it’s good that these issues are brought into day-to-day discussion, though unfortunately it means some poor parent has taken one for the team.

    People do need to have a good sense of when to report and when not to report their concerns about the treatment of kids.

    The other day someone on another site posted a real-life scenario and asked whether she should report it to CPS. The facts: Mom3 was listening in on a conversation where Mom1 told her friend Mom2 that she had resorted to sometimes spanking her children with a belt for not cooperating with xyz. Mom3 knows the kids and says they tend to have anger issues, but she mentions no knowledge of any physical abuse or neglect. Spanking with a belt is not illegal where they live, and Mom3 is not a mandated reporter.

    So anyway, a discussion ensued and of course there was a range of comments, but I was surprised at how many said she should call CPS. She didn’t see any evidence of abuse, the kids did nor report any abuse, and the mom was reaching out to other moms to try to solve the problem in a better way. Surely there are better ways to help this family than to get the government on their case. You never know what the government is gonna do, and once you set that in motion, you can’t change your mind.

    So anyway, it is good to make people think about this. What are the alternatives? Research what is/isn’t abuse? Offer friendly advice? Recommend a parenting book/class? Refer the family to a confidential helper? Volunteer to give the mom some respite so she can cool off? Or even, MYOB?

    There are times when people should report. Having a better idea where to draw the line would be a good thing.

  90. DirtyHooker April 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    We also need to ask ourselves what we hope to accomplish by calling the police. The police aren’t there to give you a stern talking to. If they show up, someone’s probably getting arrested. So it it really better for parents to be arrested, to possibly lose their jobs, and to have their kids end up in foster care, than to address the matter in another way, or to mind your own business?

    Calling the police is the nuclear option.

  91. serena April 1, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    When I was breastfeeding my younger son (he’s now 9) I was always worried about having enough milk and I read that beer is actually a galactagogue so it actually promotes lactation.

  92. BL April 1, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    “Calling the police is the nuclear option.”

    Amen. Amazing how many people just think “hey, it can’t hurt …”

    Yeah, it can.