I got a very interesting comment from a reader today, “Dear Dr. Greene. I just read your response to the question about beer and breastfeeding. 30 years ago, I was instructed by my OB/GYN to drink beer or add brewer’s yeast to my cereal. According to him, this would increase milk production. He was very clear that alcohol not containing brewer’s yeast would not work. I used the yeast instead of the beer. I produced so much milk that it bordered on phenominal.”
Reader, I think you’re on to something!
It appears that alcohol by itself truly does not help. But there are still unanswered questions. Studies I’d like to see:
1) The same study, but comparing plain orange juice to the alcohol-scented orange juice (Does just thinking you are having a drink help you relax and increase milk production?).
2) Comparing beer to taste-masked non-alcoholic beer (Beer is more commonly believed to help nursing than wine or other alcoholic beverages. Is alcohol in combination with the grains in beer more effective than alcohol in orange juice?)
3) Comparing non-alcoholic beer or wine to water or other common beverages (is there something in beer or wine that helps, other than the alcohol?). I’ve heard from a number of women that Brewer’s yeast or non-alcoholic beer seems to make a big difference.
Reader, thanks for your thoughful response!