Breastfeeding and Prolactin Levels in Lactating Women With a Family History of Alcoholism

April 19, 2010. Posted in: Blog Posts

A small but interesting study…

FHP = family history–positive for alcohol dependence
FHN = family history–negative for alcohol dependence

Breastfeeding and Prolactin Levels in Lactating Women With a Family History of Alcoholism

Results: Although no group differences in alcohol pharmacokinetics were detected, FHP women exhibited blunted prolactin to breast stimulation after drinking the control and alcohol beverage and felt more of the stimulant-like effects of alcohol than did FHN women. FHP women reported more frequent daily breastfeeding than did FHN women.

Conclusions: This is the first evidence that family history of alcoholism is associated with a blunted magnitude, rapidity, and duration of the prolactin response to breast stimulation and an alcohol challenge in lactating women. More frequent breastfeeding by FHP women suggests behavioral compensation for perceived and/or actual poor lactation. Alcohol did not enhance lactational performance, further disputing the lore that alcohol is a galactagogue.

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