What is Milkscreen?
Milkscreen is a simple test to detect the presence of alcohol in breast milk. It’s non-invasive and takes just two minutes.
Can I test using refrigerated or frozen breast milk?
Yes, but the milk should be brought to room temperature before testing. Once the milk is at room temperature, gently swirl the bottle containing the breast milk and pour a small amount into a container. Use milk from the container to perform the test.
I read my results, but then noticed awhile later that the test pad had darkened in color. What does this mean?
The two-minute mark is what’s important. Because it’s exposed to oxygen, the test pad may continue to darken over time, even if alcohol is not present. The color of the pad exactly two minutes after saturation is the most accurate result.
How long does alcohol last in the breast milk supply?
A typical drink – a 12 oz beer, a 5 oz glass of wine, or a 1.5 oz portion of hard liquor, for example – takes an average of two to three hours to metabolize out of your system. But everyone is different, and it may last a longer or shorter period of time for you.
Do the Milkscreen test strips have an expiration date?
Yes. The expiration date is embossed on the back of each foil pouch containing a test strip. You’ll also find it on the outside of the package, on a sticker under “LOT.” The expiration date will be shown by year and month (e.g., 2016-08).
Why was Milkscreen created?
Maternal self-confidence is critical to maintaining breastfeeding. At the same time, many women want to enjoy an occasional drink after their baby is born and while they’re still nursing. (Hey, you’ve earned that glass of wine!) If you have an occasional alcoholic drink, you also want the peace of mind of knowing that your breast milk does not still contain alcohol. If alcohol is still present at feeding time, you can provide your baby with an alternate source of breast milk (from a supply pumped earlier) or formula. Milkscreen enables you to make smart decisions to take the best care of your baby possible.
Should I still use Milkscreen even if I don’t feel intoxicated?
A feeling of intoxication is not an accurate measure of determining if there’s alcohol in breast milk … not to mention the fact that alcohol can give you a false sense of bravado. Every woman metabolizes alcohol differently, and the amount of time it takes for the alcohol to leave the breast milk supply also varies. Body weight, type and amount of alcohol consumed, and food intake will all affect alcohol metabolism.
How does Milkscreen work?
Milkscreen consists of a plastic strip with a reactive test pad applied to one tip. Two minutes after saturation with breast milk, the test pad will change color if alcohol is present at or above 13.1 mg/dL.
Can’t I just “pump and dump” to speed up the removal of alcohol from my breast milk?
From a practical standpoint, pumping and dumping may keep you more comfortable if you have alcohol in your breast milk, but it won’t actually speed up the alcohol metabolism. That’s because as long as it’s in your bloodstream, it’s in your breast milk; they metabolize at about the same rate. If you are able to wait to breastfeed, the alcohol will dissipate from your breast milk in a few hours. No need to waste that liquid gold!