I have only done a couple product reviews but this one I have been actually wanting to try. It took a few months of using the product to be able to tell you if I like it or not.
Milkscreen is a testing strip you can use to test your breast milk for alcohol. Milkscreen detects the presence of alcohol at a level of 13.1 mg/dL or greater in breast milk.* You saturate the test strip and set a timer for 2 minutes. And ta-da – you have your results.
I need to give a disclaimer before I actually give the review. I am by NO means advising anyone to drink while breastfeeding. I am also NOT saying that drinking while breastfeeding is ok. You should always wait until the alcohol is out of your system before you feed your baby. I am reviewing this product for 2 reasons. I like a glass of wine every now and again and I care deeply about what goes into my child’s system. And of course – yes, I could just NOT drink my glass of wine BUT I wanted one. No excuses. No lectures. No hard feelings. This is just something that I wanted to try.
Ok. Now that I am past that I can give you a little background on me. This will help you to understand how and why I would use a product like this.
My fun with booze began a long time ago. I began drinking when I was 15. It was my attempt to forget a lot of things. (But that is another blog for the future – I haven’t really gotten up the nerve to write about that one.) And then when I was 17, I got with my hubby (then boyfriend) and he didn’t drink. So that was a foundation of our relationship. If I wanted to be with him I had to stop drinking – so I did. I stopped. Not one sip. Then when we were 23 he decided – OK fine…I will try a drink. (and no I did not encourage him – he decided on his own.) So I said ok. We had a drink and it was a slow progression of booze over the next 10 years. It would go from drinking hard liquor at the club on the weekends. To drinking beer only on the weekends. But we only drank on the weekends. Give me a break…we were in our 20’s. At least we limited it to the weekends. We never really allowed ourselves to get too comfortable with booze. We didn’t want it to take over our lives so we put a limit on everything. But that didn’t stop us from getting the occasional hang over. Which sucked by the way!!! Our limitations did however put a stop to any kind of addiction.
And then when I got pregnant with my son, I didn’t drink at all. I breastfed him until he was 18 months and I didn’t drink. I had about 6 months of freedom after that to have my glass of wine on a Friday night. But then…..dun dun dun……I got pregnant again…with my daughter. So surprise, surprise, no more drinking. And I am again breastfeeding and every time my hubby would have his glass of wine or a beer I would revel in the scent of booze. And dream of the days when I could have a drink. So I did my research.
My Research – The newest research shows that less than 2% of the alcohol you consume metabolizes into your breast milk. Your milk does not hold the alcohol. Your milk naturally metabolizes the alcohol in the same amount of time that your blood does. There is no need to pump and dump. Just don’t feed your child until the alcohol is completely out of your system. For instance, if you have one glass of wine or one shot or one beer…..then it will “usually” take your body 2 hours to metabolize that alcohol. And that does not include the hour that it took you to drink the wine. If it take you an hour to drink it….then it will be a total of 3 hours before you can even think of feeding your child. And if you are as precautionary as I am – you will wait longer. (And please remember that all people are different. Do not use this as a guideline. Please do your own research before attempting this.)**
So knowing what I know and really wanting to have just one glass of wine…..I caved and tried Milkscreen. My testing lasted months. Not because I kept drinking but because I didn’t drink often. And I didn’t want to just test it once. I tested it a few times to make sure it was accurate.
Test # 1 – I had 1 glass of wine. It took me an hour to drink it. I tested before I drank and every 30 minutes after. The tester showed alcohol in my system within an hour. And it showed the alcohol being gone within 2 hours of my last sip. I also no longer “felt” like I had booze in my system.
Test # 2 – I had ½ a beer. It took me 1 hour to drink that ½. I tested before I drank and every 30 minutes after. I tested up to 2 hours after my drink. The test never showed any alcohol in my milk. I also never “felt” like I had booze in my system. Meaning I never felt tipsy.
Test # 3 – I had 2 glasses of wine. I tested before I drank and every 30 minutes after. The tester showed alcohol in my system within an hour. And it showed the alcohol being gone within 4 hours of my last sip. I also no longer “felt” like I had booze in my system.
Test # 4 – I had 2 vodka drinks. I tested before I drank and every 30 minutes after. The tester showed alcohol in my system within 30 minutes of my first drink. I also actually felt tipsy that soon too. After I finished my last sip I waited 2 hours and it showed the alcohol was still in my system. 4 hours after my last sip and the tester finally showed that I did not have alcohol in my system. I was a little hesitant with feeding the baby since it was vodka and I actually felt tipsy all the way up to the 3.5 hour. So I waited longer than the 4 hours to make sure I no longer had booze in my system. So this time – because it took me a few hours to get through those 2 drinks – I had to go 9 hours without breastfeeding my baby.
Note: For every test night I pumped enough milk to cover the fact that my boobs were unavailable. So she never went without milk and I was able to have adult time with my hubby. And on test day # 4 I was able go out with friends to celebrate a birthday.
So for my review – I give this 2 thumbs up!!!!
The product did everything it said it would. If you follow the directions to a T – then it works. It made me feel a little more comfortable about having my glass of wine on the weekend. There is less than 2% of alcohol that goes into the milk and now I have a way to know that 0% will be going to my baby.
* This statement came from the intended use section of the instruction booklet.
** This statement came from the how this test works section of the instruction booklet. And it also comes from various websites.