After having a discussion with a friend of mine concerning if alcohol test strips for breast milk actually work or not, it made me start thinking about reliability of these types of strips. I had used them before without really thinking about the possibility that they are not accurate. So after hearing my friend’s thoughts that the product was a scam, and since I was planning a date night with my husband anyway, thought i would conduct an expirement to see for myself. Here is my case study/product review on alcohol test strips, specifically the UpSpring Milkscreen for breastfeeding strips that are pictured.
How do they work?
These strips are very easy to use! All you have to do is apply a couple of drops of breast milk onto the pad on the end of the strip, and then wait two minutes to read your results. If the strip changes to a darker color that means alcohol has been detected. If the strip does not change after a solid 2 minutes, that means the result is negative.
These particular strips come in packs of 8, 20, or 30.
The 8 pack will run you $14.26
The 20 pack costs $19.99
The 30 pack is $26.59
- Very easy to use
- Each strip comes in an individually wrapped package that make it easy to travel with
- Quick results
- Subtle changes in color can be hard to determine
- The cost is a little high per strip, especially if you choose to purchase the 8 pack or 20 pack.
My Personal Case Study
To complete my expirement, i used a total of 7 milkscreen test strips and had a total of three 20 ounce glasses of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy draft beer. I have added a picture of one of my negative test strips compared to one of my positive strip for your reference.
I started out by pumping just before going out with my husband and testing my breast milk at that time. The results were negative as expected since I had not had any alcohol in my system at that time.
I drank my first 20 ounce glass of beer over the course of about twenty minutes. Then I played a game of pool with my husband while waiting another twenty or so minutes. Then, I went into the bathroom with my test strip. The result also came back negative. I could not physically feel any effects of the alcohol at that time. I am not sure if you have heard of it, but there is an unofficial rule within the breastfeeding community that states your breast milk is safe for your baby as long as you are not feeling tipsy and would still be able to responibly care for your baby or drive your car. This first test coincides with that rule.
After leaving the bathroom, I ordered another 20 ounce Summer Shandy and drank that one in about 15 minutes. We then played another round of pool, and although I would not classify myself as “drunk”, I was definetly starting to feel the effects of the alcohol. I felt my face starting to flush and that giddy feeling in my head. I wasn’t stumbeling or slurring my words, but i was feeling happy and a little “tipsy”, and at the point where I would have decided not to drive my car. So I went back into the bathroom to test my breast milk again and got a negative result again.
When i returned, I had my last beer over the course of twenty minutes and decided to go home after that (my husband drove home). The drive home was about an hour, and when we got home, I tested my milk for the fourth time. This time I received a positive result! I had a pretty good buzz going on, but i didn’t have any blurred vision, slurred words, or stumbling. I defineyly would not have driven my car, and I would have felt more comfortable not carrying my baby around for fears i may have accidently dropped her (lucky for me she was at her grandmother’s house).
We hung for a while before going to bed, I decided to test my breast milk again 2 hours later and got another positive result. At this point I was feeling completely fine, and felt like I could opperate a vehicle and care for my baby with no problem, but the test was still showing alcohol in my breast milk.
An hour after that I tested again. Now it has been a total of 4 hours after finishing my last beer, consuming a total of 60 ounces of beer in about a 2.5 hour period, this time the test was negative.
I ended my expirement with one more final test when I woke up that morning, just to be sure, and the results of that test were negative.
After looking at the results of my expirement, I feel as if the strips do work and show a pattern of how your body would naturally rid itself of alcohol content. It proves that one drink in an hour is pretty safe, but after that the ratio gets sticky. It also shows that the unofficial rule i had mentioned earlier, may not be the best way to determine if your breast milk is safe from alcohol or not.
Overall Rating- Is It Worth Buying?
I would rate this product at 8 out of 10 because I believe that it does actually work. The strips are easy to carry around in a pocket, purse, pump bag, or baby bag. The test is very easy to conduct. I would take some points away because subtle changes in color can be difficult to read, and the price point is a little high, unless purchasing the 30 strip value pack.
In my personal opinion, I believe this product is worth buying because it gives you peace of mind when it comes to enjyoing a few drinks and keeping your baby safe from the effects of alcohol while breastfeeding.
Hopefully, you have a better idea after reading my review and case study if this product is for you! If you are interested in purchasing it, it is available from amazon, and here is a link for you!
I hope you enjoyed this post! Please leave any comments or questions in the comments section, I promise to respond as quickly as possible! Thanks for reading!!