Yes, but in all else, alcohol should be taken in moderation. What is moderate for a breastfeeding mom is an occasional one or two units of alcohol, according to research.
"One unit of alcohol is approximately a single (25 ml) measure of spirits, half a pint of beer, or half a standard (175 ml) glass of wine, although it depends on the stregth of the drink," according to NHS Choices.
If you want to be more accurate, compute your alcohol intake.
Strength (alcohol by volume) x volume (ml) / 1000 = units
For example, for a 568 ml of beer with 5.2 % of alcohol content.
5.2 x 568 / 1000 = 2.95 units
If you want to skip the computation, a rough guide on how to drink while breastfeeding was provided to me by breastfeeding advocate and founder of Babymama Mi Ann Reyes-Oblea. According to her, for every unit of alcohol, let two hours pass before breastfeeding. One unit is equal to one shot, a cocktail drink, or a bottle of beer. There is no need to pump and dump because it will not hasten the elimination of alcohol from the milk.
"But even if you can't follow the two-hour rule strictly, baby will be fine," she said.
That is also the information you will get online. See for example, Kellymom's basic guidelines on breastfeeding and alcohol. What struck me was a research by Hale published in 2008: "Mothers who ingest alcohol in moderate amounts can generally return to breastfeeding as soon as they feel neurologically normal."
Feeling neurologically normal is being sober. So when you feel sober enough, you can go back and nurse your child.
More tips on breastfeeding and alcohol may also be found at babycenter.
My first drink was a few days before Christmas. I had a beer after breastfeeding Caitlin. Since it has been roughly a year and a half since I last drank, I took it slow and only had a few sips. Come bedtime though, I feel more sleepy than usual. The alcohol may have had its effects on me or my sleep-deprived body finally told me it's really tired. But it hit me that if I had consumed more alcohol, I would have found it hard to breastfeed my daughter at night. So I took that in mind and told myself to drink only by sips until I can handle a full unit or two of alcohol.
I drank again on Christmas eve, but even if I was more prepared for it (I have stored milk in the fridge), my daughter was too clingly and only wanted me by her side. Because she's my priority over alcohol (duh!), I stopped drinking. I tried to offer her breastmilk in a bottle, but she refused and only wanted to nurse from me. Since I only had a couple of sips an hour earlier, I let her.
Also, although there is no need to pump and dump, it may be done to ease any discomfort a nursing mom may feel for skipping feedings.