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A member asked:

can i breastfeed if i have recently had anesthesia?

9 doctor answers34 doctors weighed in
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Pediatrics 27 years experience
Yes: You need to ask your own doctor or anesthesiologist about the specific instructions, which will depend on the medications used and the timing of the surgery. But in general, it is safe to nurse after anesthesia. You may have to "pump and dump" after surgery once or twice, but the exact routine depends on the circumstances.
Dr. Gary Ritholz
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
It depends on the medications you received an their half life. For example a medication that is 1/2 gone in 9 hrs would take about. 5 half lives or 45 hours before its out of your system
Sep 7, 2013
Dr. David Kinsman
Dr. David Kinsman commented
Anesthesiology 20 years experience
Many medications are safe to use while breastfeeding. Your doctor can consult the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and give you the best advice. Most medications/anesthetics given in IV or inhaled form do not accumulate in the breastmilk enough to give effects in an infant when taken orally.
Oct 1, 2013
Dr. Michael Amster
Specializes in Pediatrics
No: It would depend on the kind of anesthesia, of course, but for a great deal of them, there is a recommendation to pump and dump for at least 24 hours, and oftentimes longer. I guess the question is: how recent was the anesthesia and what kind was used? Your OB and hospital pharmacist have the safety data you need.
Dr. David Edsall
Anesthesiology 47 years experience
YES: There is no evidenc ethat nay anesthesic will be inconcentrations high enough to casue any child problems. The re will for sure be 1000's of times less in the child than if the child needs surgery the next day. Some anesthics 9 gasses leave your body very fast (1-2 hours).
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Anesthesiology 39 years experience
Yes: But many moms "pump and dump" at least one time after anesthesia. There is evidence to support that there is no need for this but many physicians and parents are more comfortable doing it this way. Any residual drugs should be gone by then.
Dr. Boris Aronzon
Anesthesiology 24 years experience
Yes: Depends on the timing. Most obstetricians will recommend to wait 12-24 hours. In mean time it is good to use pump to eliminate the residual anesthetic medications from the milk. The risk is sedative effect on the child, which should be eliminated in 24 hours. Best is to discuss with your anesthesiologist and obstetrician.
Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
Yes, but: I would suggest expressing the breast milk immediately after your anesthetic and throwing it away. The anesthetic agents can make it into the breast milk and so could make it to your baby.
Dr. Rodney Del Valle
A Verified Doctoranswered
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Yes: Women are usually advise to stop breastfeeding for 24 and to dispose the pump milk. Studies show that the amount of drugs at breast milk after ga are negligible and intestinal absorption of the baby are negligible too. Keep feeding your baby after surgery if you physically can.
Dr. Gary Ritholz
Anesthesiology 30 years experience
With understanding: Some anesthetics pass through into the breast milk. So how long you would have to dump your breast milk depends on the "half life" of the the medications used. For most medications 24 to 48 hrs is sufficient but best to check with your anesthesiologist.
Dr. David Kinsman
Anesthesiology 20 years experience
Usually yes...: Talk with your anesthesia provider and see if it is ok.

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