34 doctors weighed in:

Can I breastfeed if I have recently had anesthesia?

34 doctors weighed in
Dr. Roy Benaroch
Pediatrics
10 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Roy Benaroch
Dr. Roy Benaroch
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2 comments
Dr. Gary Ritholz
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
Dr. David Kinsman
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.
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
Anesthesiology
5 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Mitchell Zeitler
Dr. Mitchell Zeitler
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Dr. Gary Ritholz
Anesthesiology
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Gary Ritholz
Dr. Gary Ritholz
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Dr. Boris Aronzon
Anesthesiology
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Boris Aronzon
Dr. Boris Aronzon
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Dr. David Edsall
Anesthesiology
3 doctors agree

In brief: 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).

In brief: 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. David Edsall
Dr. David Edsall
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Dr. Michael Amster
Pediatrics
2 doctors agree

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Michael Amster
Dr. Michael Amster
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Dr. David Kinsman
Anesthesiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Usually yes...

Talk with your anesthesia provider and see if it is ok.

In brief: Usually yes...

Talk with your anesthesia provider and see if it is ok.
Dr. David Kinsman
Dr. David Kinsman
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Dr. Richard Pollard
Anesthesiology
1 doctor agrees

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Richard Pollard
Dr. Richard Pollard
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Dr. Rodney Del Valle
Anesthesiology

In brief: 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.

In brief: 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. Rodney Del Valle
Dr. Rodney Del Valle
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