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Breastfeeding after Anesthesia: A Review for Anesthesia Providers Regarding the Transfer of Medications into Breast Milk.

Author information

1
Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Abstract

Doctors, nurses, and midwives often inform mothers to "pump and dump" their breast milk for 24 hours after receiving anesthesia to avoid passing medications to the infant. This advice, though cautious, is probably outdated. This review highlights the more recent literature regarding common anesthesia medications, their passage into breast milk, and medication effects observed in breastfed infants. We suggest continuing breastfeeding after anesthesia when the mother is awake, alert, and able to hold her infant. We recommend multiple types of medications for pain relief while minimizing sedating medications. Few medications can have sedating effects to the infant, but those medications are specifically outlined. For additional safety, anesthesia providers and patients may screen medications using the National Institute of Health' LactMed database.

PMID:
26413558
PMCID:
PMC4582419

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