Last update: June 2, 2019

Epidural Anesthesia

Very Low Risk for breastfeeding


Safe. Compatible.
Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Topical anesthetics used for local, dental, spinal or epidural anesthesia are not a cause of important systemic absorption (Reece 2017).

EPIDURAL ANESTHESIA:

Used for pain relief from below the waistline (e.g. pain during childbirth)

The anesthetic which is locally injected is not harmful for the infant or lactation. It is usually used in association to an opioid-derivative drug like Fentanyl.

Several studies have shown an increase of instrumental deliveries and C-section rate related to fetal distress, unreal birth weight (due to fluids administered to the mother), breast plethora, with the use of Epidural Anesthesia.

There is controversy about the effect of drug-mediated analgesia used during the child birth (e.g. epidural injection of local anesthetics plus Fentanyl or alone) on the mature milk coming in, whether by delaying the onset of Lactogenesis phase II, or, by affecting the ability of the child for sucking (French 2016, Herrera 2015, Howie 2006).

Some studies have shown that with epidural anesthesia there is a higher risk for delay of initiation of Lactogenesis phase II (milk coming in) longer than 3 post-natal days (Herrera 2015, Lind 2014) and lower frequency and duration of breastfeeding (Thorvaldsen 2006), but without effect on loss of initial weight. On other studies, the newborn infant appears to have higher risk for delay on first latch-on, higher body temperature and irritability or somnolence (Ransjö 2001). Because of the latter, it is argued that those mothers would be in need of more support on breastfeeding when they have received ante or intra partum analgesia (Zuppa 2014).

But other works do not find significant problems in the initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding due to epidural anesthesia in delivery or caesarean (Mahomed 2019, Xu 2019, Grant 2019, Lee 2017, Mauri 2015, Shrestha 2014, Wilson 2010, Wieczorek 2010, Goma 2008, Chen 2008, Wang 2005, Chang 2005, Radzyminski 2003, Abouleish 1978). Some authors found shorter duration of the first breastfeeding but no delay in onset or other breastfeeding problems (Gizzo 2012).

The onset of breastfeeding was earlier and with more frequent feedings in vaginal delivery than after cesarean and and with epidural anesthesia that with general anesthesia (Kutlucan 2014, Sener 2003).
Regarding the epidural, general anesthesia was associated with less frequent breastfeeding and exclusive breastfeeding at 6 weeks (Orbach 2018) and at 6 months (Karasu 2018).
Prolactin levels decrease less with epidural anesthesia during labor (Jouppila 1980).

Postoperative pain control with epidural bupivacaine continued for 3 days after caesarean section improved breast milk production and infant weight gain (Hirose 1996), but the opposite occurred when buprenorphine was associated (Hirose 1997).

The use of local anesthetics and regional anesthesia (spinal, epidural, or peripheral block) decreases the need for opioids and other analgesics that may interfere with breastfeeding (Reece 2017).

There is consensus on the achievement of higher milk production and higher body weight increase in the neonate with an adequate pharmacological control of pain after C-section or vaginal childbirth.


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Other names

Epidural Anesthesia is also known as Local and Epidural Anesthesia. Here it is a list of alternative known names::


Epidural Anesthesia in other languages or writings:

Group

Epidural Anesthesia belongs to this group or family:

References

  1. Mahomed K, Wild K, Brown C, Green A. Does fentanyl epidural analgesia affect breastfeeding: A prospective cohort study. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2019 Apr 8. Abstract
  2. Grant GJ, Agoliati AP, Echevarria GC, Lax J. Epidural Analgesia to Facilitate Breastfeeding in a Grand Multipara. J Hum Lact. 2019 Feb;35(1):165-167. Abstract
  3. Xu Q, Wu ZF, Yang NN, Shi M, Zhu ZQ. Impact of epidural analgesia during labor on breastfeeding initiation and continuation: a retrospective study. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2019 Mar 19:1-4. Abstract
  4. Orbach-Zinger S, Landau R, Davis A, Oved O, Caspi L, Fireman S, Fein S, Ioscovich A, Bracco D, Hoshen M, Eidelman LA. The Effect of Labor Epidural Analgesia on Breastfeeding Outcomes: A Prospective Observational Cohort Study in a Mixed-Parity Cohort. Anesth Analg. 2018 May 25. Abstract
  5. Karasu D, Yilmaz C, Ozgunay SE, Cansabuncu S, Korfali G. A comparison of the effects of general anaesthesia and spinal anaesthesia on breastfeeding. C R Acad Bulg Sci . 2018;71:993-1000. Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  6. Reece-Stremtan Sarah, Campos Matilde, Kokajko Lauren, and The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. Breastfeeding Medicine. ABM Clinical Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother, Revised 2017. Breastfeeding Medicine. 2017 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Lee AI, McCarthy RJ, Toledo P, Jones MJ, White N, Wong CA. Epidural Labor Analgesia-Fentanyl Dose and Breastfeeding Success: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Anesthesiology. 2017 Oct;127(4):614-624. Abstract
  8. French CA, Cong X, Chung KS. Labor Epidural Analgesia and Breastfeeding: A Systematic Review. J Hum Lact. 2016 Aug;32(3):507-20. Abstract
  9. Cobb B, Liu R, Valentine E, Onuoha O. Breastfeeding after Anesthesia: A Review for Anesthesia Providers Regarding the Transfer of Medications into Breast Milk. Transl Perioper Pain Med. 2015;1(2):1-7. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  10. Herrera-Gómez A, García-Martínez O, Ramos-Torrecillas J, De Luna-Bertos E, Ruiz C, Ocaña-Peinado FM. Retrospective study of the association between epidural analgesia during labour and complications for the newborn. Midwifery. 2015 Jun;31(6):613-6. Abstract
  11. Mauri PA, Contini NN, Giliberti S, Barretta F, Consonni D, Negri M, Di Benedetto I. Intrapartum epidural analgesia and onset of lactation: a prospective study in an Italian birth centre. Matern Child Health J. 2015 Mar;19(3):511-8. Abstract
  12. Dalal PG, Bosak J, Berlin C. Safety of the breast-feeding infant after maternal anesthesia. Paediatr Anaesth. 2014 Abstract
  13. Zuppa A, Alighieri G, Riccardi R, Cavani M, Iafisco A, Cota F, Romagnoli C. Epidural analgesia, neonatal care and breastfeeding. Ital J Pediatr. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  14. Lind JN, Perrine CG, Li R. Relationship between Use of Labor Pain Medications and Delayed Onset of Lactation. J Hum Lact. 2014 Abstract
  15. Alus Tokat M, Serçekuş P, Yenal K, Okumuş H. Early Postpartum Breast-Feeding Outcomes and Breast-Feeding Self-Efficacy in Turkish Mothers Undergoing Vaginal Birth or Cesarean Birth With Different Types of Anesthesia. Int J Nurs Knowl. 2014 Abstract
  16. Bolat E, Bestas A, Bayar MK, Ozcan S, Erhan OL, Ustundag B. Evaluation of levobupivacaine passage to breast milk following epidural anesthesia for cesarean delivery. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2014 Abstract
  17. Shrestha B, Devgan A, Sharma M. Effects of maternal epidural analgesia on the neonate - a prospective cohort study. Ital J Pediatr. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  18. Kutlucan L, Seker İS, Demiraran Y, Ersoy Ö, Karagöz İ, Sezen G, Köse SA. Effects of different anesthesia protocols on lactation in the postpartum period. J Turk Ger Gynecol Assoc. 2014 Dec 1;15(4):233-8. Abstract
  19. Szabo AL. Review article: Intrapartum neuraxial analgesia and breastfeeding outcomes: limitations of current knowledge. Anesth Analg. 2013 Abstract
  20. Jones L, Othman M, Dowswell T, Alfirevic Z, Gates S, Newburn M, Jordan S, Lavender T, Neilson JP. Pain management for women in labour: an overview of systematic reviews. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Abstract
  21. Gizzo S, Di Gangi S, Saccardi C, Patrelli TS, Paccagnella G, Sansone L, Barbara F, D'Antona D, Nardelli GB. Epidural analgesia during labor: impact on delivery outcome, neonatal well-being, and early breastfeeding. Breastfeed Med. 2012 Aug;7:262-8. Abstract
  22. Reynolds F. Labour analgesia and the baby: good news is no news. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2011 Abstract
  23. Chantry CJ, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Peerson JM, Cohen RJ, Dewey KG. Excess weight loss in first-born breastfed newborns relates to maternal intrapartum fluid balance. Pediatrics. 2011 Abstract
  24. Wieczorek PM, Guest S, Balki M, Shah V, Carvalho JC. Breastfeeding success rate after vaginal delivery can be high despite the use of epidural fentanyl: an observational cohort study. Int J Obstet Anesth. 2010 Jul;19(3):273-7. Abstract
  25. Wilson MJ, MacArthur C, Cooper GM, Bick D, Moore PA, Shennan A; COMET Study Group UK. Epidural analgesia and breastfeeding: a randomised controlled trial of epidural techniques with and without fentanyl and a non-epidural comparison group. Anaesthesia. 2010 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  26. Matsota PK, Markantonis SL, Fousteri MZ, Pandazi AK, Manikis DE, Christodoulopoulou TC, Loizou MM, Kostopanagiotou GG. Excretion of ropivacaine in breast milk during patient-controlled epidural analgesia after cesarean delivery. Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2009 Abstract
  27. Chen YM, Li Z, Wang AJ, Wang JM. [Effect of labor analgesia with ropivacaine on the lactation of paturients]. Zhonghua Fu Chan Ke Za Zhi. 2008 Jul;43(7):502-5. Chinese. Abstract
  28. Goma HM, Said RN, El-Ela AM. Study of the newborn feeding behaviors and fentanyl concentration in colostrum after an analgesic dose of epidural and intravenous fentanyl in cesarean section. Saudi Med J. 2008 May;29(5):678-82. Abstract
  29. Torvaldsen S, Roberts CL, Simpson JM, Thompson JF, Ellwood DA. Intrapartum epidural analgesia and breastfeeding: a prospective cohort study. Int Breastfeed J. 2006 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  30. Howie WO, McMullen PC. Breastfeeding problems following anesthetic administration. J Perinat Educ. 2006 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  31. Chang ZM, Heaman MI. Epidural analgesia during labor and delivery: effects on the initiation and continuation of effective breastfeeding. J Hum Lact. 2005 Abstract
  32. Halpern SH, Ioscovich A. Epidural analgesia and breast-feeding. Anesthesiology. 2005 Abstract
  33. Jordan S, Emery S, Bradshaw C, Watkins A, Friswell W. The impact of intrapartum analgesia on infant feeding. BJOG. 2005 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  34. Wang BP, Li QL, Hu YF. [Impact of epidural anesthesia during delivery on breast feeding]. Di Yi Jun Yi Da Xue Xue Bao. 2005 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  35. Beilin Y, Bodian CA, Weiser J, Hossain S, Arnold I, Feierman DE, Martin G, Holzman I. Effect of labor epidural analgesia with and without fentanyl on infant breast-feeding: a prospective, randomized, double-blind study. Anesthesiology. 2005 Abstract
  36. Radzyminski S. The effect of ultra low dose epidural analgesia on newborn breastfeeding behaviors. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2003 Abstract
  37. Sener EB, Guldogus F, Karakaya D, Baris S, Kocamanoglu S, Tur A. Comparison of neonatal effects of epidural and general anesthesia for cesarean section. Gynecol Obstet Invest. 2003 Abstract
  38. Lang C, Geldner G, Wulf H. [Anesthesia in the breast feeding period. Excretion of anesthetic agents and adjuvants into breast milk and potential pharmacological side-effects on the suckling infant]. Anaesthesist. 2003 Abstract
  39. Ransjö-Arvidson AB, Matthiesen AS, Lilja G, Nissen E, Widström AM, Uvnäs-Moberg K. Maternal analgesia during labor disturbs newborn behavior: effects on breastfeeding, temperature, and crying. Birth. 2001 Abstract
  40. Ortega D, Viviand X, Lorec AM, Gamerre M, Martin C, Bruguerolle B. Excretion of lidocaine and bupivacaine in breast milk following epidural anesthesia for cesarean delivery. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 1999 Abstract
  41. Hirose M, Hosokawa T, Tanaka Y. Extradural buprenorphine suppresses breast feeding after caesarean section. Br J Anaesth. 1997 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  42. Hirose M, Hara Y, Hosokawa T, Tanaka Y. The effect of postoperative analgesia with continuous epidural bupivacaine after cesarean section on the amount of breast feeding and infant weight gain. Anesth Analg. 1996 Abstract
  43. Lee JJ, Rubin AP. Breast feeding and anaesthesia. Anaesthesia. 1993 Jul;48(7):616-25. Review. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  44. Baker PA, Schroeder D. Interpleural bupivacaine for postoperative pain during lactation. Anesth Analg. 1989 Sep;69(3):400-2. No abstract available. Abstract
  45. van Oss GE, Vree TB, Baars AM, Termond EF, Booij LH. Pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and renal excretion of articaine and its metabolite articainic acid in patients after epidural administration. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 1989 Abstract
  46. Lie B, Juul J. Effect of epidural vs. general anesthesia on breastfeeding. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand. 1988 Abstract
  47. Madej TH, Strunin L. Comparison of epidural fentanyl with sufentanil. Analgesia and side effects after a single bolus dose during elective caesarean section. Anaesthesia. 1987 Abstract
  48. Jouppila R, Jouppila P, Moilanen K, Pakarinen A. The effect of segmental epidural analgesia on maternal prolactin during labour. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1980 Abstract
  49. Abouleish E, Donck AV, Meeuwis H, Taylor F. Effect of anaesthesia for delivery on the weight of infants during the first 5 days of life. Br J Anaesth. 1978 Abstract

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