Last update: May 3, 2017

Preoperative Fasting

Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Safe. Compatible.
Not risky for breastfeeding or infant.

Clear fluids (e.g. water, juices) and breast milk are digested in two to three hours. They do not interfere with acidity and amount of residual fluid appearing in the stomach after that period.

Infants especially the younger ones are likely more relaxed when arriving to operating room if they have not been forced to fasting for a long period (Brady 2005, ABM 2012).

However, the American Society of Anesthesia has stated that less than 4 hours period as a preoperative fasting period would not be advisable (ASA 2011).


We do not have alternatives for Preoperative Fasting since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Preoperative Fasting is also known as


Preoperative Fasting belongs to this group or family:


  1. Sumiyoshi R. [Preoperative fasting and fluid management in pediatric patients]. Masui. 2013 Abstract
  2. Arun BG, Korula G. Preoperative fasting in children: An audit and its implications in a tertiary care hospital. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  3. Academia de Medicina de Lactancia Materna. Protocolo clínico de la ABM n.º 25: Recomendaciones para ayunos previos a procedimientos en bebés lactantes: Pautas “NPO”. Breastfeed Med. 2012 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  4. Hanna AH, Mason LJ. Challenges in paediatric ambulatory anesthesia. Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2012 Abstract
  5. Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. ABM Clinical Protocol #25: Recommendations for preprocedural fasting for the breastfed infant: "NPO" Guidelines. Breastfeed Med. 2012 Abstract
  6. Smith I, Kranke P, Murat I, Smith A, O'Sullivan G, Søreide E, Spies C, in't Veld B; European Society of Anaesthesiology. Perioperative fasting in adults and children: guidelines from the European Society of Anaesthesiology. Eur J Anaesthesiol. 2011 Abstract
  7. American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee. Practice guidelines for preoperative fasting and the use of pharmacologic agents to reduce the risk of pulmonary aspiration: application to healthy patients undergoing elective procedures: an updated report by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Committee on Standards and Practice Parameters. Anesthesiology. 2011 Abstract
  8. Weiss G, Jacob M. [Preoperative fasting 2008: medical behaviour between empiricism and science]. Anaesthesist. 2008 Abstract
  9. Cook-Sather SD, Litman RS. Modern fasting guidelines in children. Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2006 Abstract
  10. Søreide E, Eriksson LI, Hirlekar G, Eriksson H, Henneberg SW, Sandin R, Raeder J; (Task Force on Scandinavian Pre-operative Fasting Guidelines, Clinical Practice Committee Scandinavian Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine). Pre-operative fasting guidelines: an update. Acta Anaesthesiol Scand. 2005 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  11. Brady M, Kinn S, O'Rourke K, Randhawa N, Stuart P. Preoperative fasting for preventing perioperative complications in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2005 Abstract
  12. Lawrence RA. Lactation support when the infant will require general anesthesia: assisting the breastfeeding dyad in remaining content through the preoperative fasting period. J Hum Lact. 2005 Abstract
  13. Ramírez-Mora J, Moyao-García D, Nava-Ocampo AA. Attitudes of Mexican anesthesiologists to indicate preoperative fasting periods: A cross-sectional survey. BMC Anesthesiol. 2002 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  14. Lawrence RA. Safe pre-operative fasting times after milk or clear fluid in children. Anaesthesia. 2000 Abstract
  15. Ferrari LR, Rooney FM, Rockoff MA. Preoperative fasting practices in pediatrics. Anesthesiology. 1999 Abstract
  16. Emerson BM, Wrigley SR, Newton M. Pre-operative fasting for paediatric anaesthesia. A survey of current practice. Anaesthesia. 1998 Abstract Full text (in our servers)
  17. van der Walt JH, Foate JA, Murrell D, Jacob R, Bentley M. A study of preoperative fasting in infants aged less than three months. Anaesth Intensive Care. 1990 Abstract

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