Last update July 31, 2017


Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Volatile liquid. The first product used in anesthesia (Campbell 1879). Today it is not used in many countries due to its dangerous nature (highly flammable) and side effects: mucosal irritability, delirium, postanesthetic vomiting (Campbell 1894), etc.
Some of its derivatives such as dimethyl ether are still used as solvents and local anesthetics.

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breast milk.

Its short half-life (Butler 1964) would allow breastfeeding as soon as the mother is awake and is in a suitable condition.

The popular custom in some cultures of applying creams containing ether on the abdomen for the purpose of slimming or firming during the postpartum period may be dangerous for the infant because of the anesthetic effects of the ether.


  • Halothane ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)
  • Sevoflurane ( Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.)

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

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

Ether is also known as

Ether in other languages or writings:


Ether belongs to this group or family:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 74 daltons
Tmax 0.3 hours
0.1 - 0.25 hours


  1. BUTLER RA. PHARMACOKINETICS OF HALOTHANE AND ETHER. Br J Anaesth. 1964 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  2. Campbell GG. III. Ether Anaesthesia; Clinical Notes on 300 Cases. Ann Surg. 1894 Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Coppinger C. Primary Ether Anaesthesia. Br Med J. 1879 Abstract Full text (link to original source)

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