Last update May 21, 2021
A surgical intervention, whether under general, epidural, regional or local anesthesia, does not contraindicate breastfeeding.
The mother can breastfeed even before going into the operating room and can breastfeed again as soon as she wakes up from the anesthesia.
Most anesthetics are excreted in small concentrations in milk and/or are very rapidly eliminated, which allows breastfeeding as soon as the mother is awake, alert, and fit and able to hold her baby (Mitchell 2020, Oliveira 2019, Fischer 2019, Reece 2017, Cobb 2015, Dalal 2014, Kranke 2011, Sønderskov 2011, Dahl 2011, Nitsun 2006, Lang 2003, Lee 1993).
The small amount of colostrum obtained by the newborn in the first few feedings makes waiting to breastfeed after a cesarean even more superfluous.
Early initiation of maternal feeding after awakening from anesthesia improves conditions for breastfeeding (Al-Takroni 1999).
Surgery and anesthesia increase prolactin levels (Lawrence 2016 p65 and p606, Morgan 1976). If the intervention is going to last many hours, breast milk can be expressed beforehand, and even while the intervention lasts, to avoid discomfort.
Plastic interventions on the breast can subsequently decrease milk production (Lawrence 2016 p231).
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.
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