General anesthesia should not affect breastfeeding. You can safely nurse once you are awake and alert enough to hold your baby. By that time, the amount of medication in your bloodstream is low enough that the amounts in your milk would not be significant. The point at which you wake up after general anesthesia is the point where enough of the drug has left your system that it no longer has an effect. In addition, pediatric surgeries require anesthesia – and that is a more serious exposure than through mom’s milk. Mom might want to nurse just before the procedure in case she’s out for a while or too groggy to function normally for a bit. See the articles and references below for more detailed information.
- Anesthetic medications and breastfeeding
- Pain medications and breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding and Dental Work
- Conscious Sedation and Breastfeeding: Recommendations for Patients
- Selected List of Medications approved by the AAP for use in breastfeeding mothers
- Dental Work and Breastfeeding
@ other websites
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Clinical Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother
- Breastfeeding in the Face of Surgery or Hospitalization by Becky Flora, IBCLC
- Surgery and the Breastfeeding Mother from Lactation Education Resources
- Maternal Health by Paula Yount. More info on surgery, dental work and diagnostic tests.