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.
- How do I determine if a medication is safe for a breastfeeding mother?
- Anesthetic medications and breastfeeding
- Use of Radioisotopes (including imaging agents/dyes for CT scans and MRIs) during Lactation
- Breastfeeding and Dental Work
- Conscious Sedation and Breastfeeding: Recommendations for Patients
@ other websites
- Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine Clinical Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother
- Surgery and the Breastfeeding Mother from Lactation Education Resources
- Breastfeeding after Anesthesia G.M. Woerlee from AnesthesiaWeb.org
- Does Anesthesia Affect a New Mom’s Ability to Breastfeed? from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists