Today we are continuing our series, “Can I breastfeed if…?” It’s not uncommon for moms to need to undergo surgery while she is breastfeeding. I myself had 3 unexpected surgeries while breastfeeding my daughter. To be able to breastfeed after surgery can be a way to help mom feel that she is back to normal after her procedure. I hope this post can reassure you that breastfeeding does not need to be interrupted for surgery.
Can I breastfeed if I have to have surgery?
Almost always, yes! There is no contraindication to breastfeeding while fasting if that is necessary before your procedure. Many mothers worry about sedation medications or anesthesia affecting their infants but, if you have a healthy baby, once you are awake enough to hold and nurse your baby, the anesthesia has left your system enough to not be an issue for baby(1). Also, many prescription and over-the-counter pain medications are compatible with breastfeeding if that is necessary.
As you can see, breastfeeding is compatible with most situations! Even if breastfeeding has to be stopped for a short period of time, it can usually be resumed. If you need information about pumping and storing for a planned breastfeeding break, be sure to check out our Pumping and Storing breastmilk video class. If you have further questions or a complex situation, don’t hesitate to schedule a consult to figure out how to best meet your breastfeeding goals no matter what is going on!
Thanks for stopping by,
Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC
(1) Montgomery, A., & Hale, T. W. (2012). ABM Clinical Protocol #15: Analgesia and Anesthesia for the Breastfeeding Mother, Revised 2012. Breastfeeding Medicine,7(6), 547-553. doi:10.1089/bfm.2012.9977