Having surgery, what to do...

Elizabeth - posted on 10/16/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Alright, just want to get your take on this. I'm scheduled for a tonsillectomy in two months. I was originally scheduled for in two weeks, but I didn't think I'd have enough time to prepare so I was able to move it back. Is there somewhere I can find out what pain meds are okay to take while breastfeeding? They said I'd be laid out for two weeks I exclusively bf my 8 1/2 month old and plan to until she's two - otherwise I'd push it back more, but that's a long way and I need them out. I have a really hard time pumping, even when there's a lot of milk in there, it just doesn't like to come out on its own. It takes two hands to work on one breast and that isn't very fruitful. I'm already going out of town for a week and get back a few days before my scheduled surgery. So I'm trying to pump up and save up as much as I can for that. I'm afraid I won't have enough.

So basically, has anyone else had to be on pain meds? Do you know what will be safe so I can request a certain pain reliever?

Thank you

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Melissa - posted on 10/16/2010

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There are quite a few pain meds ok to take while bfing. Also, I can give you some info on when it's safe to bf after going under GA (I assume they are putting you out, right?)
Anesthesia meds and their ratings:
http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/anes...
Breastfeeding when mom has surgery by Kelly Bonyata IBCLC
http://www.kellymom.com/health/illness/m...
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.

Pain medications (ratings)
http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/pain...

Personally, I had percocet postpartum to help while healing from a tear, so my daughter was a newborn and did just fine with it. When she was older (12 mos or so) I had a horrible case of uvulitis (that dangly thing in the back of your throat) and took vicodin, and again she was fine. Just watch for any signs of constipation because it can slow down the digestive tract. I've also had rx strength ibuprofen and she was fine on that. Now, if the docs try to push you around and say it's not safe blah blah blah, you can print out info from Dr Thomas Hale's site even that show the actual research or ask them if they have looked the med up in Medications and Mother's milk (by Hale) or if they are just speaking out of ignorance (yes, I had to pull this on one ignorant MD). Docs of all kinds can be woefully misinformed or totally uninformed when it comes to bfing. The older your child is the more able they are to handle medications that might be "dangerous" for very young infants.

Oh, you might be on antibiotics or something so here's a list for those:"
http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/aap-...

And last but not least, this article might have some tips to help you pump a bit more for your trip:
http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/pumpi...

HTH

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4 Comments

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Fanchon - posted on 10/21/2010

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I breastfed my son who is now 3, but when he was 6 months old, I had to have my wisdom teeth removed and I was told that I couldn't bf after surgery bc of the meds. and anesthesia, so I introduced formula and pumped for 3 days like they told me. Well, to my dissappointment, I tried to nurse him after the meds were out of my system and he wanted nothing to do with the breast :( I wasn't ready and was so frustrated bc had I had support and knowledge I would've nursed him as soon as I could've. With my current baby, I had to have a major surgery on my neck to remove a cyst and I told my mom, that stayed with her to not give her formula but baby food or water in a bottle and she wouldn't take a bottle, she did take baby food through the night. The day after my surgery, I had the hospital bring me their pump and I pumped like crazy and nursed as soon as I got home and am still nursing and she's 13 months now. Just tell the anesthesiologist that you are bf'ing and you will be fine. People get anesthesia during childbirth and bf immediately after the baby's born. You will be fine. Check out Kellymom if you want more specifics on meds. Hope this helps :)

Jessyka - posted on 10/17/2010

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I was prescribed Motrin and Percocet after my C-section, and I breastfed the entire time.

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