Nursing after a surgery?

Courtney - posted on 01/30/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )




My daughter will be 8mos when I have surgery (in a few weeks). I exclusively breastfeed right now and she will take my milk from a sippy cup (bottles have too slow of a flow for her). I am a little nervous that the general anesthetic will affect my milk supply. I am having my knee scoped, so it will be a quick surgery. I will try to pump as much as I can beforehand, but if I am in her sight, she will only want to nurse. Anyone else out there with a similar situation?


Jennifer - posted on 01/31/2010




angela, I am a breastfeeding councellor, a trained volunteer to help with breastfeeding. I have lots of texts to look the meds up in for you.

the anesthetic should not affect your supply. how long will your surgery be? usually, (almost always) it is safe to nurse as soon as you wake up from general anesthetic. if you can find out what meds will be used and post them here, I can look up those ones specifically.

think about moms who have to have a general for c-section because there is no time for the epidural. they nurse right away, no problem. your dd is not a newborn anymore. she is 8 months old so any effects would be even less.

unless your sugery is going to be very long, you probably do not have to pump ahead of time.

Minnie - posted on 01/30/2010




The drugs used in general anesthesia have a very quick half-life. By the time you are conscious the amount of drugs in your milk will be negligible. Consider this: infants DO have surgery, and the amount of anesthetic in their bodies during surgery is magnitudes greater than that in your milk.

I had general anesthesia when my daughter was four months old. My husband brouht her to me as soon as I was conscious, in fact, I wasn't even strong enough to sit or hold her, and I just snuggled her to me while lying down and nursed that way.

This one time occurance during which you will be unconcsious and your daughter won't be nursing isn't going to harm your production. Just nurse frequently afterwards.


View replies by

Erica - posted on 01/31/2010




I exclusively breastfeed and I had my wisdom teeth out. My girls went to daycare during the day and got pumped breastmilk. My doctor to me I had to pump and dump for my three daytime feeding but I could feed them again in the evening. (My appointment was at 8:00AM)

Angela - posted on 01/31/2010




Thank you all for everything you've said. I am going to check into this. From what I've read this morning, you are absolutely correct - I'm worrying for nothing. I'm going to contact a bc in this area.

Becky - posted on 01/30/2010




I am having gallbladder surgery on February 9 and went to the breastfeeding clinic here to talk to the doctor about breastfeeding after the surgery. She said what a couple of you have said - as soon as I am conscious and not feeling super drowsy, it is okay to breastfeed. She also said that it is okay to nurse while on painkillers like T3s or morphine - she said that if I am feeling them really strongly (like super drowsy or out of it) then I shouldn't nurse, because there would be a high concentration in my milk, but if not, then it is fine to nurse. I'm going to try to get by on just Advil or Tylenol though so that I don't even have to worry about it.

The doctor also said a lot of doctors and surgeons have no idea about breastfeeding safety, so Angela, I would definitely get a second opinion about nursing after your surgery. If there's a bfing clinic or hotline in your area, call and talk to them about it.

Danielle - posted on 01/30/2010




I was told to nurse right away afterwards. I did, and he was fine. You should be good!

Lise - posted on 01/30/2010




Angela Cone: Check out for advice on if you have to wait. Some doctors say that when there's no reason to wait.

Courtney - posted on 01/30/2010




Thanks for the responses! I feel much better about it and with my husband's help, I think it should be less stressful for both my daughter and me. I will just follow my first instinct, which is to nurse her. It just helps to hear it from other Moms too! Thanks so much!

Angela - posted on 01/30/2010




I'm glad you posted this... I'm having a hysterectomy in March. The doctor said that I should wait a couple of days after surgery to breastfeed. I'm having some of your same anxieties about her seeing me and wanting to nurse. I'm pumping like crazy to make sure I have enough milk to feed her while i'm in the hospital.

April - posted on 01/30/2010




I think you can nurse her. Your daughter is the best thing for your supply. After all, a c-section is major surgery too, but that doesn't stop most women from nursing. Women have higher pain thresholds than men for good reason..we're tough!!!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms