Anesthesia and BFing Question

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krazykat's picture
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Anesthesia and BFing Question

I have to get my wisdom teeth taken out the first week of January and I will be under general anesthesia. I am still EBF DS. The dentist told me not to BF for 2 days that I need a stash saved up and to pump and dump during those days. From the literature I have read, that is kindof an outdated opinion. Do any of you ladies know anything more about anesthesia and Bfing? And WWYD in this situation? I am having a heck of a time getting DS to take a bottle and those two days are probably going to be terrible if I can't BF him. But on the other hand I don't want to do anything that could harm him either.

ETA: He did say that it was b/c of the anesthesia that he doesn't want me BFing. He normally gives a steroid afterwards, but said he's not going to give it to me b/c I am BFing. It just doesn't make sense that babies can be born to moms under general anesthesia and then they are encouraged to BF as soon as they are awake enough to do so....

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Dental Work and Breastfeeding
(x-rays, local anesthesia, sedation and more)

By Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC

Both x-rays and novocaine (and other drugs used for local anesthesia, such as bupivacaine and lidocaine) are considered to be compatible with breastfeeding.

Most medications used for oral and IV sedation are considered compatible with breastfeeding.

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation is also considered to be compatible with breastfeeding. It is virtually insoluble in the bloodstream, which means it goes from your brain to your lungs to the room air immediately after you stop breathing it in. Per Hale, "it is rapidly eliminated from the body due to rapid exchange with nitrogen via the pulmonary alveoli (within minutes). A rapid recovery generally occurs within 3-5 minutes... Ingestion of nitrous oxide orally via milk is unlikely." See Conscious Sedation for more information.

A mother who has wisdom tooth surgery should not need to interrupt breastfeeding at all (except during the surgery, of course). To minimize baby's exposure (and increase mom's comfort), mom can nurse just before she goes in for the procedure. There is no need to wait on breastfeeding afterwards or to pump and dump -- mom can nurse as soon as she feels alert enough to hold baby. See Breastfeeding when mom has surgery for more information on breastfeeding and general anesthesia.

There are many pain medications compatible with breastfeeding. See Pain medications and breastfeeding for more information.

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I would nurse after as long as you're up and comfortable with it.

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"Illiana" wrote:

Dental Work and Breastfeeding
(x-rays, local anesthesia, sedation and more)

By Kelly Bonyata, IBCLC

Both x-rays and novocaine (and other drugs used for local anesthesia, such as bupivacaine and lidocaine) are considered to be compatible with breastfeeding.

Most medications used for oral and IV sedation are considered compatible with breastfeeding.

Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) sedation is also considered to be compatible with breastfeeding. It is virtually insoluble in the bloodstream, which means it goes from your brain to your lungs to the room air immediately after you stop breathing it in. Per Hale, "it is rapidly eliminated from the body due to rapid exchange with nitrogen via the pulmonary alveoli (within minutes). A rapid recovery generally occurs within 3-5 minutes... Ingestion of nitrous oxide orally via milk is unlikely." See Conscious Sedation for more information.

A mother who has wisdom tooth surgery should not need to interrupt breastfeeding at all (except during the surgery, of course). To minimize baby's exposure (and increase mom's comfort), mom can nurse just before she goes in for the procedure. There is no need to wait on breastfeeding afterwards or to pump and dump -- mom can nurse as soon as she feels alert enough to hold baby. See Breastfeeding when mom has surgery for more information on breastfeeding and general anesthesia.

There are many pain medications compatible with breastfeeding. See Pain medications and breastfeeding for more information.

This, exactly! I would ask my dr exactly what drugs he will be using & look them up on Dr. Hale's website, and print it all out so he can stop giving bad advice to his patients. And if the procedure will be done in an office rather than a surgical center, then it'll probably be "conscious sedation" rather than "general anesthesia."

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I was going to link to Kellymom, but alas it was already done because you ladies rock. LOL Sooo that is my advice. Smile

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Ok thanks!! I just wanted some other opinions as this is exactly what I was thinking. I don't care to have the steroid anyways, and he did say that he is going to give me pain medication afterwards. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing anything as far as the gen. anesthesia.

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I was under general anesthesia for my daughter's birth (major fetal distress) and started breastfeeding as soon as I woke up. I would think the pain meds would be more an issue than the anesthesia.

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"heatherliz2002" wrote:

I was under general anesthesia for my daughter's birth (major fetal distress) and started breastfeeding as soon as I woke up. I would think the pain meds would be more an issue than the anesthesia.

Yeah I was under general anesthesia when I had DD and was encouraged to BF immediately, and did... that's why it wasn't making sense to me.

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What does your surgeon mean by general anesthesia? When I had mine out the oral surgeon gave me nitrous and loads of Novocain (or some other cain product). I had all 4 (all impacted) out at the same time. Also, I was given some intense pain meds (I don't remember what exactly, it was 10 years ago) but wound up not taking them because they made me nauseous and throwing up didn't seem appealing. Regular tylenol did the trick!

I hope it goes really well! Make sure to stock up on no-chew foods!

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I had to do a PET scan after DS was born and wasn't supposed to BF for 3 days. DS was about 2 months old at the time. I knew about it enough in advance and started storing up BM right away. We also paid a doula to come to my house and do the overnight feedings so that I could "pump and dump" at the same time.

Even with all that preparation, it was horrible! DS did not like the bottle and I hated pumping and dumping. DS and I were both super emotional Sad I finally just BF'd him at the end of the 2nd day and he turned out fine (so far so good right??)

If I were you I would do everything you could to be able to BF - not a fun experience IMO. Sounds like you got some great advice tho - and you should be fine to work it out!

I have to do another PET scan after Rese is born (I am currently in remission from cancer and they just don't like to let me go too long in between scans...) and I am not looking forward to it Sad

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"Shummel" wrote:

I had to do a PET scan after DS was born and wasn't supposed to BF for 3 days. DS was about 2 months old at the time. I knew about it enough in advance and started storing up BM right away. We also paid a doula to come to my house and do the overnight feedings so that I could "pump and dump" at the same time.

Even with all that preparation, it was horrible! DS did not like the bottle and I hated pumping and dumping. DS and I were both super emotional Sad I finally just BF'd him at the end of the 2nd day and he turned out fine (so far so good right??)

If I were you I would do everything you could to be able to BF - not a fun experience IMO. Sounds like you got some great advice tho - and you should be fine to work it out!

I have to do another PET scan after Rese is born (I am currently in remission from cancer and they just don't like to let me go too long in between scans...) and I am not looking forward to it Sad

The current thinking on PET scans is to avoid breastfeeding (as well as all close contact with the baby) for 8 hours after the scan. I can't remember the name of the radioactive stuff that I looked up on Dr. Hale's website, but I do remember looking it up for someone last year whose doctor gave her the 48 hours advice for a PET scan. Here's the new link to his website if you have that info & want to look it up, just click through as a guest:
http://www.infantrisk.org/content/webforum

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Thanks so much!!

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just for fun ask the dentist what meds EXACTLY he is giving you for the anethesia, then look them up too. Not sure what he would use that would be bad in comparison to what a hospital would use.....

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As the other posters have suggested, I would be breastfeeding immediately before and also right after the surgery. He's giving outdated advice for sure. As a nurse, I'm not aware of any medication needed for general anesthesia that would require pumping and dumping for that long (or at all honestly). Also, picture all of the narcotics that are given to women during labour that's taking a much more direct route to baby than through breastmilk, and also the strong pain medications that are often given to women after a c-section.

I vote that this doctor is not educated on breastfeeding.