Anes­the­sia and the New Mom

Stanstead Journal - - OBITUARIES -

(NAPSA)-There could be good news for new moth­ers-and their ba­bies-at what might be an anx­ious time. Many moth­ers agree that there are myr­iad ben­e­fits as­so­ci­ated with breast­feed­ing an in­fant. When the mother is faced with surgery, how­ever, she may ques­tion whether the breast­feed­ing should stop. In ad­di­tion to the lo­gis­ti­cal dif­fi­culty of breast­feed­ing when a new mother is ad­mit­ted to the hospi­tal, there may be con­cerns about the med­i­ca­tions the mother could re­ceive. Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Nurse Anes­thetists (AANA), most anes­thetic drugs are safe for use dur­ing lac­ta­tion, and typ­i­cally only 1 to 2 per­cent of such med­i­ca­tions given to the mother ap­pear in breast milk-not enough to harm a baby. “Many stud­ies have found that the use of gen­eral anes­the­sia and most com­monly used med­i­ca­tions for pain re­lief are safe and should not in­ter­fere with breast­feed­ing be­cause only min­i­mal traces of the anes­thetic are passed on through the breast milk,” said AANA Pres­i­dent Jan­ice Izlar, CRNA, DNAP. “A nurs­ing mother should be al­lowed to breast­feed as soon as she is awake and aware af­ter gen­eral anes­the­sia.” More In­for­ma­tion About Breast­feed­ing and Anes­the­sia

Most med­i­ca­tions used in gen­eral anes­the­sia do not re­main in the mother’s sys­tem and do not af­fect her milk. Pain sup­presses lac­ta­tion. Proper pain re­lief will help lac­ta­tion con­tinue. Nearly all pain med­i­ca­tions are safe for the nurs­ing mother. Ac­etaminophen (such as Tylenol) and ibupro­fen (such as Advil) are safe. Nar­cotic anal­gesics should be used with greater cau­tion, but in gen­eral only very small amounts ap­pear in breast milk. Mor­phine has been shown to have the least ef­fect of all nar­cotics on in­fants. Codeine should be used with cau­tion but other med­i­ca­tions are eas­ily sub­sti­tuted for it. De­merol may cause some drowsi­ness in an in­fant but is gen­er­ally con­sid­ered safe. New moms who need anes­the­sia for surgery or an­other pro­ce­dure should al­ways con­sult an anes­the­sia pro­fes­sional about their spe­cific sit­u­a­tion. There are ex­cep­tions to ev­ery rule and there may be other con­sid­er­a­tions to think about. De­cid­ing whether to con­tinue breast­feed­ing is about weigh­ing both the risks and the ben­e­fits af­ter re­ceiv­ing proper guid­ance.

New moth­ers fac­ing surgery may be re­lieved by a few facts about anes­the­sia.

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