Can You Have Anesthetics While Breastfeeding?

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By Krystal Duhaney | Updated on Aug 25, 2023
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Yes, it is typically safe to have anesthetics while breastfeeding. Studies indicate that very small amounts of anesthetics can make their way into breast milk following administration. However, these quantities are usually too low to have any negative effects 1 on the breastfeeding baby.

Local anesthetics, such as those used in dental procedures or minor surgeries, are rapidly metabolized in the mother's body, further reducing the potential for any significant exposure to the infant. Similarly, general anesthetics, while more powerful, are still generally considered safe during breastfeeding due to their low concentrations in breast milk and rapid metabolism.

Although each case may vary depending on the specific anesthetics used and individual health factors, overall, anesthetics are considered compatible with breastfeeding. 

As always, it’s recommended to discuss this with your healthcare provider for personalized advice. But in general, there's no need to press the pause button on breastfeeding due to anesthetics.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

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  1. Benjamin Cobb, Renyu Liu, Elizabeth Valentine, and Onyi Onuoha"Breastfeeding after Anesthesia: A Review for Anesthesia Providers Regarding the Transfer of Medications into Breast Milk"National Library of Medicine, vol. 1, no. 2Sep 15, 2015, pp. 1–7.


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Updated on Aug 25, 2023

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Can You Have Anesthetics While Breastfeeding?

 Krystal Duhaney Profile Photo
By Krystal Duhaney | Updated on Aug 25, 2023
Image for article Can You Have Anesthetics While Breastfeeding?

Yes, it is typically safe to have anesthetics while breastfeeding. Studies indicate that very small amounts of anesthetics can make their way into breast milk following administration. However, these quantities are usually too low to have any negative effects 1 on the breastfeeding baby.

Local anesthetics, such as those used in dental procedures or minor surgeries, are rapidly metabolized in the mother's body, further reducing the potential for any significant exposure to the infant. Similarly, general anesthetics, while more powerful, are still generally considered safe during breastfeeding due to their low concentrations in breast milk and rapid metabolism.

Although each case may vary depending on the specific anesthetics used and individual health factors, overall, anesthetics are considered compatible with breastfeeding. 

As always, it’s recommended to discuss this with your healthcare provider for personalized advice. But in general, there's no need to press the pause button on breastfeeding due to anesthetics.

Pregnant woman holding her stomach on a bed with a plant in the background

Want evidence-based health & wellness advice for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum delivered to your inbox?

Your privacy is important to us. By subscribing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Expectful uses only high-quality sources, including academic research institutions, medical associations, and subject matter experts.

  1. Benjamin Cobb, Renyu Liu, Elizabeth Valentine, and Onyi Onuoha"Breastfeeding after Anesthesia: A Review for Anesthesia Providers Regarding the Transfer of Medications into Breast Milk"National Library of Medicine, vol. 1, no. 2Sep 15, 2015, pp. 1–7.


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