View Full Version : General anesthesia - kept breastfeeding! - long
08-30-2003, 09:43 AM
Hi, I know this won't affect many moms, but I thought I'd share my experience in case it helps anyone. I recently found out I had a malignant tumor on my arm which had to be removed. This meant surgery under general anesthesia and one night in the hospital. As I'm breastfeeding, I consulted Gwen's pediatrician, who said to pump and dump for 24 hours after the anesthesia.
We were very concerned about this, because she won't take liquid from any source but me (you can hear the screams down the street). Also, Gwen's significantly underweight, so we couldn't let her go that long without milk. We had several weeks of stress, trying all sorts of bottles and cups. Finally, after doing lots of research on the internet and not finding anything conclusive about known dangers from anesthesia, I called the anesthesiologist. They said it should be fine to nurse as soon as I woke up.
Once we decided to go against our ped's advice and breastfeed, it felt like this huge weight had been lifted! I had the surgery, and nursed Gwen about 4 hours later. We nursed on pretty much our normal schedule while I was in the hospital, and she and I both benefited from that interaction. We didn't notice any effects at all from the anesthesia or painkillers on Gwen. She didn't even seem extra sleepy.
I don't want to appear to give medical advice, but I did want to share my experience. For anyone facing a similar situation, good luck!
Missy, mom to Gwen 03/03
08-30-2003, 11:50 AM
I'm so glad that worked out for you! I had to pump and dump for 24 hours after a radioactive isotope test, and it was no fun! I had to try to feed James with a medicine dropper!
Best wishes for continued recovery!
Elizabeth, Mom to James, 9-20-02
08-30-2003, 12:34 PM
Thank you sooo much for this information. I need to have surgery for an umbilical hernia (mine, not my baby's, go figure) in a month or so. While it will be outpatient, I will have to go under light anesthesia and as DD is 8 months old (will be close to 10 by then), and has never taken a bottle, I was really stressing about what I was going to do. The surgeon that I talked to didn't really have any info about what I could and couldn't do. So basically it sounds like from your experience, I can just go have surgery and come home to nurse her. I may have to get her to take some sort of a bottle while I'm gone since she eats all the time, but it's a relief to know I won't have to listen to her scream the minute I get home from the hospital.
08-30-2003, 01:36 PM
Hope you are OK and recovering well. I had to have surgery when dd was 3 mths old and she wouldn't take a bottle either. I had a spinal anaesthetic with a light sedative ,not general but dh had dd at the hospital and I nursed as soon as I was taken to my room from recovery. I had pumped loads to give her but she wouldn't take it! Ped said I should pump and dump but the anaesthesiologist said she should be fine, he wouldn't prefer it but it would be OK.
She did just fine too ( I was hoping she'd be sleepier so I could rest, but she wasn't either!!)
Get well soon
08-30-2003, 06:46 PM
I also nursed after gall bladder surgery 14 years ago. I pumped and dumped for one feeding, then resumed as usual. There were no ill effects
08-30-2003, 07:07 PM
I received the same advice from an anesthesiologist. I had to go under general anesthesia when DS was 2 months old. I didn't have to stay the night though. I fed him as soon as I saw him, and did not pump and dump.
LOL, I was actually hoping some of the sleepy side effects might hit DS, but no such luck! :P
08-31-2003, 09:20 PM
I nursed after having general anesthesia when Ryden was six weeks old. I asked my Dr. about it beforehand and she said that it was fine and then I checked w/ the anesthesiologist just to make sure. He said he knew of no side effects other than some babies not liking the taste of the milk at that first feeding. And like most of your experiences, it didn't seem to make Ryden any sleepier. I on the other hand was groggy all day! Which really wasn't a bad thing :) I didn't use the painkillers even though I got the go ahead to use them while nursing, b/c they just made me feel too 'not w/ it'.
And I think it's great that you started this post! It didn't even occur to me to ask if anyone here had to deal w/ something like this when I was going through it. I was comfortable w/ my decision and the information I received from the Dr.'s, but getting reassurance from other mommies is always nice as well!
08-31-2003, 09:29 PM
I don't know how long your surgery will be, but we took Ryden to the hospital w/ us and I fed him right before I went into the surgery room to receive the anesthesia. My surgery wasn't long and I was able to feed him again when we got home, so I didn't have to miss any feedings and deal w/ engorgement and nobody had to go through the misery of trying to get him to take a bottle. We didn't check w/ the hospital first to make sure if it was okay if we brought Ryden b/c I didn't want to deal w/ anyone telling me no. All of the nurses were wonderful and they acted as if it was perfectly normal to have a baby there.
09-02-2003, 08:09 AM
I'm sorry to hear that you have to have surgery; it's never fun. One thing I would recommend is to tell everyone you see that day (surgeon, anesthesiologist, nurses) that you're breastfeeding, so they don't inadvertently give you something that would be bad for the baby. Good luck!
Missy, mom to Gwen 03/03
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