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Can I Breastfeed After Local Anesthesia?

You may find yourself needing to undergo local anesthesia while breastfeeding. Some things cannot be avoided and it’s important to stay healthy and take care of yourself. You also want to make sure you are doing the best thing for your baby, too and may wonder can I breastfeed after local anesthesia?

Local anesthesia should not affect breastfeeding. Generally, once you are awake and alert enough to hold your baby you should be okay to continue to breastfeed.

Many women worry about breastfeeding after receiving local anesthesia for a surgical procedure. The literature suggests that certain types of local anesthetics (such as lidocaine and bupivacaine) do not affect milk production or infant nutrition.

What the research shows:

There aren’t a ton of studies that have been done on this topic. However, those that have been carried out suggest that it local anesthesia is compatible with breastfeeding, with no need to pump and dump.

This study states that, “…even if a nursing mother undergoes dental treatment with local anesthesia using lidocaine without adrenaline, she can safely continue breastfeeding.”

This study states, “With the exception of very rare allergic reactions, these levels of infant exposure are extremely low and of no toxicological significance. Nursing mothers receiving lignocaine for standard dental procedures can be advised that continuation of breast feeding is safe.”

If you are concerned at all you could pump or nurse right before your anesthesia in case you are too groggy and feeling too out of it to properly breastfeed for a while after. Contrary to popular belief- there is no need to pump and dump your breastmilk.

Talking with your medical provider before the procedure to know exactly what they will be using is a great course of action. You can get that information and call the Infant Risk hotline for more personalized suggestions.

As always do what you are comfortable with and consult your physician for any questions or concerns.


New to breastfeeding? Need a refresher for a second baby? Make sure you signup for “The Complete Online Breastfeeding Class“. This on demand class is designed to help you meet your breastfeeding goals.

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