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Breastfeeding after Surgery, and pain medication

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  • Breastfeeding after Surgery, and pain medication

    Tomorrow I am going in for a tonsillectomy, I still breastfeed my 13 month old 3 to 4 times a day. I will be given hydrocodone for pain relief after surgery to be taken every 4 hours. Is this safe? or is there another medication that I should request instead? I want to go in prepared, and what to do what's best for me and my son. Also how long after i wake up from anesthesia can I breastfeed? Any information would be greatly appreciated

  • #2
    Ashley Eustice,

    Hydrocodone is rated an L3-limited data-probably compatible. The amount that transfers into breast milk is 2.2-3.7% of your dose. We think short term use is probably ok if you do not exceed 40mg in 24 hours. We recommend taking the medication after nursing so you have a break before nursing again as the medication peaks in the breast milk in the first 2 hours after taking it. Monitor your infant for sedation, slowed breathing rate, apnea, pallor, poor feedings and constipation.
    We recommend waiting about 4 hours or until you are fully awake after general anesthesia the most common agents used are propofol, versed, fentanyl, a gas, a steroid and an antibiotic. We do not like Demerol as it has a long half-life.

    Sandra Lovato R.N.
    InfantRisk Center

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