Breastfeeding and Anaesthesia

Around the time of birth, strong pain relief is often required, particularly following caesarian section. It is safe to use strong pain medications such as oxycodone and tramadol as prescribed whilst breastfeeding at this time for up to 3 days after delivery because the amount of these medications your newborn is actually exposed to is negligible.

If you require anaesthesia and stronger pain relief after this time whilst breastfeeding, it is best to discuss the requirements with your Anaesthetist. It is important to let your Anaesthetist know you are breastfeeding as it may require a change in medications used and expressing / discarding feeds for a period of time afterwards.

Paracetamol and anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen are safe to use whilst breastfeeding. The use of tramadol in this setting has also been well studied and is considered safe. If you are using stronger medications such as oxycodone, morphine or codeine containing medication, it is recommended you express & discard during this period and for 6 hours following the last dose. If in doubt, please contact one of your treating doctors.