Breastfeeding and pain medication following oral surgery

I will be undergoing oral surgery to have my wisdom teeth removed. The pain meds are strong, so I think I'll be unable to nurse my five-month-old son. Will I have enough milk for him after I'm off thr medication, or do I have to start weaning him now?

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Debbi Donovan

Debbi Donovan is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, as well as a retired La Leche League Leader. For more than a decade, Debbi... Read more

Wow, way to think ahead! But really there should be no reason to disrupt your nursing because of oral surgery. It is unlikely that the medication that will be used for pain relief will be contraindicated for short-term use while breastfeeding (in many cases, it's Tylenol with Codene which has been approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Dreugs for use while nursing.

As far as the surgery itself, if general anesthesia is used, it does not remain in your system, and you can nurse your little one as soon as you are awake and able to safely hold your baby. Keep in mind that anesthesia is used in the majority of births in this country, and breastfeeding is recommended immediately following delivery for the newborn (who is much more sensitive than a five month old to the medications used.)

Oral surgery can be painful, but you'll probaly take Tylenol with Codene for just a day or so. At that point, ibprofen can be used for pain relief.

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