A new study of more than 1,200 women suggests that those who receive epidural anesthesia during childbirth with the narcotic fentanyl may have trouble breastfeeding.
Women who got a fentanyl epidural reported more difficulty with breastfeeding in the first week early on, and they were also twice as likely to give up breastfeeding within the first six months.
Evidence from other research suggests that fentanyl can interfere with infants' ability to suckle.Experts recommend that babies be fed only breast milk for the first six months, and that partial breastfeeding continue until the baby is 1 year old.
Here's one more reason expectant mothers should reconsider an epidural. In addition to increasing your chances of needing a Cesarean section, it can cause problems with breastfeeding in both the short- and long-term.
Breastfeeding is one of the most important physical benefits you can provide your baby and to remove this as a possible option would be a serious reason to consider opting out for an epidural.
There is no doubt that breastfeeding is the best thing you can do to ensure your baby's better health as well as your own. If you have any question that breastfeeding is the best health option for your baby, I urge you to read an article I wrote that outlines the seven solid reasons for doing so, which include improving your baby's brain function and boosting their immune system.
As a result, formula-fed babies have higher rates of:
If, for whatever reason, you are simply unable to breastfeed then PLEASE avoid commercial infant formula, especially soy formula. You can use the infant fortification formula protocol I published a number of years ago.
On Vital Votes, reader Mary offers another perspective: