Epidurals Affect a Mom's Ability to Breastfeed
January 06, 2007
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.