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Is it safe to take pain medication if you're breastfeeding after a C-section?

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C-section, or cesarean section, is a surgery to deliver a baby through a cut in the mother’s belly and womb. You can start nursing almost right away. You probably got pain-numbing medicine, such as an epidural, during your C-section, but it isn’t likely to affect the baby much. She may be a bit sleepy, but that should pass and she should be eager to nurse. You may be tempted to ask your doctor to cut back on your pain medicine, but it’s important that you stay comfortable. Pain can mess with the hormone that helps you make milk. If you have any questions about how the drugs you’re given can affect breastfeeding, ask to speak to the hospital’s breastfeeding specialist.

SOURCES:

National Institute of Health: “What is a Cesarean Delivery?”

Mayo Clinic: “C-section What You Can Expect,” “C-section Recovery: What to Expect.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Breastfeeding After Cesarean Delivery.”

Kaiser Permanente: “Recovery After a Cesarean Birth.”

University of Rochester Medical Center Obstetrics Division: “Pain Management.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Cesarean Section.”

American Psychological Association: “What is postpartum depression & anxiety?”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on June 24, 2019

SOURCES:

National Institute of Health: “What is a Cesarean Delivery?”

Mayo Clinic: “C-section What You Can Expect,” “C-section Recovery: What to Expect.”

American Academy of Pediatrics: “Breastfeeding After Cesarean Delivery.”

Kaiser Permanente: “Recovery After a Cesarean Birth.”

University of Rochester Medical Center Obstetrics Division: “Pain Management.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Cesarean Section.”

American Psychological Association: “What is postpartum depression & anxiety?”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on June 24, 2019

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