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Does intraspinal analgesia affect breastfeeding?

2021.12.13 / Monday
Does intraspinal analgesia affect breastfeeding?

Before answering whether intraspinal labor analgesia will affect breastfeeding, we need to first understand what breastfeeding is and what are the advantages of breastfeeding.

There is enough research data to show that insisting on breastfeeding is one of the most effective measures to ensure the healthy growth of babies.

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave the best breastfeeding recommendations. The mothers should start exclusive breastfeeding within 1 hour after delivery for at least six months, and then mixed breastfeeding until their children are 2 years old and above.

Studies have shown that both infants and mothers can benefit from breastfeeding.

For babies, breast milk contains sufficient nutrients for physical development. In addition, breast milk contains antibodies to some common diseases, which can ensure the healthy development of babies;

At the same time, data supports that breastfed babies have a greatly reduced probability of sudden infant death syndrome, and the risk of severe respiratory infections, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and childhood leukemia is reduced;

In addition, breast milk can also promote better brain development in infants. Teenagers who receive breastfeeding during infancy have higher IQ scores than children who do not receive breastfeeding.

For mothers, breastfeeding also has many benefits:

In the early stage, it can strengthen uterine contractions to reduce bleeding, accelerate weight recovery and improve body shape, and reduce the risk of postpartum depression; long-term reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, endometrial cancer and type 2 diabetes.

In recent years, many academic papers have supported that intraspinal analgesia is the most effective technique among a variety of labor analgesia. Intraspinal analgesia can safely and effectively relieve maternal pain during labor and improve maternal labor satisfaction.

But so far, there has not been any conclusion on the relationship between intraspinal analgesia and breastfeeding. However, in general, it is relative to a clear maternal race, social class, breastfeeding willingness, community traditions and support, and time of delivery. 

Intervention and other aspects have an impact on the outcome of breastfeeding, and the effect of intraspinal labor analgesia on breastfeeding may be minimal.

As an anesthesiologist, one should not refrain from intraspinal labor analgesia due to concerns about the effects of anesthesia on breastfeeding. 

The management of analgesia during and after delivery should be optimized and the postpartum rehabilitation program should be improved to provide more support for breastfeeding.