Maternal analgosedation and breastfeeding: guidance for the pediatrician

Karel Allegaert, Johannes N. van den Anker


As part of analgosedative treatment modalities after delivery (e.g. caesarean related pain, birth related trauma, pre-existing pain syndromes), mothers are treated with different analgosedatives that may also affect the nursing infant. This review aims to summarize the available knowledge on commonly prescribed analgosedatives (opioids, intravenous and inhalational anesthetics, benzodiazepines, non-opioid analgesics, and local anesthetics) during breastfeeding.

We propose that the use of systemic non-opioid analgesics, local anesthetics, inhalational or intravenous anesthetics is safe when mothers are nursing. When systemic opioids are used, we recommend pediatricians to consider clinical monitoring of the infant for sedation. The duration of maternal exposure (> 4 days) and the presence of maternal signs of somnolence are hereby of additional relevance. We encourage research groups to report on their specific observations and expertise in order to further validate the current practices and guidance.


breastfeeding; analgosedation; safety; opioids; neonatal abstinence syndrome

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