When you are a breastfeeding mum, you want to make sure that nothing you eat, drink or do affects your breast milk or harms your little one. One common concern we have come across, is regarding breastfeeding after dental work.
Is it safe to breastfeed after a dental procedure? Let’s find out.
Breastfeeding after dental work: Is it safe?
The good news is that dental procedures and anaesthesia don’t impact breast milk. And you don’t have to pump and dump your breast milk after treatment.
X-Rays and pain relief medications used in dental procedures have zero or minimal effect on breast milk. According to studies, the most commonly used anaesthetic, lidocaine, doesn’t affect breast milk.
According to Dr. Thomas Hale (who researched and wrote Medications & Mother’s Milk, an international reference for evaluating medication use in breastfeeding mums), even bupivacaine, which lingers in the system longer than carbocaine or lidocaine, is safe since it’s milk levels are “zero".
This means that, even if you have to undergo a dental procedure for tooth removal, like wisdom tooth surgery, you do not have to stop breastfeeding at all.
There is no need to wait on breastfeeding afterwards or to pump and dump, the mummy can nurse as soon as she feels alert enough to hold the baby. To minimise the baby’s exposure, and to lessen the stress, the mum can nurse just before she goes in for the procedure.
If your dentist administers the oral sedative valium, you can resume feeding your baby as soon as you are awake from your sedation. Again, valium is safe since the levels of anesthetic in your breast milk after one dose is still considered minimal to zero. There is no need to pump and dump your breast milk.
Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is a commonly used inhalation agent for sedation, and also to reduce anxiety. It is considered to be compatible with breastfeeding too. The patient breathes the gas through a nasal mask. It works quickly and wears off quickly, making it a good choice for breastfeeding mothers. It is insoluble in the bloodstream, which means it does not enter your bloodstream. It goes from your brain to your lungs to the room air immediately after you stop breathing it in.
Meanwhile, if you need to have a dental procedure that requires medication later on, while breastfeeding, check with your dentist, personal physician and pediatrician to make sure it is safe for baby. According to experts, it is important to ensure that the antibiotics won’t hurt the baby.
To conclude, breastfeeding after dental work is generally considered safe. Most medications used for oral, inhalation and IV sedation are compatible with breastfeeding. They have no effect on milk supply and very minimal or no effect on the infant. But if you still have any concerns, you can always speak with your dentist.
Also READ: Are dental procedures safe during pregnancy?