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Breastfeeding Baby - Surgery

(757) 668-7000

When a child has surgery, it can be a stressful time for the parents and the child. In most cases, the baby may be able to return to breastfeeding once he/she is awake enough to tolerate liquids.

  • In many cases, babies can breastfeed up to 4 hours before surgery. Check with your baby’s doctor to be sure.
  • You will most likely need to pump at least once during your baby’s procedure.
    • Medela® pumps and kits are available at CHKD. If you already have a Medela® pump kit, you may bring it to use on our pumps.
    • Bring a cooler or insulated lunch tote and frozen “blue ice” so you can save your milk.
    • If you have your own personal pump, feel free to bring it.
  • You may be able to resume breastfeeding in the recovery area once your baby has awakened from anesthesia. Ask your baby's nurse for a private area to pump or nurse.
  • Your baby may need time to recover and may not feel like nursing right away. Be patient and pump every 3 hours until your baby goes back to the breast.
  • Lactation consultants are available to assist you with all of your breastfeeding and pumping needs. Ask your baby’s nurse to contact lactation if needed.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 11/2017

(757) 668-7000