Including fentanyl in epidural pain regimen does not affect breastfeeding success post-delivery

A study, published in Anesthesiology, shows  using fentanyl in the epidural pain relief solution does not hinder success of breastfeeding in the six weeks following delivery.

Researchers examined 345 women, who were randomly assigned to receive one of the following epidural solutions

●    Bupivacaine alone
●    Bupivacaine plus 1 microgram per milliliter of fentanyl
●    Bupivacaine plus 2 microgram per milliliter of fentanyl

All the women were more than 38 weeks pregnant, planned to breastfeed, had successfully breastfed a prior infant and had received an epidural during a past labor.

Researchers found the frequency of breastfeeding at six weeks was 97 percent in those receiving bupivacaine alone, 98 percent in those receiving the solution with 1 microgram per milliliter of fentanyl and 94 percent in those receiving the solution with 2 microgram per milliliter of fentanyl.

"We found that when fentanyl is used in moderate amounts in an epidural solution, we did not see any adverse consequences in breastfeeding in women who had planned to breastfeed and had done so successfully before," said Robert J. McCarthy, PharmD, research professor of anesthesiology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and lead study author.

More articles on healthcare quality: 
CDC names winners of 2017 Million Hearts Hypertension Control Challenge 
Joint Commission releases 2017 quality, safety report: 3 takeaways 
OIG: Minnesota did not comply with federal requirements for home care programs

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