Do pain medications given for labor affect breastfeeding? The short answer is yes, they could. Not for all women, but women with exposure to pain medications are more likely to have delayed onset of lactation. The delay could cause problems, supplementation, and higher cessation of breastfeeding.
Some will respond to such information with anger or protest. This information is not about making people feel bad. Being informed is good! If we choose to use these medications, we can use this knowledge to attempt to mitigate problems that may be caused.
We cover this in our breastfeeding class. We hope to stimulate discussion and let women make informed decisions. Sign up for the next one!