Can postpartum breastfeeding mothers Safely undergo anesthesia? A knowledge and comfort assessment of CRNAs Pre- and Post-Education Presentation with cognitive aid adjunct

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Catherine Chantrill (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Terry Wicks

Abstract: Background: Uncertainty in providing anesthesia to breastfeeding patients has been a concern for anesthesia providers for many years. Hospitals lack written protocols and standard guidelines for breastfeeding patients receiving anesthesia care. Purpose: The purpose of this project was to improve the quality of anesthesia care provided to breastfeeding patients by identifying knowledge gaps and uneasiness in CRNAs providing anesthesia care to this patient population. Methods: The knowledge and comfort level of CRNAs providing anesthesia agents to breastfeeding patients were surveyed pre-and post-evidence-based education on safe anesthetic agents for breastfeeding patients and information specific to the safe resumption of breastfeeding after surgery. Results: The pre-and post-education survey data sets were not able to be compared because of the small sample size, so the results of each survey were evaluated independently. The pre-education survey results assessing CRNAs’ comfort levels resulted in 69% of CRNAs feeling comfortable caring for breastfeeding patients, and 64% answered the knowledge questions correctly. In the post-education survey, the comfort questions resulted in 65% of CRNAs responding that they are comfortable providing anesthesia care for breastfeeding patients, and 80% answered correctly to the knowledge assessment questions. 80% of CRNAs reported their practice changed after education was provided and 40% of CRNAs referenced the education materials and cognitive aid in their practice since the intervention. Conclusions: Breastfeeding patients can safely undergo anesthesia, there is no need to “pump and dump” breastmilk after anesthesia. It is safe to resume breastfeeding after anesthesia when the mother is awake enough to hold the infant. CRNAs have the means to make an impact by using current evidence-based guidelines when caring for and providing recommendations to breastfeeding patients.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2022
Breastfeeding after anesthesia, breastmilk, drug transfer, newborn, infant, lactation, postpartum breastfeeding, Relative Infant Dose, breastfeeding importance, reliable resources for breastfeeding mothers

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