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Old 09-20-2008, 02:30 PM   #1
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Breastfeeding and gallbladder surgery

Unfortunately, I am most likely going to have to have my gallbladder removed. (Thank you pg for gallstones! ). I am EBF DS, who is 7 weeks old. I am pumping occasionally to have a stash. DH thinks I should be pumping more b/c he knows someone who had the same surgery and her milk supply dropped drastically. Now, I have tried to explain to him that there are MANY variables with milk supply and that it doesn't mean it will happen with me. Just wanted to know if anyone had experience with this. I am planning on calling the LC before the surgery to see if there is anything "special" I need to do.

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Old 09-20-2008, 02:49 PM   #2
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Re: Breastfeeding and gallbladder surgery

Oh Sweetie,

I got chills when I read this. I had an emerg. gall removal when my DD was 4.5 weeks!! I too EBF and was REALLY worried!! I was on the phone from the ER at 5 am with midwives, lac consultants, and LLL Leaders trying to find out what needed to happen. I had a round of general anaesthesia and some morphine/dilaudid for pain mgmt. I also ended up back at the hospital 3 days later with a retained stone and acute pancreatitis!!

Be sure your doc checks your common duct for retained stones!!

As far as the BF...We found out that I didn't have to pump/dump hardly at all!!! I P/D for about 10 hours after the initial surgery/anesthesia. The amount of meds I was taking for pain was so minimal, .5-1 of dilaudid at a time, and over a short period of time that DD was not effected. WE DID A TON OF RESEARCH!! Google Dr. Thomas Hale. He has done the most comprehensive research on meds and BF. La Leche League's Breastfeeding Answer Book also gave the green light!

When I was P/D I pumped every 2-3 hours. My supply went down a tad but she had it back up 2 days later and she did not need to be supplemented during that time at all!! We made it through with the small amt I had pumped during engorgement! I also had to P/D a few days later due to a nuclear test they ran on me. That time I had friends pumping and feeding her instead of using formula. Thank goodness for my AMAZING community!!

A couple of things to check on:
  • Check the common bile duct during the surgery!
  • Ask if the antibiotics they are giving you are OK for BF

Recovering from the surgery wasn't so bad. I had a lot of shoulder pain from the gas they inflate your belly with. Other than that it has been fine. This is incredibly common in postpartum women...Go figure!

Sorry this is so long! I hope it helps. If you have any questions or want to talk about it some more please PM me!!
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:18 PM   #3
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Re: Breastfeeding and gallbladder surgery

I had my gallbladder removed when DS was 2mo old. The anesthesiologist said I didn't have to pump and dump at all and could continue BF right away. He said that the meds they use were so minimal and would never be high enough in BM to cause any harm to the baby. He said that this was all new research. I asked the LC about it and she said he knew what he was doing. I pumped as soon as I got out of surgery and did dump it. But after that I pump and saved. I had my cousin take the baby for the day so I could recoup and so DS was given a bottle for the 12 hr period but then I BF him. I do have to say though that you need support at home. It was very hard to pick him up and position him to eat. Definitely rest up at home a good 3-4 days. Good Luck and feel free to pm me if you have any other questions. HTH
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Old 09-20-2008, 06:20 PM   #4
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Re: Breastfeeding and gallbladder surgery

Also I was never put on antibiotics but did take percocets for the first day or two.
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:24 PM   #5
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Re: Breastfeeding and gallbladder surgery

I had to have an emergency gall bladder removed also when dd2 was only 2 weeks old. I was FREAKING out-I can't pump hardly at all and plus I was dealing with the reality that dd2 was going to have to take a bottle. My first dd had a REALLY tuff time with nipple confustion and it scared me to death.

Anyway many ppl had different opinions on how long I needed to Pump and dump well I ended up having about 1 full day to pump with the hospital grade pump and got about 5 bottles (2-3oz) each! YAY Anyway then I was told she didn't HAVE to have any bottles except for the first 5 hours after surgery.

So all of this to say: We ended up giving her 1 bottle RIGHT before I went to surgery and then 1 right after cuz I was pretty out of it. and needed to wait the five hours. By the time I got home I was able to feed her and all was well!

Also the first day in the hospital the did the thing where they went down my throat to find a stone and I was practically put to sleep;I was more sleepy after this than the actual surgery but I fed dd right after this while I slept, just make sure someone keeps an eye on the baby incase you fall into a deep sleep I did! Good luck momma, at least you've got time to be prepared for it!! ((hugs))
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Old 09-21-2008, 11:26 AM   #6
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Re: Breastfeeding and gallbladder surgery

Well the good news is you don't need to pump after general anesthesia as long as you are alert enough to nurse. If you can nurse then your baby can.

On the other hand, it would be wise to nurse as soon before the surgery as you can, and plan to have a bottle possibly during the surgery and once after, as you may feel like poop and not feel up to it. But no dumping required. Really.

I would go ahead and pump as much as you can until your surgery to boost your supply, and request that the painkillers and abx you receive are safe for nursing. Good luck!
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:15 PM   #7
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Re: Breastfeeding and gallbladder surgery

I had emergency gall bladder surgery when my daughter was 2 weeks old in Feb. I had to supplement with formula for a couple of days while I was on meds ( I had complications so it might not be days for you) because i didnt have much stored up at all. But I pumped every 2 hrs while I was on the meds and just dumped it to keep my milk supply up. Because of my complications my supply still dropped and it was really hard to get it back up again once i could feed her. I had my mom or husband bottle feed her while I pumped and pumped to get it back and i finally did get it back. I would recommend pumping as much as you can now so you have a supply and pump and dump if you are on meds to keep your supply up. I think most drs say you only have to pump and dump for 24hrs or so because of the anesthetic but of course check with your dr. Hope this helps. Good luck!
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