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Published on Oct 26, 2015
Medications used during labor can have a negative effect on breastfeeding.
Intrapartum drugs, including fentanyl administered via epidural and synthetic oxytocin, have been previously studied in relation to neonatal outcomes, especially breastfeeding, with conflicting results. We examined the normal neonatal behavior of suckling within the first hour after a vaginal birth while in skin-to-skin contact with mother in relation to these commonly used drugs. Suckling in the first hour after birth has been shown in other studies to increase desirable breastfeeding outcomes.
A strong inverse correlation was found between the amount and duration of exposure to epidural fentanyl and the amount of synthetic oxytocin against the likelihood of achieving suckling during the first hour after a vaginal birth.