Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2023

Document Type

DNP Project

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Beth McCoy

Project Team Faculty Member

Dr. Mary E. Zerlan


breastfeeding, perioperative, lactation, pharmacokinetics, multidisciplinary, bioavailability


Mother's milk is the optimal nutrition for the term and preterm neonates. The psychological and physiological stressors in the perioperative setting can impede a lactating mother's ability to breastfeed in the postoperative setting successfully. A best-practice guideline incorporating a stoplight color-coding chart and categories such as "safe," "caution," and "consider avoidance" was used to group medications according to their safety for anesthesia providers in a large urban academic medical center in Pennsylvania. The evidence-based guideline also provided links to the hospital policy, LactMed, and Hale database to streamline resources and aid in the rapid decision-making of anesthesia providers in identifying the safety profiles of common medications administered in the perioperative setting. The best practice guidelines were published on the anesthesia department website for improved accessibility. The post-implementation survey results demonstrated that anesthesia providers would use this best-practice guideline during their clinical decision-making to support lactating mothers to continue breastfeeding after surgery. There were no guidelines directed to the care of this patient population at the host facility prior to the implementation of this project. The long-term effectiveness of this guideline can be evaluated through repeated assessments of staff knowledge and improvement in patient satisfaction. Standard perioperative practice for breastfeeding patients by encouraging resuming breastfeeding as soon as the mother can safely hold the baby can optimize outcomes for the mother and the baby.

Keywords: breastfeeding, perioperative, lactation, pharmacokinetics, bioavailability

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Literature Review

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Conceptual Framework

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Project Methodology

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