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Infant preop fasting: Breast milk

There is agreement among most institutions that ingestion of clear fluids 2–3 h prior to general anesthesia is acceptable. Most also accept a 4 hour restriction for breast milk and a 6 hour restriction for nonhuman formula. There is great diversity among institutions regarding fasting for solids in children, with many restricting intake after midnight.

The current recommendation by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) for the minimum fasting period before surgery for breast milk is 4 hours.


  1. Practice guidelines for preoperative fasting and the use of pharmacologic agents to reduce the risk of pulmonary aspiration: application to healthy patients undergoing elective procedures: a report by the American Society of Anesthesiologist Task Force on Preoperative Fasting. Anesthesiology: 1999, 90(3);896-905 Link