Sometimes it is necessary to perform medical procedures on infants or young children that require to fast beforehand, mainly for procedures under sedation or anesthesia. These procedures include performing certain diagnostic tests that require immobility or are painful, certain treatments or surgical interventions. The main reason for recommending fasting is to avoid bronchoaspiration of regurgitated gastric contents with potentially serious consequences.
There are other procedures that do not require to fast before, even though in some practices they are still recommended, but in fact, it has been observed that many procedures that may be uncomfortable or uncomfortable for infants are much better perceived if they are performed while the infant is breastfeeding. Therefore, it is important to distinguish what those procedures are and to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies if they want to during certain procedures.
It’s important to know the indications for fasting because it can have important side effects, and it should only be required when it is deemed essential and for the minimum time necessary. Excessive fasting times cause great unnecessary discomfort to children and infants, as well as causing hypoglycemia and anxiety.
Questions may arise as to how to consider breastmilk and whether the same criteria apply to breastfed or formula-fed infants. We aim to clarify these doubts below through the following table of recommendations of various pediatric and anaesthesia guidelines.