Will planned c-section interfere with breastfeeding - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 04-11-2010, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 38w3d pg with my twins and will likely have a c-section bc baby A prefers the ass-first presentation. I was really upset about not pushing these kids out but have made my peace with the fact that I won't experience childbirth the way I had wanted. My OB is comfortable with letting me spontaneously go into labor up until I hit 40 weeks but wants to schedule my c-section for my 40-week due date. At first I thought there was no way I'd make it to 40 weeks but I have weekly NSTs and haven't been contracting at all and have been 1cm dilated for the past 3 weeks. It's starting to look like I may go the distance.

This is probably really dumb but I'm worried that if my body doesn't experience the hormones of labor, it won't know that the babies were born and I will struggle with breastfeeding. Did any of you have a planned c-section and breastfeed OK or not breastfeed OK?

TIA

welcomed my boy/girl twins on 04/22/10 after cooking them for 40 weeks
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#2 of 17 Old 04-11-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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You will here both sides of the coin from moms who have had c-sections. I am having my first planned c-section with my twins as well and plan to breastfeed. Your body will know the babies are born. The detachment of the placenta is what triggers your body to start producing prolactin (sp?) and thus milk. Since this happens in either a c-section or a vaginal delivery you will still make milk. I can't speak from personal experience since I have only had vaginal births up until this point but I have talked to several moms I know that have had c-sections. One said her milk did come in later and a few others said it actually came in quicker. For the mom who said hers came in later she had an emergency c-section and unfortunately both of her twins passed away as a result of prematurity. I wonder if her milk issues weren't more related to the stressfulness of the situation than the actual c-section itself. I personally plan to have the hospital lactation consultant visit me within a day of the babies birth just to go over any questions I might have as a result. I think the fact that you are at peace with the c-section (I'm still working on that) will help you to not have as much stress and your body will do fine when it comes to milk production. Stress definitely play a role so moms who had had emergency c-sections would probably be at a higher risks for nursing trouble.

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#3 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 07:17 AM
 
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I had a planned c-section -- sort of -- if you count finding out the night before-- at 38 weeks. Breastfeeding was no problem and no different from my previous natural births. Now, at 11 weeks post-partum, I'm basically a dairy cow.
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#4 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 09:41 AM
 
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I've had two previous vaginal births and a vaginal birth/emergency c-section with my twins and have noticed no difference in breastfeeding. My milk came in within 2-3 days and I have had no supply issues. I'm still nursing my almost 2 year old twins.

Karen - spouse to dh for 11 years, mama to ds (Nov '02), dd (May '05) and ds and dd (Jun '08)

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#5 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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I had what I call a "planned emergency". We found out on Thursday that I was going in on Sunday. This was my first pregnancy and I was quite worried, but my mother is a birthing coach and brought my pump to the hospital for me. As soon as I was out of recovery I started pumping. I pumped for 20 minutes on both sides, which started things. When they brought me D, the bigger baby, he nursed on his side for 10 minutes and 10 hours later I went to see R in the NICU and he nursed on his side for 10 minutes. I had a wonderful supply and nursed them exclusively for 18 months.

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#6 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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I also had a "planned emergency"! My boys were both transverse for the majority of the pregnancy and at my u/s at 34 weeks they still were. My OB was okay with waiting until I went into labor to make the final decision since many babies change position late in the game.

Breastfeeding went super well...I was able to nurse them in recovery. I have to say though that they were 3 & 4 for me. DH says I'm just a pro!

Valerie, wife to Kevin, mother to Elena (4), Jonathan (2), and twins, Andrew and Benjamin (2/2010)
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#7 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 04:14 PM
 
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I scheduled a c-section for my twin birth. If I were to do it over again I'd wait until closer to 40 weeks, as mine came at 38 weeks.

We did not have real difficulty nursing, beyond what new first time mom with twins should expect. I had good support from the hospital staff.

We did supplement one twin for about three days, and I'm not sure in retrospect how necessary it really was.

Good luck.

Twin boys (2/05) and little sister (10/07)
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#8 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 04:44 PM
 
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I have had two c-sections-- the first after 26 hours of labor, and the second planned with no labor. Honestly, breastfeeding was easier the second time-- partly because I had some experience, but also partly because I wasn't so exhausted afterwards. (With DD1, I hadn't slept for two full nights, by the time she was born.)

Difficulties you might run into with a section are numerous, but they can all be overcome. You might find positioning the baby difficult, if you are in pain post-op. Please do not hesitate to use the pain meds offered. Pain can inhibit milk letdown, and interfere with getting an effective latch, and make you spend less time nursing than is optimal. You might find the milk comes in a bit more slowly than average-- I've heard that sometimes happens. You might also find that baby seems to lose more weight than is normally considered acceptable, before starting to gain-- that's because they pump you full of IV fluids before the section. Baby gets the fluids too, and is born full of them and thus has a birthweight that is artificially high. The weight loss is normal and nothing to worry about. Finally, you may run into all of the other normal challenges that come up in the newborn period, but people may try and tell you it's because you had a c-section, rather than reassuring you that what's happening is common and normal. So it's good to look for knowledgeable help ahead of time-- a LLL leader, a good certified lactation consultant, or a pediatrician who's well-informed about breastfeeding difficulties.

Some mamas having planned sections have problems that are more related to mild prematurity-- like sluggishness and weak suck, for instance. So I think you are right to want to wait until you go into labor naturally or at least until you reach 40 weeks. A big full-term baby is less likely to have these problems.

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#9 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 07:53 PM
 
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Our twins were delivered at 40 weeks with a planned c-section because they'd both turned transverse. I never did get to experience labor. Since these are my first babies, I had no experience with breastfeeding and worried about the very same thing (especially since I wasn't leaking colostrum).

I asked not to be given anything during the surgery that might make me or the babies sleepy, and I made sure that my nurse knew I wanted to breastfeed them as soon as I could. My temperature dipped pretty low from the shock, but once it was back up to 97.5 they let me have the babies. With a lot of help and pillows, I got them both latched on.

Once I got to the room I was able to use my EZ2Nurse pillow, which made things a lot easier. The football hold is great for tandem nursing and c-sections. The next morning I asked to see the lactation consultant, just to make sure everything was looking good. My milk came in four days after they were born and I haven't had any problems making enough since. Lack of labor hormones didn't seem to be a problem at all. However, recovering from a c-section, planned or not, can make BFing tough. You'll want help getting the babies in position and latched well because you'll be weak and probably be dealing with a fair amount of pain.

Through all of the setbacks you may encounter, just remember that you can do it. Our exclusively breastfed twins are now rambunctious 4 month olds (it's taken me a year to write this post, thanks to the afternoon fussies) in the 50th and 80th percentiles for weight.
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#10 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thansk so much for the responses everyone. I feel better about potentially having to plan our section and not experiencing labor. I had another NST today and still am not having contractions. I can easily see these kids staying inside for the next week and a half. I'll remember to bring my giant twin nursing pillow w me to the hospital and make sure I get a lactation consultant to visit us as soon as possible.

welcomed my boy/girl twins on 04/22/10 after cooking them for 40 weeks
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#11 of 17 Old 04-12-2010, 10:15 PM
 
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If you're having your NSTs at the hospital, you may swing up to L&D and see if you can meet the lactation consultant ahead of time. I met ours months ahead because she attended LLL meetings and it was so nice to have a familiar face walk in - heck, she showed up on her day off because she called in and learned they were born.

I, too, had a c-section. The biggest help for me was getting out of bed as soon as possible. My c/s was in the middle of the night and when we woke up the next morning I asked for the catheter to be taken out so I could get up. Honestly, I think that was super helpful because it got my systems back up and going and I think it made the recovery pretty easy.

Good luck, it will all work out!

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#12 of 17 Old 04-13-2010, 01:20 PM
 
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I was very worried about this before my twins were born, but it turned out OK. Here's my 2 cents:

1. Nurse frequently (duh)
2. Keep yourself very hydrated
3. Take your pain meds if you need them. The amount that goes through to your breast milk is negligible. Pain, however, makes it hard to nurse.
4. I agree with the pp who said to get out of bed. This helped me too: I made them remove the IV and help me walk 12 hours after surgery. Some people would suggest the exact opposite, though.
5. Do not feel bad about making DH or staff help you position the babies or bring the babies to you whenever you want. The staff is there for a reason--ask for help when you need it.

Good luck! 38 weeks = awesome. You are probably going to have two big, healthy, excellent nursers.

Karen, mama to one toddler (9/07) and twin babies (10/09)
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#13 of 17 Old 04-13-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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My milk was slow to come in and my babes needed formula for a couple days. I kept up pumping every 3-4 hours during the day and 1X at night, and my supply was great once it came in.

Drink plenty of water. I added it up once and my boys were getting 1/2 gallon of milk a day from me. . . that means I needed to drink 1/2 gallon of water just for them! (roughly). (I was pumping and bottle feeding, so yes, I know how much I was feeding them.)

Get help lined up now. Then you already have phone numbers and names ready to go if you need them!! Also list people to help you with everything else too!!!! And keep it on the fridge until the twins are 2 years old!!

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#14 of 17 Old 04-14-2010, 10:55 AM
 
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Wondering how the OP is doing? She was due a few days ago!
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#15 of 17 Old 04-14-2010, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm still here and still gestating. I'll be 39 weeks tomorrow. We'll see the OB tomorrow and schedule the c-section for our 40-week due date, 4/22. If the kids hold out that long it'll be nice to have their birthday on Earth Day and if they jump out sooner, it'll be nice not to be pg anymore. I'm also going to ask for the hospital lactation consultant's 411 when I see the OB tomorrow too just so I can have a chance to make contact and give her a heads up that we will be there within the week.

Thanks for all the tips on this post and my other post about rooming in. These babies sure do like it in here. I never thought I'd carry them this long but I'm sure they are a lot easier to take care of in here than when they get out.

welcomed my boy/girl twins on 04/22/10 after cooking them for 40 weeks
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#16 of 17 Old 04-15-2010, 11:46 PM
 
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Yes and no. Being able to bend over, pee normally, and sleep on my stomach went a looong way. Good luck Mama! I'm still praying for ya that Baby A does a flip!
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#17 of 17 Old 04-20-2010, 10:19 AM
 
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I heard your milk will come in a little bit later with a c-section but otherwise, you shouldn't have any issues. Mine came in at 2 days pp with the twins, after my c/s so no difference for me! Good luck and congrats on carrying them so long!
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