Breastfeeding after cesarean - any advice? - Mothering Forums
C-section Birth > Breastfeeding after cesarean - any advice?
RuthieJ's Avatar RuthieJ 11:50 AM 12-12-2012

My first two children were born vaginally and both breastfed.  Now I'm expecting my third child, but this birth will be a cesarean. Even though I'm an experienced breastfeeder (69 months in total!), I'm feeling anxious about potential problems breastfeeding after a cesarean.  I've heard the hospital is very much pro skin-to-skin, so that should help, but any advice from moms who have breastfed after a cesarean?



Escaping's Avatar Escaping 01:43 PM 12-12-2012
I had a planned c-section and had no problems. I had skin to skin immediately and was breastfeeding on my way out of the operating room. I was naked under the covers and my son was just tucked into my arms while they were wheeling me into the recovery room and one of the nurses said "you can feed him if you want"... with all of the excitement, that hadn't really occured to me yet lol so I adjusted him a bit and he latched just fine. If you're an experienced breastfeeder, you shouldn't have any problems. The baby in reality is nowhere near your incision and if you're laying down there isn't really much pain there anyway. At least that was my experience.
Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 02:50 PM 12-12-2012

My best advice is to find out what works for you. A lot of people will really push the football and/or side-lying positions. Neither of those works for me (football hold is just awkward and uncomfortable, and lying on my side hurts SO bad). I was really stubborn, and just stayed with what was working for us, but I've talked to at least one woman who gave up, because everybody told her football hold was easiest and she figured that if that didn't work, anything else would be worse.


CI Mama's Avatar CI Mama 03:03 PM 12-12-2012

yeahthat.gif What Storm Bride said. I also did not find the football hold helpful, but with the help of a really gentle & kind LC with a very natural approach, I found a way to other positions that were comfortable for me & worked for my baby.

 

I got a raging breast infection that took ages to heal, but I think that was mostly related to being totally exhausted & depleted after a 33-hour labor prior to my c-section and really having no reserves to use for my own healing.

 

I think that you should assume that everything is going to be fine! You are an experienced breastfeeder, and that will serve you really well. And if you have time to prepare for a c-section, rather than dealing with an emergency, that is also good. If things don't click right away, keep trying things and seeking help until something works.

 

Good luck & let us know how it goes!


CoBabyMaker's Avatar CoBabyMaker 03:17 PM 12-12-2012

You've gotten great advice so I mostly wanted to agree with the previous posters.  The baby isn't really too near your incision. I have never been comfortable with the football hold and just did a high cradle hold almost exclusively  (You know, know till they are older and you just do the "tame the climbing monkey hold" )  For me, I think the biggest thing was just early initiation.  You have done this before so just get the baby to breast as soon as possible.


blessedwithboys's Avatar blessedwithboys 04:29 PM 12-12-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

My best advice is to find out what works for you. A lot of people will really push the football and/or side-lying positions. Neither of those works for me (football hold is just awkward and uncomfortable, and lying on my side hurts SO bad). I was really stubborn, and just stayed with what was working for us, but I've talked to at least one woman who gave up, because everybody told her football hold was easiest and she figured that if that didn't work, anything else would be worse.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoBabyMaker View Post

You've gotten great advice so I mostly wanted to agree with the previous posters.  The baby isn't really too near your incision. I have never been comfortable with the football hold and just did a high cradle hold almost exclusively  (You know, know till they are older and you just do the "tame the climbing monkey hold" )  For me, I think the biggest thing was just early initiation.  You have done this before so just get the baby to breast as soon as possible.

Ditto these!


katelove's Avatar katelove 04:29 PM 12-12-2012
I haven't had any breastfeeding problems which were specifically related to my caesars. I fed both girls while I was still on the operating table which I'm sure helped.

I agree with the PPs who didn't like the football hold. I don't hate it but also didn't find it particularly useful or necessary. And I also found side-lying painful at first. Although, by the time I came home I could do it I think.

I recommend keeping on top of your pain with *regular* pain killers not just waiting til it really hurts. I took panadol and neurofen every 6 hours from the first day as well as narcotics for the first 3 days.

I also suggest using a folded blanket under your elbow instead of a pillow when you're in hospital. The blanket didn't compress like the pillow and gave me much better support.

All the best :-)
Sol_y_Paz's Avatar Sol_y_Paz 06:41 PM 12-12-2012

I did not nurse on the OR room table since I was way too shakey immediately afterwards.  My hospital was extremely pro BF and had many LC's.  I also made a sign for his plastic bassinet thing that stated he was EBF, no sugar/glucose, paci's, or bottles.   My milk did take awhile to come in.

 

I wish I had brought my own pillows.  Bring your boppy if you like using one.  


Storm Bride's Avatar Storm Bride 11:09 AM 12-13-2012

re: breastfeeding on the table.

 

I was only able to do this once, with my last c-section. (They told me I wouldn't be able to, but the L&D nurse who accompanied me from the prep room to the OR had other ideas. From a couple comments she made, I think she was a midwife in England, and she had a very AP kind of style. She said, "that baby sounds hungry? Want to try feeding her?" and then she and dh held her - upside down, with the top of her head pointed at my toes - to the breast.)

 

I managed to breastfeed all my children. The first was brutally hard - I had no solid food for days after the surgery, had never breastfed before, was completely messed up from all the drugs they gave me (anesthesia, then post-op morphine, then a sleeping pill), and we had a 14 hour separation before his first feeding at the breast. But, we made it happen. I found a definite correlation between ease of establishing breastfeeding, and how quickly I was able to try - the longer our post-op separation, the harder it was to get it going. My last two (the one I fed in OR was the last one, and ds2 nursed as soon as they got me into post-op) were, by far, the best, in terms of establishing breastfeeding promptly.


Amy@STL's Avatar Amy@STL 02:27 PM 12-13-2012
You should not have much problems. Just do some prep about different positions. Unlike other mamas here, my son was super long and I am not tall, so I did have trouble finding a position where he wouldnt touch my wound site and first few weeks I could hardly move. So just be prepared about that.
RuthieJ's Avatar RuthieJ 04:36 PM 12-14-2012

Thanks so much for the great advice.  I feel a lot better about it now having some tips to get ready.  I was anxious about having to use the football hold - the nurse tried to make me use that hold after my first child was born and I found it really awkward. So it is great to hear that it is not necessarily the only possibility.  Thanks again for sharing!


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