Nursing after C-section - getting off to a good start - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 02-25-2014, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have any good tips or suggestions for facilitating a good nursing relationship after a c-section?  I've had two already, and nursing went well after the first one and poorly after the second.


After two previous surgeries, you would think I would know what to expect, but things have apparently changed a lot.  My older children are 24 and 18, and I had two "drive-by" c-sections with them in which I was home from the hospital 18 to 24 hours after the birth.  I understand that they have you stay a bit longer now.  :)  Anyway, this time around I have placenta previa, so here we go again.


C-section #1 came after an induction with pitocin and an epidural, and nursing went well - I was able to sit up, use the football hold, etc.


C-section #2 was a failed VBAC/natural birth, so I hadn't had an epidural, and they gave me something else - a spinal block - which only involved one shot.  The problem with this is that (according to what they told me, anyway) you can't sit up for some period of time after getting this spinal or you'll get a terrible migraine, so I had to start nursing lying flat on my back, and my baby developed a bad latch.  


My current OB wants to use a spinal block for this c-section.  I'm not worried about anything that takes place on the other side of the drapes, so to speak - I trust his judgement down there - but I want to get nursing off to a good start.


Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for facilitating a good start to nursing under these circumstances?  Should I insist on the epidural instead of the spinal?  What were your experiences?



So...I'm 43 and pregnant with #3 - how'd that happen?  


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#2 of 5 Old 02-25-2014, 04:57 PM
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I would ask your doctor if they could place the baby skin to skin with you after it is born and how soon you can nurse. The sooner you can nurse, the better. I would also ask if they could delay giving the baby a bath until after you nurse. Babies use smell to recognize their moms and the amniotic fluid on their skin is an important smell for them. I hope you have a great birth!

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#3 of 5 Old 02-26-2014, 06:20 AM
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You don't need to lie flat after a spinal block. Maybe you did 18 years ago (? different technique) but you definitely don't now.

I have had two caesars and am currently breastfeeding a 3.75yo and a 15mo. With both girls I had them skin-to-skin and feeding within 10 minutes. I just ripped the centre of my gown and opened it up. Then either DH or the midwife helped me unwrap them and put them on my chest. Once they were positioned they were pretty secure.

I had both of them in recovery with me and both fed well there. Then, back in the ward I bed-shared and demand fed DD1. DD2 was in special care for the first 36hrs but was still demand fed. As soon as I got her back we bed-shared as well.

I had horrible problems with DD1's attachment - bleeding nipples, thrush, mastitis were mostly resolved by 6 weeks but the pain lasted for 6 months. And I don't think her latch has ever been really good. Maybe a mouth shape issue? I don't know. A speech therapist friend eventually diagnosed poor tongue positioning and exercises resolved it. So I'd suggest getting help early if you have pain.

With DD2 I had some tenderness at first but totally sorted by 2 weeks and nothing like the first time. Turns out she has a lip tie but it didn't affect her feeding. We only found out when we were at the dentist with them and the dental tech pointed it out as the cause of her gappy teeth.

With both of them I made sure I rested *a lot* for the first 6 weeks. Fed them, fed myself, not much else :-)

All the best. It's definitely possible to have a good breastfeeding relationship post-caesar.

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#4 of 5 Old 02-27-2014, 05:08 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been looking up people's experiences at the only hospital my OB delivers at, and it's not encouraging - they take your baby away after delivery and you see her again between one and three hours later, on average - she has to stay in some kind of warmer until she proves she can maintain her body temperature, apparently.  I am NOT ok with this - it's so discouraging, I want to cry.  I feel like my baby deserves better.

So...I'm 43 and pregnant with #3 - how'd that happen?  


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#5 of 5 Old 03-11-2014, 04:57 PM
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Yikes, I am so sorry.  I am almost 42 and pg with number 5.  I call him the anniversery baby.  lol


Anyway, I would either switch doctors or have a detailed birth plan that states they will not take the baby away.


I just finished my c-section birth plan.  I will post it soon.  Maybe it will give you some tips.  But I really would try to find a hospital that will deal with you and respect you.  Not one that will call CPS on you and not respect your fundemental rights.


I pray that you will be lead to find the right doc and place to birth if that is what you choose to do.  If not I pray they will respect you.

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