VBAC or breastfeed? Long. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 51 Old 09-22-2006, 05:59 PM
 
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It's so wonderful that you are able to get such great advice and info from the moms here. I wish you the best. The only thing I would add is to REALLY consider homebirth... I'm almost positive you could get it done for a similar out of pocket expense, and wouldn't it be sooo much better for you & your babe in the long run? I'm not an expert, so I don't want to say too much. I'm just nervous for you in any hospital b/c I don't want you to be disappointed or have probs. A book I would suggest - "How to raise a healthy child in spite of your Dr." by Mendelsohn (sp?). Also, a birthing class would probably help a lot. I did the Marie Mongan Hypnobirthing and it was wonderful!! Please keep us posted!!

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#32 of 51 Old 09-22-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Hi everyone, I'm another lurker, but since finances are an issue for the OP, I just wanted to throw out the idea of finding a doula who is working on her certification...a few of my friends recently got certified, and as part of the process had to attend three births...for free! This way you get a doula at no cost, which will help you have your VBAC (of course, her experience is more limited, but she has training...), and you can help the doula get some great experience at the same time.
Best luck to you, and not to push the topic too much, but if homebirth sounds at all interesting to you, there are ways to "encourage" insurance companies to pay...

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#33 of 51 Old 09-22-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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Given the hospital in question, there's a good change that many doulas in town won't consider working with her. It is a very unfriendly hospital.

-Angela
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#34 of 51 Old 09-22-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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courtenay_e, I did exactly what you suggested w/ DS: I stayed home throughout my labor. I started Monday and went into the hospital on Friday. I had a regular doc visit that Tuesday, but since I had just started labor, it was just a visit. But, once at the hospital, they told me I had to stay and I believed them. It went downhill from there.

BTW, I didn't try to feed on a schedule, but thinking back, it may have turned out as less than on demand. I wasn't trying to do that, but DS's signals were hard for me to read at first b/c he cried about a lot of things (the sensory stuff, I've since learned).
Sounds like you had some prodromal labor if it started monday and you went in on Friday. Prodromal labor isn't active labor, and is VERY hard to bear and can make you really EXHAUSTED. I know, I've experienced it. Twice. A doula would really be a great help in this situation. As I mentioned before, actually, in your situation in general. I agree with pp, and suggest that you contact the doula training organizations (www.alace.org, dona.com, childbirthinternational.com, just to name a few)and find the doulas in training in your area, as well as the experienced ones, so you can call and see if they'll work with you on a sliding scale. I have a hard time believing that there are doulas out there who would let you "go it alone" rather than doing a sliding scale, but perhaps I'm just projecting my work ethic on others...I know, though, that most of the doulas in my area would work something out with you. Too, I am a very stubborn woman, so the less doula and natural birth friendly the atmostphere, the more "on" I am. Yes, GET OUT if you can. If you can't, keep looking for a doula until you find one who'll support you. And, I'd really suggest an experienced one with a sliding scale if you can find her, if you have to stay where you are. She may need all her experience to get you through in such a negative atmosphere.

Are you drinking Red Raspberry Leaf tea? It will help your uterus to tone and make the contractions more efficient when the time comes...making the prodromal labor less likely and less long in the entirety. Also, good nutrition, great exercise, and being VERY conscious of taking time for relaxation EVERY DAY can help to stave it off. The better shape YOU are in, the better shape your uterine muscles are in. Part of the trouble caused by prodromal labor is that most moms who experience it in a "block" think of "labor" as days and days (I had six weeks of it...), when the ACTIVE labor stage is actually only a very small part of it. A doula can be really good at helping you to do life and stop paying attention to the ctx until you really HAVE to. Doing life until you absolutely have to pay attention to only contractions and resting between them is really important. Bradley classes help you practice this, too.

Did you, by any chance, wear your baby and co-sleep? Wearing your baby and co-sleeping cause the baby to nurse more frequently (some babies who are worn constantly nurse as frequently as every fifteen minutes...I found that my daughter nursed about every twenty, but it was no big deal, as when I wore her, I could still go about my every day activities while she nursed). Nursing more frequently will better stimulate the milk supply, as will co-sleeping (prolactin, the milk production hormone, is highest at night, so babies who co-sleep and smell their moms more and nurse more take advantage of more prolactin, which causes higher production of milk).

Also, there's a mom in our area who belongs to mdc who's in law school. She has some classes which I understand she's allowed to bring the nursling into. For the ones where she can't, I understand that a family member brings the baby to her during breaks to nurse. Do you have family around who could help out in this manner? Stimulating the breast with suckling is MUCH more effective for milk production than pumping, for many women.

I think that's everything I wanted to remember. Take care. It's great that you're being so proactive.

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#35 of 51 Old 09-22-2006, 11:07 PM
 
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Oh, yes, the "on demand" thing, I was going to say: You should offer the breast every time he mouths something, licks his lips, fusses, hiccups, whatever. First check the baby's pants (but with a breastfeeder, you're unlikely to have a surprise poop!), but then offer the breast! It's physically impossible to overfeed a breastfed baby. They self regulate and simply turn away if they're not needing to nurse. And, no, you won't spoil them, either. Often, and I found this especially with my easily overtimulated baby, nursing cures all that ails. If they're thirsty, they can nurse. If they're tired, they can nurse (breastmilk has a sleep inducer in it!)...and by all means! If the baby is still latched on when they fall to sleep, PLEASE don't latch them off. I promise that, EVENTUALLY, when they're done, they'll unlatch themselves! It is very common for a breastfed baby to feed and sleep at the same time. Even those tiny little flutter sucks are getting milk and stimulating the milk glands! If they're overstimulated, nursing will often calm them. THink about it. The baby is looking at YOU, away from all the broo-ha-ha that's causing them distress. The baby is suckling, which causes you to release relaxin, which helps to de-stress them. You two make your own little universe, away from what is ailing them. ESPECIALLY if you're using a sling or a wrap! So, part of the trick in "figuring out their cries?" Nursing often fixes it, whatever "it" is. Sometimes it doesn't, but you should always keep it as one of your VERY first lines of defense! ESPECIALLY if you had low milk supply last time! Again, LLL is a fabulous resource. And they're FREE! PLEASE avail yourself of them!

Okay. Off my soap box. Hope some of that helped, too.

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#36 of 51 Old 09-22-2006, 11:18 PM
 
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courtenay_e, you are a wise wise woman, and officially my new hero.

"Gee, thanks!" she says, while sitting in her oversized sweatshirt, with sleepy-ruffled hair, and stripedy jammie bottoms, drinking her reheated tea.

I'm just somebody who is very passionate about changing our birth culture, really. I've had great teachers, too...the mamas right here on this board, included!

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#37 of 51 Old 09-23-2006, 06:42 AM
 
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I can't afford much in the way of outside help, like a midwife or doula, on my own; we just aren't in that position right now. But, I do plan on looking into sliding scale doulas, if there are any in my neck of the woods.
I would encourage you to do anything and everything to have a doula. I know how hard it is- I'm a single college student so I wasn't in any position to afford one either, but having my doula there was the single best thing I did to ensure the birth I wanted. My doula worked on a sliding scale and allowed me to make payments over an extended period, and another doula I had interviewed was just starting out and was very inexpensive.
Good luck!
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#38 of 51 Old 09-23-2006, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We co-slept, and I baby wore (is that a term?), but the bjorn, not a sling. I couldn't get the hang of it enough to where DS wasn't screaming when I put him in it. I tried to tighten it as much as possible, but he would scream his head off because he felt too loose. But, I held him all the time and used the carrier only when I needed my hands.

The prodromal labor thing sounds right. I had back labor the whole time, and I took it as long as I could, but DH was little to no help (refused to read any birthing literature and only went to the birthing class with me to humor me). He was paralyzed by fear by the time we got to the hospital. I think he thinks childbirth is something the professionals will tell you how to do.

This time, I mentioned a doula last night and he says if that's what it takes for me to feel comfortable, then we'll make it happen. He said since I'm the one giving birth, he's okay with whatever decisions I make.

Personally, I would feel better having a VBAC in a hospital setting in case something goes wrong. As in a rupture. I just feel better knowing that if I'm in that tiny percentage, my babe will be fine. I am looking into another doc and another hospital, though, just because I really want a doula and if Woman's is why I won't get one, I don't want to be there, y'know?

I'll find raspberry leaf tea and I've already got a book/dvd on prenatal yoga that I've been getting into. I was walking a lot in my first tri and I went through this exhausted phase and that's lifting, so I'm excited about moving into the yoga (I did some yoga before the pregnancy). I'm also watching what I eat and this pregnancy seems to be more in line w/ weight gain than my first one (I gained 50 lbs w/ DS - he's a carb man ).

eva
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#39 of 51 Old 09-23-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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Personally, I would feel better having a VBAC in a hospital setting in case something goes wrong. As in a rupture. I just feel better knowing that if I'm in that tiny percentage, my babe will be fine. I am looking into another doc and another hospital, though, just because I really want a doula and if Woman's is why I won't get one, I don't want to be there, y'know?

There is nothing that shows that VBAC in a hospital is safer, and several reasons that make it more dangerous.

-Angela
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#40 of 51 Old 09-23-2006, 05:37 PM
 
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I'm chiming in here late...

despite 2 sections (due to 2 footling breech babies) I have never had an instant of problem with breastfeeding...not even so much as thrush. Never a supply issue (unless you count over supply), nothing... I nursed in recovery immediately upon exiting the operating room. My husband held the baby skin-to-skin while I was being sutured. I roomed in and did not allow them to the take the baby AT ALL, not even for a hearing test.

I think VBAC's are important. I attempted one (a homebirth) but it too went down the pike. There is no reason to expect that you will definately have supply issues this time with a VBAC. It isn't one or the other. BUT, if you do decide to have a repeat section, this WILL NOT prevent you from having a good nursing relationship lasting many years. My ds nursed for 2.75 years. My daughter is 1 year old and still going strong.

Good luck to you,
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#41 of 51 Old 09-23-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by courtenay_e View Post
Oh, yes, the "on demand" thing, I was going to say: You should offer the breast every time he mouths something, licks his lips, fusses, hiccups, whatever. First check the baby's pants (but with a breastfeeder, you're unlikely to have a surprise poop!), but then offer the breast! It's physically impossible to overfeed a breastfed baby. They self regulate and simply turn away if they're not needing to nurse. And, no, you won't spoil them, either. Often, and I found this especially with my easily overtimulated baby, nursing cures all that ails. If they're thirsty, they can nurse. If they're tired, they can nurse (breastmilk has a sleep inducer in it!)...and by all means! If the baby is still latched on when they fall to sleep, PLEASE don't latch them off. I promise that, EVENTUALLY, when they're done, they'll unlatch themselves! It is very common for a breastfed baby to feed and sleep at the same time. Even those tiny little flutter sucks are getting milk and stimulating the milk glands! If they're overstimulated, nursing will often calm them. THink about it. The baby is looking at YOU, away from all the broo-ha-ha that's causing them distress. The baby is suckling, which causes you to release relaxin, which helps to de-stress them. You two make your own little universe, away from what is ailing them. ESPECIALLY if you're using a sling or a wrap! So, part of the trick in "figuring out their cries?" Nursing often fixes it, whatever "it" is. Sometimes it doesn't, but you should always keep it as one of your VERY first lines of defense! ESPECIALLY if you had low milk supply last time! Again, LLL is a fabulous resource. And they're FREE! PLEASE avail yourself of them!

Okay. Off my soap box. Hope some of that helped, too.
I totally agree with that post. My children were rarely OFF the breast for the first three months...

Marie
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#42 of 51 Old 09-23-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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I don't see any reason why you can't try for a VBAC and breastfeed successfully. I'd get a second opinion from either another OB and/or a midwife to see if you might get some different advise from what you already have been told. Is there a reason why your dr said you must go into labour by your due date? Tons of women go over and this shouldn't really affect your chances of having a successful VBAC... I do feel for you for your time-off dilema... maybe you could talk to your school as giving birth is not exactly the same as just taking some time off? Luckily you do have some time on your side... good luck with everything.
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#43 of 51 Old 09-23-2006, 10:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by egfmba View Post
We co-slept, and I baby wore (is that a term?), but the bjorn, not a sling. I couldn't get the hang of it enough to where DS wasn't screaming when I put him in it. I tried to tighten it as much as possible, but he would scream his head off because he felt too loose. But, I held him all the time and used the carrier only when I needed my hands.

The prodromal labor thing sounds right. I had back labor the whole time, and I took it as long as I could, but DH was little to no help (refused to read any birthing literature and only went to the birthing class with me to humor me). He was paralyzed by fear by the time we got to the hospital. I think he thinks childbirth is something the professionals will tell you how to do.

This time, I mentioned a doula last night and he says if that's what it takes for me to feel comfortable, then we'll make it happen. He said since I'm the one giving birth, he's okay with whatever decisions I make.

Personally, I would feel better having a VBAC in a hospital setting in case something goes wrong. As in a rupture. I just feel better knowing that if I'm in that tiny percentage, my babe will be fine. I am looking into another doc and another hospital, though, just because I really want a doula and if Woman's is why I won't get one, I don't want to be there, y'know?

I'll find raspberry leaf tea and I've already got a book/dvd on prenatal yoga that I've been getting into. I was walking a lot in my first tri and I went through this exhausted phase and that's lifting, so I'm excited about moving into the yoga (I did some yoga before the pregnancy). I'm also watching what I eat and this pregnancy seems to be more in line w/ weight gain than my first one (I gained 50 lbs w/ DS - he's a carb man ).

eva

It sounds as if you're starting off right! I am so glad that your husband has agreed to make a doula work. It will make him so much more at ease...

Oh, I reiterate, especially because you mentioned the back labor, please go to the spinning babies site (anyone? I think it's www.spinningbabies.com) and read and implement their suggestions. One that I often give my clients is to get the birth ball, get rid of their kitchen chair for meals and use the ball, and stop using the couch when in front of the tv or the computer chair when using the computer...use the ball instead. It helps you maintain proper posture and helps the baby to present properly. Back labor is often a sign of malpresentation, and prodromal labor is often a sign that your body is trying to help the baby gain a better position before you hit active labor.

Yoga can help you, not only be less stressed, but also to be much more in tune with your body (make sure you always go all the way through to the modified "corpse pose", and do the relaxation part!) and with your breath, both of which are VERY important during labor.

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#44 of 51 Old 09-23-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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Oh, and if the sling didn't work for you, try the Asian Baby Carrier (babyhawk, mei tai, etc) and/or the wrap (moby, diddy)...they are both MUCH easier to nurse in than the bjorn (this coming from a bjorn lover...when I was a nanny...but when I had my own and tried to nurse in it, that quickly ended the love affair!). I especially vote for the wrap (although it has a bit more of a learning curve than an ABC, it give you more privacy and longer carrying comfort than the ABC, I think), as it's a tiny bit more versatile.

Oh, and if you can find the time to walk AND do yoga, get back to walking, as much and as briskly as you are comfortable doing. The better muscle tone YOU have, the more efficient the contractions, AND the better the baby's muscle tone, which could make it easier for the baby to latch soon after birth (more head control, etc).

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#45 of 51 Old 09-24-2006, 03:28 AM
 
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I could take that extra week to work on making this breastfeeding experience completely successful (by which I mean this baby gets nothing but breastmilk). I am seriously torn about this birth. I want a VBAC, but I also want to maximize my chances of breastfeeding.
Okay here's the thing.

You wrote about wanting a good recovery time from the c-s to get started bfing. If you have a VBAC you won't need a week of recovery. Trust me.

Also, if you have low-supply issues get some Domperidone. All of us BFAR (breast feeding after a reduction, which usually = lower supply) moms take it. I took 4x4/day and I had a ginormous supply. You can get it at globaldrug.tv

I agree with basically everyone: you CAN vbac and bf. It's not an all or nothing situation. It sounds like you're putting a lot of pressure on yourself.

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#46 of 51 Old 09-24-2006, 04:25 AM
 
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I also just wanted to add to make sure that you have a truly knowledgable and supportive LC. I say this simply because you mentioning that your ds was taking 2 ozs at a time as a newborn doesn't necessarily strike me as a big supply problem and what you pump isn't what you're producing in terms of milk - your baby is always a much more efficient "pump" than any machine.

I have a really good friend who gave up on bf'ing because she was sure she had low supply issues. Mainly because her ds wanted to nurse all the time and she wasn't feeling letdown and didn't get engorged. She'd had a traumatic emergency c/s and I do think it delayed her milk coming in, but in the meantime her ds developed nipple confusion and didn't want to latch. She kept trying for awhile, and he'd nurse during the night when they co-slept, but within a few weeks ended up giving up completely because she could only pump 1/2 an oz at a time. But yet after nursing for the night her ds's poops would start turning to bf baby poop, so he was obviously getting a good amount of milk overnight...

Anyways, it may not have been the same thing in your situation, but it's my experience that some LC's are more prone to worry mom's about low milk supply even when it's not an issue. (This particular LC had also made my friends sister sure of low milk supply problems and had her start on herbs as soon as she delivered. 1st baby was ebf until 6 mos with much angst on her part, 2nd baby she had an oversupply.)

I'm just throwing this out there to you to maybe do some more research on it. 2 ozs at each feed is lots for a newborn & the average amount most women can pump is 1 to 2ozs per pumping session. Some women respond better to the pump over time, but that's just an average.

I know I've kind of dwelled more on the bf'ing thing, you've already gotten great advice on the VBAC vs repeat c/s and I think you can have both a VBAC and BF. I also think that if you have a repeat c/s your experience in terms of your milk supply won't necessarily be the same as it was the 1st time. The important thing to keep in mind is to eat foods that help your body heal. And from what other moms have told me, milk comes in faster with repeat c/s the same way milk comes in faster with repeat deliveries. Your breasts have done it before so they seem to get going quicker.

HTH and that you're able to find a care provider at the other hospital and have a wonderful VBAC. Like the other mamas have said - your body was designed to give birth and knows exactly what to do. Don't let any dr. or nurse try to scare you into believing that they know better than you. Follow your heart and everything will work out for the best.
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#47 of 51 Old 09-25-2006, 12:26 AM
 
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I'm just wondering if I should go ahead with a section this time to allow myself more time to recover and start breastfeeding on the best track. I know I'm taking a chance either way; I just want to know which chance to take. Does that make sense?

eva
I want to echo what a pp said about recovery time. It takes a good 6 weeks to recover from c/s as you probably know. I honestly believe that a VBAC would be better for all involved for many of the reasons already mentioned. And I also want to echo that you can bf afterward. have you thought about "finding your tribe"? you might be able to find other mamas in your area who are supportive of midwifery, VBACs, etc. they could provide some support.
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#48 of 51 Old 09-25-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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I agree that a VBAC would give you more time by not requiring this much recovery time and allowing you more mobility, more comfort with your body.
It all depends on how important a VBAC is for you. I don't see the advantage of a c-section. Is it one extra week? 3 weeks after a vaginal birth vs 4 weeks after surgery is not necessarily less time to dedicate to getting BF to work.

I haven't read all replies but I think 2oz at a feeding is pretty standard for newborns, only that there are lots of feedings. Expect more time with baby at breast than with baby off. Drink water, eat oatmeal, relax and trust that you and baby will work well together.

Also, if you decide for a VBAC, consider getting a provider who does not quote you random percentages of success. Sounds like you had a positioning issue, as I did too with my c-sect (see "Mary's birth" story on the VBAC board for my second birth). Focus on optimal fetal positioning (www.spinningbabies.com), stay in shape, eat protein, to increase your chances of a vbac. Also get a doula if you can and a truly supportive midwife.

GL!
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#49 of 51 Old 09-25-2006, 12:43 AM
 
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Also, I am wondering how do you know about the 2 oz -- were you weighing the baby before and after? If yes, great. If it is because you were pumping, remember that the baby gets milk out more effectively than the pump, so it's best to resist the desire to measure and let baby nurse from the breast, for best supply stimulation.

I hope it all works out this time, be proactive and trust the process (I know it is hard after having struggled with both birth and BF before, but this is a new baby, a new opportunity).

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#50 of 51 Old 09-25-2006, 09:47 AM
 
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Good luck with your decision. It's not an easy one.

I'm afraid I just don't have time to read everyone's responses right now, so I apologize if I am repeating what so many others are saying...

I'd still try a VBAC and for a different reason than I saw in the responses I did read. Recovery time. I felt great (a little tired, but great) by the time my second son was about 36 hours old. I felt ready to take care of him, myself and my then 4 year old eldest son. Whereas with my c/s delivery, I was almost completely non-functional for weeks. It was so hard to move around, the pain was horrible...I wouldn't have been able to care for a newborn by myself in that condition. It took 3-4 weeks after the c/s for me to feel capable of caring for myself and my baby well enough to let my husband leave the house for a few hours at a time without me.

I know you have a hectic life, what with a toddler and law school and a husband about to be shipped out...and I just can't imagine how much harder all that will be with c/s recovery to boot.

Also, in my case, we had a really rough 6 weeks of breastfeeding after birth with DS#1, because he had that c/s baby sleepiness all the time. We did work it out and he went on to being a champion nurser. But in those first 2 months, it wasn't pleasant.

DS#2, my VBAC baby, he was a champion nurser from 1 hour old. And the big difference was that he wasn't sleepy all the time.

If I were you, as I understand your situation, I'd try for a VBAC and enjoy my time off with my nursling as much as possible...then put the baby in a sling and get back to law school. In those first few months they sleep so much and so well in a sling that you'll probably get loads done.

Good luck!

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#51 of 51 Old 09-25-2006, 07:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by egfmba View Post
I'm just wondering if I should go ahead with a section this time to allow myself more time to recover and start breastfeeding on the best track. I know I'm taking a chance either way; I just want to know which chance to take. Does that make sense?

I'm coming to this late, just saw the thread today. Reread what you wrote. You are considering going with major abdominal surgery to allow yourself more time to recover. I, too, had a c-section and breastfeeding difficulties (with latch, not supply). There is no way in hell I would schedule a c-section for baby number two. Major abdominal surgery, no matter which way you look at it, will take more time to recover than a vaginal delivery. That extra week doesn't mean anything when you consider that women who deliver vaginally generally recover much faster, since they have less to recover from.

Also.....I'm assuming your doctor wouldn't do something really stupid like schedule a section before 38 weeks......so wouldn't your spring break piggyback onto your maternity leave regardless? Is taking a semester off an option at all?

And I second the advice to ditch the OB. I'd also recommend the ICAN mailing list. Very empowering, great support and lots of useful information.

Good luck, and congratulations on your pregnancy and on being in law school!
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