I'm planning on breastfeeding afterwards, and I've heard that some people have difficulty nursing after a section. I'm less concerned than I would have been a few years ago, as this is my second child, and I know more about nursing now, but I had DS via normal vaginal delivery, and so I didn't face any of the issues that I might now be facing.
So, anyone BTDT or have some good information? I'm not fond of the idea of stocking up on formula just in case, but I'm afraid of my milk not coming in right away and being unable to feed or comfort a baby in the middle of the night when no stores are open....
I'm not sure how recovery from a section will be, and if pain medications will make nursing harder (although my OB knows that I intend to breastfeed, and has said that she will prescribe accordingly).
Any information would be much appreciated!
|I'm not sure how recovery from a section will be, and if pain medications will make nursing harder (although my OB knows that I intend to breastfeed, and has said that she will prescribe accordingly).|
Get your support person prepared to advocate for you and bfing while you are in the hospital in the small chance you get anti-bfing nurses. No bottles of formula, no glucose bottles. It will not keep the baby from being jaundiced, etc, etc, everyotherpossiblethingtodiscourgageyou.
And your milk isn't supposed to come in right away, it's supposed to take a few days
I wish you the best! I'm sure others will be much more helpful.
Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)
I agree that the biggest challenge is getting comfortable for nursing while you are recovering and still on pain meds. An LC tried to get me to nurse side-lying at the hospital and it was AGONY. I did much better sitting up with a very straight back, very supported by pillows everywhere. There were a few middle of the night feedings when we first got home from the hospital where it was pretty painful to get into a good position. But it wasn't that terrible.
No need to stockpile formula. I know TONS of moms who had c-sections and went on to breastfeed successfully.
mildly crunchy mama to E (2006) and D (2011)
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With DS, I had him on a Friday and my milk was in by Monday. With DD I had her on a Friday and my milk was in early on Sunday. It didn't take long with either of them.
Prior to your section, make sure that you request for baby to be with you during recovery. With DS, I didn't know to ask, and I was in recovery and DH was with DS. I didn't get to nurse DS until close to 2 hours (maybe more?) after he was delivered. With DD, they closed me up, brought me to recovery and brought DD in at the same time. I immediately put her to the breast. I was shaking terribly (post-operative shaking), but I had my baby on my breast, so I was happy as a clam!!
I agree that sitting up is easiest for nursing early on. I put a pillow over my tummy and laid DD on the pillow. I'm a pretty tough cookie as far as pain goes, so after the first 24 hours I was only on extra strength ibuprofen. Everyone is different though. I just gritted my teeth and told myself that the pain wouldn't last forever. And it didn't.
With DS, they wouldn't let him sleep in my bed with me at that particular hospital. Thankfully, DH was in the room with me and was able to bring DS to me as needed. With DD, I was at a different hospital, and she spent the whole entire time in my bed with me. It was so wonderful!!
As far as your milk coming in....just nurse frequently. The surgery really shouldn't affect how quickly your milk comes in (at least not in my experience) as long as you keep baby on your breast. Baby will do all the work for you!! Don't forget to stock up on lanolin to use after each nursing session. Sore nipples were way more painful to me than my sore tummy!
IME, the worst part about a section is the catheter. I couldn't wait to get that stupid thing OUT. With DS, I didn't get it out until the morning after the surgery. With DD, I insisted that it be taken out that evening. Well....I forgot that with the catheter out, and the nurses making sure that you drink constantly, I had to pee frequently. Which meant I had to stand up frequently. Ouch. But, I truly believe that by making myself get up and move so soon after surgery, I healed pretty darn quick.
They had my friend pump (this is her 3rd) and start giving that when they could get her awake, but now she is bfding fine....just a slow start...
I have had 4 sections and nursed all of them exclusively for varying amounts of time but certainly LONG after I had recovered from surgery. I have nothing to compare it to, but I did not find that nursing agravated my incision at all...getting in and out of bed was the hard part. I think if having formula in the cupboard puts your mind at ease (I have samples in mine in case I were to be in a car accident w/o LO or something) then do it. If you are honest with yourself and think that can will be a temptation then don't keep it in the house. But is there a reason to believe you will need it...no way!
I didn't need a pillow for my incision but I needed plenty because my arms would get tired, so that is a great recommendation!
You can do this! Just remember there are pain meds available should you need them. This last section is the only one where I needed something stronger than Motrin but I was glad it was there at the end of the second night when I was in tears having to get up and change Trinity for the millionth time that day. I didn't take the Darvocet for long (was done with it before coming home) but it made the difference between my ability to get out of bed or not and more movement means a quicker and healthier recovery.
Mommy to Alonzo (11), Jacob (9), : Lucas (8) & Trinity (almost 2!!)
I did develop thrush, though, and it very nearly ruined BFing for me. It was due to the antibiotics during delivery. If I have another c-section, I will do everything I can to avoid thrush, including being on Diflucan and taking lots of good probiotics.
I was on lots of pain medication, and stayed on some medications for six weeks after delivery (rough recovery). Again, the doctors were all aware I was BFing, prescribed accordingly and didn't give me any reason to be alarmed/concerned about the medication. You do not have to choose between pain relief and nursing! I was able to take enough medication to effectively manage my pain without causing my baby any problems.
I found it strange that although doctors are supposedly so pro-breastfeeding, and it's the best thing for babe, there is propaganda for formula everywhere, from free diaper bags from Enfamil to free samples, etc. It's ridiculous. I think Enfamil probably funds the hospital or something. It's hard to escape.
So make sure all the nurses know you're EBFing, no formula, no matter what. I had them bring baby to me every 3 hours all night long. If you're worried about your milk coming in (for me it took 4 days but baby never lost more than 10% of his weight which is what they look for), they can bring you a pump for nipple stimulation.
Your body knows what it's doing. Once babe is out, you will have the colostrum, which is all babe needs. Trust yourself.
If you have issues, THEN get formula. There will always be a store open if you need to buy some. And if you're still in the hospital, trust me, there is no shortage Just my opinion FWIW, take it with a grain of salt.
Good luck to you with your delivery and congratulations in advance! I'm sure all will go fine.
My baby will be with me in recovery.
We have the normal "no ABM or artificial nipples" written into our birth plan
I'll have a breastfeeding "kit" with me -
I requested that no mind-altering medications be given to me before/during/after the birth without my express consent (including phenergan which can cause drowsieness). I was very loopy after my first's birth and it really hindered things.
* a modified syringe to draw out my flat nipples if he can't latch well the first time
* my hand pump if the syringe doesn't work
* a nipple shield as a last resort if I still can't get him latched
* a nursing pillow of some sort (I have very large breasts and the football hold is easiest for me and very hard to do without some cushioning).
My husband is a lot more on board with things this time around in terms of knowing how to support me the best and fend off well-meaning hospital staff. I'll also make sure that I see an LC as soon as possible rather than waiting for her to get around to seeing me the following day.
Thanks for all the replies and advice! I think my biggest fear is that because of the timing of the section (I'll be 36/37 weeks), my body won't be hormonally ready for the milk production part of things... I know a lot of it is based on demand, but I also know that initially, milk supply is hormonally driven.
I exclusively breast fed my son after my c-sec. The hardest part was getting comfortable, and trying to wake him up!
I think you'll do fine, and don't worry about your milk coming in later because of the operation. Mine came in on the 3rd day. AVOID THAT FORMULA!!
We did have a few latch issues in the beginning at the hospital and when I was too tired/stressed etc I hand expressed some and dp cup fed ds. (I hated the electric pump!!) Maybe you could bring your pump to the hospital with you if you are at all worried about your milk coming in late.
No bottles or pacifiers!!
Her being with me or brought to me to eat if I was out walking the halls.
Clearing the room during feeding time so I could relax with baby (no visitors, nurses, etc during this time..)
I also got a couple of nipple shields at Target just in case we had latch issues and brought the numbers of a few LC's with me in case the LC at the hospital had the day off and we were having issues.
Everything went JUST FINE. Prepare yourself, assume everything will go well and it WILL!!! Congrats!
I did have a supply issue in the first month, that I didn't really realize (my baby was nursing all of the time, and I had no apparant issues, so I thought everything was fine). While we have several theories, we don't know why, and I don't know as though it was from the section. I would say though take your pain meds if you need them and try to be as comfy as possible--pain can supress the milk ejection reflex but most pain meds (percocet and ibuprofen, which are most likely what you'll get) are ok to take while nursing, so there's no reason to be in pain. One of my theories as to why I didn't produce well is the pain I was in. My recovery from the c-section was relatively easy--it wasn't comfortable, but never caused me any pain--but I somehow ended up with a nerve injury in my neck/shoulder that caused me a LOT of pain that even percocet wouldn't touch.
Good luck, and congrats on your little one!