cesarean and delay in milk coming in? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 07-11-2006, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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just wondering what the true story is about cesarean births and lactation. much of what i've read blames breastfeeding challenges on policies associated with surgical deliveries, but i've also read that for physiological reasons associated with a vaginal delivery that milk may take longer to come in for a mom who has had a cesarean. any thoughts?

in my case, i was in a hospital that encouraged -well, nearly demanded - rooming in with baby. the baby was brought to me right after birth and then we were then separated for a couple of hours while the docs finished sewing me up and i was in recovery (not that i knew - i passed out after not having slept for 2+ days). the nurses were anxious to have my baby breastfeed and rushed her into me as soon as they were permitted. one nurse even had my baby sleep in the bed with me. nonetheless, i was caught in a situation where my baby was dehydrated (no saliva, completely dry mouth and shriveled lips) and jaundiced. i always thought that it was just that it took a bit longer for my milk to kick into full production due to the surgical delivery and that i didn't have the benefits of various hormone releases associated with a vaginal birth, but now i'm not sure.
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#2 of 16 Old 07-11-2006, 11:23 PM
 
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I would love to hear feedback on this also. I had a c-section, but my milk came in quickly (2 days with both babies). But I've had supply issues with each of them. I've wondered if it had to do with the surgery. I nursed both of them in the recovery room shortly after surgery. One LC said that a lot of times mommies that have surgery are dealing with pain and their own bodies healing that it takes longer for the milk to come in. I don't know...I thought my milk came in pretty fast, but I'm constantly racking my brain wondering why I have had so many nursing issues!
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#3 of 16 Old 07-11-2006, 11:44 PM
 
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I had a c/s and it took 5 days for my milk to come in. My DS also got dehydrated. We used a SNS + formula until my milk came in. Anyhow, I did a literature search on Medline afterwards and found very little information on how c/s effect milk supply. I did find one study that suggested that over hydration of the mother can cause delay in milk coming in. Well, I had an IV with fluids for like 3 or 4 days and was hugely puffed up from excess fluids. So, my conclusion was that it isn't the c/s itself but the excessive fluids that some mothers may receive in the course of their medical care that results in the delay in milk coming in.
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#4 of 16 Old 07-11-2006, 11:51 PM
 
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Well, I'm no expert & can only speak for myself...but I have had 4 sections & my milk always came in within 24 hrs. Not only that I have huge oversupply issues. Since DS1 was born 8 yrs. ago I have NEVER been totally milk free...and now, 3 1/2 months after my last babe's birth I am STILL soaking towels easily.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#5 of 16 Old 07-12-2006, 12:49 AM
 
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I've heard this as well. I think it happens with vag births as well. It's more dependent on the person, than the birth. I'm sure c/s does play a role in it slightly, but I am not sure how much.

I've had two c/s - first c/s, my milk came in (with pumping keep in mind) at 2 days, second c/s it came in 20 hours after birth (EBF).
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#6 of 16 Old 07-12-2006, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting. I was on IV fluids for at least 18 hours and was hugely puffed up for days. I walked around with the help of nurses, but it still took a while for the excess fluids to work their way out of my system. I did the same as you - SNS for a few days until I really felt my milk come in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annekevdbroek
I had a c/s and it took 5 days for my milk to come in. My DS also got dehydrated. We used a SNS + formula until my milk came in. Anyhow, I did a literature search on Medline afterwards and found very little information on how c/s effect milk supply. I did find one study that suggested that over hydration of the mother can cause delay in milk coming in. Well, I had an IV with fluids for like 3 or 4 days and was hugely puffed up from excess fluids. So, my conclusion was that it isn't the c/s itself but the excessive fluids that some mothers may receive in the course of their medical care that results in the delay in milk coming in.
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#7 of 16 Old 07-12-2006, 09:09 AM
 
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I thought it had something to do with the epidural as well as not releasing the normal hormones in the final stages of labor that cue your body to start milk production. I can't remember where I read all this, possibly a Midwifery Today or Mothering article, and I can't do an exhaustive search right now (not to mention the search function being gone here), but maybe it would help you to do a search with those things in mind.
I haven't had a c-section, but quite a few of my friends have (one yesterday in fact), and most of them seem to have had trouble getting breastfeeding established, especially with their first babies.

- Krista

milk donation : mother to Ryan (6), AJ (5), Nate (2), Maia (1) all born at home, I have a kid-friendly food & bento blog, : :
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#8 of 16 Old 07-12-2006, 09:43 AM
 
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I had a c/s and no problems bf'ing, athough I went home after 24 hours so that would have helped. Did you have a PPH? That is likely to affect milk supply. Also drugs can affect how your baby sucks, and affect supply that way.
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#9 of 16 Old 07-12-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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I have had four sections and never had issues with my milk supply.

Rebecca wife of Megan...moms to six crazy kiddos! Seth (15), Madison (13), Zachary (12), Trevor (12), Alex (10), and Nicholas (9)
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#10 of 16 Old 07-12-2006, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Susuhound
I had a c/s and no problems bf'ing, athough I went home after 24 hours so that would have helped. Did you have a PPH? That is likely to affect milk supply. Also drugs can affect how your baby sucks, and affect supply that way.
No post-partum hemorage, I think anyway, but it did take much longer than normal to sew me back up. My OB said that this was likely due to a long labor before the cesarean making me a "oozy" and also because of how the baby was positioned in my pelvis making it a bit more difficult than a planned cesarean. I guess this one will have to remain a mystery! The good news was that I only supplemented for a few days.
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#11 of 16 Old 07-12-2006, 02:49 PM
 
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I've had two c-sections.

With ds, my milk starting coming in by day 2 with UBER amounts of colostrum before that. So my csection did NOT hurt my supply or hurt it coming in at all. BUT....my csection and traumatic labor/birth did hurt my ds' ability to nurse. He refused to latch ( onto anything...wouldn't take a bottle either) and I ended up finger feeding him with a syringe my pumped milk for 14 days. He finally gave in to latching on day 14. But we had many problems and tons of tears for MONTHS afterwards. I would say it was well after 4 months that I felt that nursing was going okay. It was a huge struggle for both of us and I totally feel that the csection was part of the problem. I didn't get to hold him or nurse him for at least 3 hours after being born. Terrible experience but he ended up nursing for close to 3 years!!!!

With dd, I had some milk in pretty soon afterwards too. I would say that it was a colostrum/ milk mix at day 2 and full milk on day 4. Even though we were separated for an hour after birth and she was given 2 ounces of formula ( grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!) because of sugar levels she finally woke up and I nursed her in recovery with no problems for over an hour!! But I attribute much of my success to me DEMANDING my babe come into recovery with me and my 3 years of experience of breastfeeding.

So, for me, a cesearan birth did not inhibit my milk from coming in or prevent me from having a HUGE and Uber supply of wonderful milk for my babe. I think everyone's experience is going to be different though. Everyone has different bodies and they react differently to a traumatic experience like surgery.

Heather , momma to ' Parker- 10, Carlee- 7 and our baby Genevieve Faith - 8-27-10

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#12 of 16 Old 07-12-2006, 02:50 PM
 
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No problems with milk coming in, just with learning how to get a good latch. I haven't had any supply issues. As with the op, the hospital supported rooming in, and the nursery nurses had no problems whatsoever with tucking dd into bed with me. We co-slept the entire time I was in the hospital. Made it a lot easier, KWIM?

Mom of two girls.
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#13 of 16 Old 07-14-2006, 02:27 AM
 
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I have had 3 sections. With the first two, my milk was in within 24 hrs. With the last one there were some extenuating circumstances, and it took 36 hrs. I had moderate HG throughout the pregnancy and was dehydrated and quite ill for the first 24 hrs after the section. I was on a liquid only diet until I could keep food down and had "passed gas". And my baby was in the NICU for the first 13 days. Once I was able to eat solid foods, my milk came in quite quickly. I am sure that the stress of my baby's situation, dehydration, and insuffient nutrition caused more trouble than the section itself.
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#14 of 16 Old 07-14-2006, 09:17 AM
 
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To be honest, I have no idea when my milk came in. We nursed every three hours or less around the clock, so I never had the chance to get engorged.

DS was born by C/S and I didn't get to nurse him till about 16 hours later because he was in the nursery under an Oxihood (he had some grunting). I pumped throughout the night and the nurse gave the colostrum to DS with a syringe. I went home at 3 days PP and I don't think the milk had come in by then because DS wasn't gulping or swallowing a lot. It was probably on day 4 or 5. We had no latch issues or anything, but we did have refusal problems. He just refused to nurse because he wanted to sleep. So I would pump two out of every three feedings and cup-feed him for the first week. Then everything was good. I had no supply issues. DS is now 18 months and still nursing 2-4 times a day.

Mandy, )O(  Proud mommy of Taylor (1/6/05) jammin.gifand Abigail (4/21/11) slinggirl.gif
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#15 of 16 Old 07-14-2006, 01:46 PM
 
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Boy1 was born c/s after 20 hrs labor & pre-e (so mag sulfate + epidural). Some initial latch issues, but no supply issues.

Boy2 born via scheduled c/s. No latch issues & no supply issues.
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#16 of 16 Old 07-14-2006, 03:40 PM
 
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I had a vaginal birth. (somewhere around 38 weeks gestation according to me, but 35 weeks according to ultrasound, and low birthweight baby) My milk took 6 days to come in. I did have colostrum (I found through pumping) but dd had latch, suck, swallow and breathe issues. When she did latch, she tired out very quickly. So I am still EPing almost 9 months later...
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