I've compiled some resources relating to breastfeeding following a caesarean birth. A close friend of mine did not think it was possible to breastfeed after her emergency c/section and I have since learnt that unfortunately this belief is not uncommon.
It is absolutely possible to breastfeed following a c/section (many bubhub Mum's are testament to this!), in fact, succcess rates are the same as those who breastfeed following a vaginal birth.
Some common concerns include:
Excerpt from Ask Dr Sears:
Nursing baby straight after birth:Your doctor can prescribe pain medication for you that will not affect your baby. Pain suppresses milk production and makes it harder for you to enjoy your newborn. To decrease postoperative pain, talk to your anesthesiologist about using medications that will help you feel the most comfortable, yet alert, after the surgery. Long-acting analgesics (for example, Duramorph) injected into the spinal tubing immediately after birth can considerably ease postoperative pain.
Don't hesitate to use pain medication--you and your baby will enjoy each other more if you are comfortable.
Excerpt from KellyMom, written by Kelly Bonyata, LC:
Positioning (comfortable nursing positions which keep baby's weight off the incision):If possible, the time immediately after your baby is born is a great time to start breastfeeding. You will still be under the effects of the spinal/epidural and probably not yet feeling any discomfort. You will likely have to nurse lying on your back, because of the epidural. Since one arm may be restrained, it may get a little tricky. Try positioning baby lying face down across your breasts (similar to cradle hold, but baby is higher up and away from your incision, and mom is lying flat). When nursing in this position with a newborn,have someone nearby to make sure baby’s nose doesn’t get blocked, since you both may be groggy from the meds. Have your partner or a nurse help position the baby, and use lots of pillows around you to help with support.
Excerpt taken from LLLI:
Positioning can be another challenge right after a cesarean. Lots of pillows to support the baby and to support your body in various positions can be your most valuable breastfeeding "accessories." Rolled up towels or blankets can also be used. You may find that your body is tender at the site of the incision and that you cannot move and change positions as easily as usual. Hospital beds, IV lines, and monitors may interfere with your freedom of movement and with your ability to position yourself and your baby for comfortable breastfeeding. You may need to experiment with various positions to see what will work best for you.
Breastfeeding Positions in pictures
(Note Underarm hold/footy hold & Lying down position)
Breastfeeding after a caesarean birth - info from the ABA
Breastfeeding after a caesarean - article by Annie Smith, LC.
Breastfeeding after a caesarean section - info from Dr Sears
Breastfeeding after a caesarean birth - info from LLLI
Breastfeeding after a caesarean birth - info from Kellymom
Maybe some c/section Mamas can add personal experiences/tips to this thread
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08-05-2012 12:02 #1
Breastfeeding after a caesarean
Last edited by Witwicky; 08-05-2012 at 12:05.
08-05-2012 12:08 #2
WOW! Well, there you go. I must say, i had absolutely no idea there was a stigma about not being able to breastfeed after caesar!!
I am another that was SUCCESSFULLY able to breastfeed exclusively after an emergency c-section. I had a near perfect breastfeeding experience and was very fortunate to have no issues or troubles breastfeeding at all.
Last edited by Bennos Mummy; 08-05-2012 at 12:13.
08-05-2012 12:13 #3
My ds was born at 38wks by planned cs, he was exclusively bf right from the start.
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08-05-2012 12:31 #4
Another one who successfully BF and a C/S here- BF twins for 20 months
But I would like to say that it wasn't without the help of an excellent FREE LC provided by the council. She was my angel, and I just sincerely wished that everyone had their own access to a LC like my Di. My milk didn't come in til day 4, the midwives were all telling me different things (most were delivering the same message though- me constantly calling to ask them to help me attach two babies was an inconvenience to their day, and I should have picked it up within 24 hours. The fact that I hadn't, meant I should just go with bottles- this was the common theme from all but a few.. I had one young midwife sit with me at 3am trying to pump ANYTHING out- she was lovely )
Good research Witwicky
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08-05-2012 13:18 #5
Another csar / BFing mum here. I was in recovery for 50 minutes after my emergency csar with DS and until he got his first feed, he was given Daddy's pinky to suck on. It was about an hour & 15 before he got his first breast feed but I was able to do so with no real problems. In hindsight though I wish I had asked to have him in recovery. I assumed that it would not be possible for this to happen. I'm going for a VBAC with #2 but if it does end up in csar, this time I will demand that Newbie is kept with me in recovery so I can establish BFing much sooner. I think the assumption that you can't have skin to skin and have baby with you in recovery is held my a lot of mums and they don't ask because they assume the answer will be no.
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08-05-2012 13:27 #6
I have had 2 emergency csections and never any issue breastfeeding.
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08-05-2012 13:33 #7
I was told by so many people that I would have trouble BFing or would not be able to do it because I needed a c section (planned due to placenta praevia). I ignored them as best as could as I really hoped to BF if I was able.
DS latched on while I was in recovery and my milk came in on day 3. 4 months on and am still BFing with no problems!!! Glad I ignored all the nay sayers!
08-05-2012 13:35 #8
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08-05-2012 13:48 #9
I have had two c sections and never had any problems breastfeeding with either baby, i also have a few close friends who have had c sections and never mentioned any issues to me when we have discussed breastfeeding.
Some hospitals, particularly those that do not have exclusive recovery areas for mothers with newborns will not allow it. The Mater in north sydney does not allow babies in recovery however royal north shore does. Its best to check with you OB if it is something you want to do. First time around i would have loved my dd with me in recovery, but second time around i felt a bit yucky after the op becos i had a terrible cold ontop of all the drugs, so i needed that hour to get myself together a bit.
Last edited by Ulysses; 08-05-2012 at 13:54.
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08-05-2012 13:50 #10
MI had to have an emerg c sect, baby was 5 weeks early. Colostrum came in as I was being wheeled into theatre and SOAKED my gown. The midwives were amazed. Our bodies are amazing
ETA: still bfing 10 months on.
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