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C-Sections Cubby

Breastfeeding After a C-Section
~ A Message Board Archive

From jzorgo ~ Our little boy is scheduled to arrive next Thursday via c-section (he is breech), and I was wondering if any BTDT moms could give me some advice about breastfeeding after a c-section. I know I've heard it is harder than breastfeeding after a normal birth. So, any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

From Tiffrz226 ~ I cannot tell you if it is harder, because both mine were c-sections, but it is definitely do-able. I had a nurse help me position DD the first few times, and we eventually worked out a position that we were both comfortable with. It was sort of a modified football hold. With DS, he wanted a cross-cradle hold or nothing, so I put a bunch of blankets across my incision area and set him on top of that and it wasn't too uncomfortable.

They will tell you everything is a little harder at first after a c-section, but don't let it get to you. I was home on day 3 and driving at 10 days. Get up and walk after 10-12 hours, do your walking laps in the hospital. And, remember, your guts will NOT fall out. I figure all recently delivered moms are sore, c-section moms are just sore in a different place.

From Huntersmommy ~ I had an emergency c-section and didn't get to breastfeed until an hour or so later. But he latched on well and loves his mommy's milk. First, since this probably planned, I would make it known that you are planning to breastfeed and that you want the baby brought to you when you are recuperating from the surgery. They make you do this for about an hour.

Second, I would make sure you have a boppy pillow. I got one loaned to me, and I use it everyday. It makes it so much easier to get into a comfortable position after the c-section. The football hold is the easiest that I found after a c-section, but experiment and make sure you get the lactation nurse at the hospital to give you attention.

Third, don't worry about taking meds. You will need some pain killers (believe me) and from what I've been told and read, the little that is passed through during that time of colostrum won't do any harm.

I had the baby sleep in the nursery at the hospital at night because I couldn't get up to take care of him if he was rooming in. However, the nurses knew to bring him to me when he got hungry.

Be persistent and try not to worry. It will all work out. It is hard, but mostly because you can't move as easily and it takes so much more to recover. Make sure you get plenty of help at home those next few weeks. You'll need it.

From MommyBear ~ After my c-section, I found the football hold to be the most comfortable. That way the baby isn't laying on your tummy. Other than that, just stick to what you believe, if you don't want your baby to have bottles or pacifiers, say so.

From Jen1 ~ Call the LC at the hospital and let her know when your c-section is scheduled. Ask her to try to be available for you. Also make sure that the baby's bassinet is clearly marked that you are breastfeeding and there should be no bottles or pacifiers. My LC suggested that I make sure my bed was completely up in the back to make me more comfortable. I used a Boppy and found it helpful. If you don't have a Boppy, a pile of pillows does just as well. I can't stress enough that contacting the hospital's LC can make things much easier. I did this and found that not only was she my mentor but she was my advocate.

From nat0520 ~ I had a c-section and used a Boppy pillow. It was a little uncomfortable for about the first week.

From SabraEllen ~ I add this just so you know there is no right way; I'm not trying to contradict any of the advice you have gotten thus far. I have been nursing Cathie mainly in the cradle hold since day one. I just found the football hold to be impractical. I knew that I would be out and about quite a bit, and a nursing pillow stood out to me as just one more thing to lug around and keep track of. I had to fight the nurses not to be loaded up with pillows. It wasn't too comfortable for the first few days, but we managed. I also found it easier to lay my bed back a bit, so I could sort of rest Cathie on my chest while I nursed her.

There was no room to do it in the hospital bed, but at home I was able to start nursing Cathie while lying on my side, and this is how we generally still nurse when we're at home. Again, no pillows necessary, except the one under my head.

Experiment until you figure out what works for you. Chances are you will be most comfortable with your son in the football hold, but don't stick with it if you don't like it, you might be an oddball like I was!

From LeeJ ~ I had 2 natural births. My third was a c-section. I noticed NO difference at all. My milk came in as normal. The more you nurse in those first days, the quicker it comes in. Day 3 like my other births. The only difference was someone had to pass me the baby for the first morning. After that I was up and about, or the baby slept with me. I held her as normal. The incision is quite low - you don't hold the baby that low when you are nursing anyway. Just make sure you have help when you latch the baby on for the first time. But I'd give that advice to any breastfeeding mother. There should be little difference.

From Tami C ~ My son was an emergency c-section, my dd was scheduled. Neither was difficult to breastfeed. My milk came in and ds and I got into a routine after the 3rd day. Patti needed to be fed every 2-3 hours around the clock for the first 2 weeks. I just plodded to the special care nursery when the nurses called me. At first I put a pillow on my lap and rested her on that. That worked best in the hospital where I was in an uncomfortable rocking chair. At home, we sit in the recliner so I can have my feet up, and we're just fine. Never having had a vaginal birth, I don't know how it compares. I know for us, it didn't seem like all that big a deal. Talk to the LC at your hospital- they are there to help you.

Oh- and if for whatever reason, someone gives your baby a bottle, don't freak! I had to give Jeff bottles the first day we were home because we were both so exhausted from the long hospital stay. He started nursing the second day we were home, and never had another bottle.

From mommyof_4 ~ My dd is almost three weeks old but I had her by c-section and I was nursing her an hour later. She took to nursing like a pro. Just have pillows available to keep the baby off of your tummy for a little while. I found laying on my side and nursing her that way was easiest and the least painful way to do it.

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From alien ~ I had an unplanned c-section, but I didn't know that nursing would be harder. Sometimes it's good not to know things! Hannah also was in the nicu for 2 hours and so I didn't get to hold her/nurse her for three hours. (They even gave her some formula there!!!) The first few days weren't easy, but it was definitely doable. What helped me was my determination. I never saw formula as an option.

From lgregg1 ~ We did the cross cradle hold. (I have very large breasts and the football nor cradle hold worked for me.) My milk did come in slow but I think that was because Thomas was tongue tied and I was exhausted from 36 hours of labor. The only medication I took afterwards was Aleve. I was really OK but everyone is different. My sweet husband roomed in with me so I kept the baby the whole time. I also had the baby sleep with me. It just made everything so much easier plus I just wanted him right there. (The nurse and pediatrician disapproved.) Once we got home I slept in our recliner in the living room (getting out of bed was a bear) with Thomas. He slept right on my chest, the sweet little thing. Anyway, it can be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From lilpea ~ My best advice is - - ASK for help and get a boppy! I was unable to BF for several hours after my c-section and by the time I had got Em for a feeding, they had already given her a bottle (she needed glucose water) and she did not immediately take to the breast. The nurse on duty at the time was extremely unhelpful and I couldn't get Em to latch on. Eventually we got a new nurse (shift change) who was wonderful and with her help and the boppy, we got the football hold to work perfectly. The boppy also help cover the incision, so there was little to no discomfort once I got home and stopped taking the meds and switched to cross cradle. Each person is different as to healing and pain, but a c-section is not as bad as they make it out to be.

From stargirl ~ Well, I wouldn't know if it's harder, because it's the only way I've done it. At first, it was hard to sit up to nurse her with the c-section incision. But after a few days, I could sit up all right. I used the boppy pillow over the armrest of a rocker quite a bit and that was great. Looking back, I don't see that as a handicap to nursing for me.

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