Experiences of breastfeeding after a c section- be honest, is it horrific?

(35 Posts)
dottytablecloth Wed 11-Jun-14 17:51:06

I'm pregnant with dc2 and would like to bf this baby. Dc1 was ff so I've no idea what I'm letting myself in for really.

Ds1 will be 22 months when dc2 arrives so I'm worried this might be hard as he is still v demanding.

Anyway I remember the discomfort after the first section so do you think it's likely I'll be able to bf no.2?

I do worry about all the problems people have with bfing bit I would like to give it a go as this is definitely going to be my last baby.

Any positive experiences of breast feeding after a section?

leedy Wed 11-Jun-14 18:00:53

I bf two DC after sections with no real problems. Basically make sure you're kept up with your pain meds and get a good cushion so you're not squashing your incision (the ludicrously named My Breast Friend is very good). Once you're past the very early days I don't think having had a section makes any difference at all.

RaisinGirls Wed 11-Jun-14 18:13:43

My DD is seven weeks old and I bf her and had a c section. I don't gave anything to compare it to as she is my first baby but it hasn't been terrible. It was tricky getting in and out of bed for night feeds but DH helped and within a week it was much better and within two weeks I was getting out of bed on my own.

FavaBeanPyramidScheme Wed 11-Jun-14 18:15:02

I agree - my c-section didn't really have too much of an impact on breastfeeding. Lounging around in bed while you recover is the perfect environment for learning how to breastfeed!

I have a Boppy breastfeeding pillow that definitely made breastfeeding easier for a first timer like me. Also, try to learn how to feed lying down on your side. I found it hard in the beginning but in the long term it is amazing for night-feeds, nap-time feeds etc.

Well done for wanting to do it and good luck! I found it really (REALLY) hard in the beginning but sticking with it was massively worth it. Make sure you know in advance where to turn to for help if you need it and don't hesitate to get it if you need it.

BeetlebumShesAGun Wed 11-Jun-14 18:17:19

My DD is 6mo and I breast fed her up until a month ago. I had an EMCS and in hospital when she needed feeding I had to buzz for a nurse for the first few days, and at home just had lots of cushions and DP would pick her up out of her Moses basket for the night feeds, as we have a low bed and a normal height basket!

But honestly after the first couple of weeks I was back to normal.

onestepbeyond Wed 11-Jun-14 18:18:50

Both my dds were ebf and both were c-sections - had no real problems apart from engorgement in the first few days which is normal. As mentioned before just make sure you have a good pillow to keep them off the incision.

TiredFeet Wed 11-Jun-14 18:19:25

I found it far easier after c-section that after episiotomy.
I found feeding lying down on my side good, or feeding sat up with baby lying on a breastfeeding pillow

FruitBasedDrinkForALady Wed 11-Jun-14 18:24:28

Like others, I bf'ed both of mine after c-sections. You'd have to pick up the baby for a feed, breast or bottle, but at least you won't have the extra faff of formula to sort out!

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Wed 11-Jun-14 18:27:11

It will be fine. If you need help on the ward to get your baby in and out of its cot then don't be afraid to ask the MW's for help.

From memory for the first few nights at home dh had to lift ds out of his Moses basket and pass him to me for feeds.

Try and sit up as straight as possible when feeding as the instinct can be to hunch. You don't want sore shoulders and back as well as your section scar.

Perfecting feeding either laying on your side or on your back (google biological nurturing). It's the bomb. It's also great for the feedathons that happen in the early weeks.

You'll be fine smile

ProfYaffle Wed 11-Jun-14 18:29:17

I bf both dds after sections, it was fine (but then I don't know anything else!) The midwives showed me how to feed laying on my side which was a god send but other than that I don't remember doing anything particularly special.

summerlovingliz Wed 11-Jun-14 18:33:34

2x sections and 2x bf babies here, no probs at all

tabulahrasa Wed 11-Jun-14 18:35:17

Not first hand, but a friend has 4DC, had 3 C sections and breastfed them all to at least 6 months and I don't remember any c section specific problems with feeding.

dottytablecloth Wed 11-Jun-14 18:48:57

Thanks everyone!

Great advice here as ever!

HappyAsASandboy Wed 11-Jun-14 18:49:58

I breast fed twins after a section. I don't think the section had any impact on feeding at all.

I think understanding the reality of breastfeeding a newborn is crucial to success. You need to be prepared for how it will be, so that you're not surprised when certain things happen.

The things I wish I had known in advance:

breastfed babies might feed for an hour or more at a time, particularly in the early weeks.

Breastfed babies might need to feed every two hours or so (timing from start of one feed to start of next), so the "free time" between feeds might be very short.

Sometimes the gap between feeds might be minutes not hours.

Sometimes the baby might feed constantly for hours. This is particularly common in the evening in the early weeks.

Sometimes the baby might have a growth spurt and feed constantly for the whole day/night.

Feeding will make you hungry! Arm yourself with healthy snacks or you'll eat your body weight in biscuits every day.

Sometimes your baby might only feed for 5 minutes instead of hours.

It is possible (once you've had a little bit of practice) to go to the loo without stopping feeding. You can also open the door to the postman and sign for a parcel while feeding. Sometimes the postman will blush.

If you offer a bottle to a breastfed baby and they guzzle it at super speed, it doesn't mean your baby prefers the bottle or that they were starving before it. The way that babies take milk from the breast means the baby actively takes each mouthful; if they don't make a move then no more milk comes. In contrast, the way the bottle works means the next mouthful is delivered unless the baby stops it; something breastfed babies are not used to doing. So downing a bottle fast is more about not knowing how to use a bottle than being starving or loving the taste of formula (google for videos of the differing mechanics).

If your breastfed baby is small, people will say you obviously don't have enough milk. If it is large, they will say you can't possibly manage to breastfeed such a large baby. These people should all be ignored, unless it is someone knowledgeable about breastfeeding who thinks your baby is small because of not getting enough milk.

Breastfeeding isn't a 'get out of night duty' card for dad's. Part of the exhaustion comes from sleeping with one ear open for the baby, so if you can sleep elswhere and have dad bring the baby to you for feeding then you'll be less tired because your sleep between feeds will be better quality.

Breastfed poo is much much less offensive smile

There is a book called The Food of Love, which takes a lighthearted look at the realities of breast feeding. It is worth a read in addition to the more technical 'how to' information you might choose to read.

Good luck with your birth and baby smile

NeatFreak Wed 11-Jun-14 18:50:33

I've had one natural birth and two c sections (1 planned and one emergency). I bf all of them for over a year with no issues whatsoever and am currently snuggled up to dc3 so she can have bedtime feed. Think positive!

CanISayOfHerFace Wed 11-Jun-14 18:52:31

I had an emergency section and have had no problems BF'ing my 16 week old DS.

Make sure you use your buzzer in hospital to get your baby passed to you. I was unlucky with one not very nice nurse who wouldn't help so was glad to get home to have my husband doing the passing!

I use a 'U' shaped pillow during the day and lay on my side for night feeds. More recently he has started kicking me in my scar whilst we are getting in position for a night feed so I have to keep hold of his little feet!

Good luck with the CS and the BF'ing x

turkeyboots Wed 11-Jun-14 18:53:48

Was fine. 2 c sections and 2 bf babies. Had a good feeding cushion which helped so I wasn't having to hold them up in the beginning.

ThursdayLast Wed 11-Jun-14 18:55:18

Just weighing in with my tuppence worth.
I had an emergency section, and lost a lot of blood. The only real difficulty I had was that because of that, my milk took over a week to come in. However, as a first timer I didn't know that til it DID arrive!

Other than that, feeding lying down was my saviour. With the ipad propped up behind my babies head wink!

eagle2010 Wed 11-Jun-14 18:59:07

Sandboy has said everything you need to know in a nutshell!

I also found a feeding cushion very helpful for the early days and weeks. I was uncomfortable in the hospital but I buzzed the MW every time I fed so they helped pass DS into the bed to me. At home DH passed him to me for the first week or so, then I was fine.

Good luck with the birth and the BF. Almost 8.5mo later I can safely say it's the best thing I've ever done!

AnotherStitchInTime Wed 11-Jun-14 19:00:28

I have fed three after c-sections and my third after cs with emergency hysterectomy and massive pph. Other than a feeding pillow, being on top of your pain relief and sleeping sitting up are my top tips. If I could have taken the hospital bed with it's remote home I would have.

TheBogQueen Wed 11-Jun-14 19:02:47

I've fed three after c-sections too. It's fine.

herethereandeverywhere Wed 11-Jun-14 19:03:43

Bf after ELCS with DD2 = easy peasy. comfortable, no exhaustion of labour, blood loss properly measured and controlled, milk came in day 2/3. Piece of cake.

Bf after instrumental VB = nightmare. Sitting down on my epi wound - for hours - was horrifically painful, milk didn't come in until day 6, DD readmitted via A&E and fed formula through a tube up her nose. Horrible. I regret persisting when I should have just used formula and saved the trauma.

SoftSheen Wed 11-Jun-14 19:12:40

I had a crash EMCS and breastfed after. It was fine. I didn't feel any pain from the breastfeeding, which may have been luck or may have been due to the analgesia prescribed.

At night time I had DD in a bedside cot and just pulled her over every time she woke for a feed, without needing to get out of bed myself. I imagine it would have been much harder to get out of bed to make up bottles.

Saltedcaramel2014 Wed 11-Jun-14 19:22:50

Just depends I suppose, as with all c-section experiences, some breeze through, others don't. I had a crash emcs and found bf v difficult but got there in the end! DH had to hold the baby as it really hurt to have his weight on me. I had bags of help from bf counsellors or I would have given up. Funnily enough what was our biggest block was when my milk finally came in I had rock hard melon boobs that baby couldn't get a latch on (this could've happened whatever birth was like) expressing a bit solved that. Good luck - it's definitely worth a go!

LadyNexus Wed 11-Jun-14 19:25:26

It was fine.

But make sure you guzzle all the liquid morphine incase they kick you in the scar (like darling dd did wink)

A really good pillow will help too.

Best of luck thanks

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