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BF after ELCS

(20 Posts)
EatingAllTheCrumpets Wed 10-Jul-13 14:47:13

Apologies if this is a really stupid question blush

Can you bf after an elective, a good friend of mine had an section after her labour never progressed, and her milk never came through?

I assumed it would be no different, but now just questioning if bf will be a definite option afterwards, or if it will take more time/effort. Or is it because she never went in to labour the trigger wasn't there, in which case surely an ELCS will mean I won't be able to bf.

TiredyCustards Wed 10-Jul-13 14:49:14

I think milk production is triggered by the placenta leaving your body (whichever way!), not by labour.

I had 2 emcs with full labours angry and breastfed with no problems at all.

shelley72 Wed 10-Jul-13 14:54:20

I too understood that milk production was kick started by the removal of the placenta - whichever way that happens, though a section can delay milk coming in. Skin to skin and all the usual things that happen after a natural birth can help get you off to a good start. I had an elcs and bf successfully for 2,5 years and just had an emcs 13 days ago and feeding going ok so far. So no, I don't think it means that you won't be able to feed.

hotmama Wed 10-Jul-13 15:02:11

I've had an elective and emergency cs (also had a vaginal birth) milk came after all 3.

My understanding is that when the placenta is removed then the hormones kick on and milk comes.

My last child was born after an elective cs - and that was the most successful bf experience (more to do with him being dc3)

It's not a stupid question by the way - as I also wondered this! smile


MrsReacher85 Wed 10-Jul-13 15:03:15

I had an emcs under a general and so was out until my DS was 2 hours old. We didn't really get to do skin to skin but I've breastfeed for 10 months so far with no problems at all. DS latched straight away and just gone on with it!

MrsReacher85 Wed 10-Jul-13 15:03:40

*got on with it, not gone!

EatingAllTheCrumpets Wed 10-Jul-13 15:05:56

Thank you all! thanks

I'm a bit of a worrier so this has put my mind at rest grin

blackteaplease Wed 10-Jul-13 15:11:20

I have had emcs and elcs and breastfed 2 dc. The only thing that I noticed was that both dc were very slow to take to breastfeeding as they were too sleepy to stay awake. I guess it was down to the spinal.

However, the midwifes were great, showed me how to hand express and syringe feed in addition to assisting with latch.

Good luck.

Oh and I'm sure you know this but your milk can take longer to come in after cs, but the colostrum is plenty for such a tiny baby.

Quilty Wed 10-Jul-13 15:12:10

Not a stupid question, at least I hope not as I had the same worry before my ELCS!

If at all possible make sure you get skin to skin straight away, I had baby on my chest within a minute or so and had her there for a few mins. Then in recovery my midwife popped her straight on the boob, I had no idea what I was doing but the midwife helped and the colostrum started coming out straight away, I was amazed!

On the ward get as much skin to skin as possible and don't be afraid to keep buzzing for help, I probably didn't do this enough and ended up with very sore nipples from damage caused by getting the latch wrong early on.

Also, personal choice but we had no visitors the first day, the grandparents were a bit miffed but I felt it was so important to concentrate on bonding and skin to skin in those first few hours.

blackteaplease Wed 10-Jul-13 15:12:29

I mean tiny as in newborn, not a tiny weight!

melliebobs Wed 10-Jul-13 15:15:22

Well I never knew the mechanics that triggers your milk to come in. Lol

But I had an emcs and although uncomfy bf no probs. milk came in on day 4 along with the crazy drop in hormones. That was a fun day whilst still being in hospital blush

BonaDea Wed 10-Jul-13 15:15:38

Milk can take a day or two longer to come in. When I hada c section after a failed induction (so non-emergency but not really elective) my milk came through on day 4 which is quite late.

Your baby will be ok with colostrum although can become a bit dehydrated if it takes a while. Mine did and lost 12% of birth weight partly for this reason. However he quickly gained it all back again.

You can harvest colostrum from about 36 weeks to top up with. I did this and helped us get through without formula until milk arrived.

EatingAllTheCrumpets Wed 10-Jul-13 15:41:07

Aww bless you all, I've been quite worried about posting on MN but it turns out you're fab!

I'm not planning on immediate skin to skin due to squeamish reasons and was hoping DH will be having first cuddles etc, however I'm hoping once baby was checked and cleaner I'll be ready for him/her. So whilst not immediately, it would be pretty quick, once I was sewn up!

We're still trying to figure out all this stuff and as I'm a serial worrier I need to have everything clear in my head so that if things go pear shaped I'm not thrown too much!

Mama1980 Wed 10-Jul-13 15:46:23

Not a silly question at all. I had two massively pre term 24 and 26 week c sections and managed to breast feed. I was told it the removal of the placenta that triggers the milk, your body recognises that now the placenta is gone your baby needs another food source and so gets to work! grin I have also had several friends who had c sections and they all breast fed too.

MisselthwaiteManor Wed 10-Jul-13 15:49:01

I had an EMCS without going into natural labour, DD was cup fed donor milk for a few days and my milk still came in. You will be fine.

herethereandeverywhere Wed 10-Jul-13 15:55:53

Milk came in on day 3 for me after ELCS, DD2 fed like a dream from the off. No problems whatsoever.

Milk came in on day 6 after traumatic VB. DD lost over 15% of body weight. She was not fine on colostrum alone and was admitted to be tube fed via gastro-nasal tube.

So VB does not necessarily equal easier to bf.

mrsravelstein Wed 10-Jul-13 15:59:38

the thing is, that even if there is no obvious milk flowing (which is often day 2-5), and in fact even if there is no obvious colostrum, the thing is to get them straight on the breast and suckling as that is what makes the milk come. i had bloody ignorant midwives with ds1 telling me "oh dear, you haven't got any milk, we'll need to just give him this bottle of formula until you get some" and LUCKILY i had read enough to know that it was entirely normal. this was after an emergency section. milk came through on about day 5 after 2nd emergency section. and on day 2 after 3rd section.

blackteaplease Wed 10-Jul-13 18:17:18

You don't have to do immediate skin to skin if you don't want to. It's quite tricky to do it theatre but possible if you really want to try.

With both of my dc they were cleaned and wrapped in a blanket then handed to Dh to cuddle. Once i was in recovery the midwife popped dc under my robe for skin to skin.

mrsmartin1984 Wed 10-Jul-13 20:47:25

I had an emergency c section. My midwife was a moron and wouldn't let me have skin on skin contact with DD. So didn't have it until about 5-6 hours after her birth. I breast feed. The midwives were useless. And didn't help at all. Some are great some were truely terrible.

The best thing I did was take a decent pillow into hospital with me. Makes a difference when sleeping. Also more importantly I used it to help put her into position to latch her properly. Or you could bring a breast feeding pillow. You will be really sore after surgery and as a result will find it difficult to hold her into position. It is really hard to sit up after feeding.

A c section makes it difficult but not imposable

chunkymonkeybaby Wed 10-Jul-13 21:22:38

I had an ELCS under a GA (I didn't want to be awake during the operation!). So I didn't see DD until I woke up an came out of recovery. I tried feeding her as soon as they passed her to me though and just kept trying. As lovely as the midwives were, I didn't get much help or good advice with breastfeeding, due to them being so short staffed especially at night, and some of them weren't that knowledgeable. So be prepared for it to be like that in hospital, it might not be like that but you never know. It definitely is possible to breastfeed after a ELCS though, absolutely! DD is 9mo now and I'm still breastfeeding, I'd like to feed her until she's 2.

My tips would be, expect it to be agony! It might not be for you, everyone is different obviously, but I just didn't realise beforehand that it could be so bloody painful. When my milk came in my boobs felt like they were on fire, and it was agony when she tried to latch. If it's like that, I think perseverance is all you can do, as it does get better.

Also, a good pillow helps, particularly after a caesarean. I had this and it was very good in the early days. I also found Lansinoh nipple cream an absolute godsend.

I also wish I had bought `The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding' when I was pregnant as it is a fab book with so much good advice.

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