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breastmilk after caesarean

(17 Posts)
uwila Thu 24-Mar-05 13:51:36

Does having a caesarean affect milk production?

I have one child, and attampted to breast feed. But soon gave up due to lack of supply. Lasted for about 2 weeks when I bagan to top up with formula, then I gave up all together and just bottledfed after about a month. I'm due at the end of May and planning another casarean. Just wondered if other people have a view on whether a casarean affects milk supply.

suzywong Thu 24-Mar-05 13:53:03

absolutely, postively, definitely not
won't affect bf one bit

don't worry, your body will come up with the goods

tribpot Thu 24-Mar-05 13:54:56

I did hear from a paediatrican friend of mine that milk production is more difficult with an elective caesarean, i.e. because you haven't actually gone into labour and thus alerted your body to the fact that it's baby time. But of course you did labour (extensively) with dd uwila, so not sure this will be relevant to you.

My SIL found breastfeeding difficult after her first (also an emergency c-section) but didn't seem to fare much better after her second (VBAC).

franke Thu 24-Mar-05 13:59:03

Had a cs first time round - dd was feeding within an hour in the recovery room and we never looked back. The milk came in as I expected a few days later and I fed her exclusively for several months. I never had any anxiety about not producibg enough. Had a vbac last year and had real problems feeding ds. The milk came in as expected again but I always had an underlying anxiety that I was not producing enough. It took weeks to get the feeding established. We soldiered on for several months and he was/is fine but it wasn't the happy experience I had with dd. So in answer to your question, no cs does not affect milk production IME.

Marina Thu 24-Mar-05 14:37:47

My milk came in later than I expected both times but then both of mine were electives, I've never had a live vaginal birth so can't compare. No problems once supply established though.

aloha Thu 24-Mar-05 14:40:08

Not in my case. did take a little longer first time around and I wondered if it was connected with blood loss (placenta praevia) second time I actually saw the moment the milk came in on day 3! Dd looked stunned, and then delighted - often 'problems with supply' turn out to be 'problems with confidence'. Why did you think you didn't have enough milk first time around.

Pamina3 Thu 24-Mar-05 14:44:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NotQuiteCockney Thu 24-Mar-05 15:01:44

I've had one elective, and one "emergency". My milk came in much faster the second time, but then DS2 was sucking better than DS1 had. I do suspect that going into labour, at least a bit, is better for milk production, as you can be sure the baby is ready to come out.

The big thing you can do to avoid trouble is to find out about local bf support now, so you're ready if you run into problems again.

mears Thu 24-Mar-05 15:01:56

Lactation can be delayed in elective C/S possbibly because there has not been the hormonal stimulation of labour prior to delivery. I think though that the real reason was that in the past, babies have ofetn not got to the breat early enough post delivery. However, that does not mean that breastfeeding cannot be established. It is important to have skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after birth to encourage early feeding. The sooner a baby feeds, the more successful breastfeeding will be. The earlier formula supplements start, the more likely it is that breastfeeding will not get established.

fruitful Thu 24-Mar-05 15:17:23

I've had two caesareans - no labour at all with dd and then 45 minutes with ds. With dd I didn't lose much blood, with ds I lost 2 litres. I fed dd in the recovery room. Ds was in intensive care for a week - had his first attempt at licking/sucking on day 4 but didn't start feeding till day 6.

Milk came in on day 4-5 both times, and I seem to have much the same amount of milk this time as last time (ie not quite enough!). But ds is growing so that is probably just my feeling.

highlander Thu 24-Mar-05 15:22:29

I had an elective CS and fed DS 5 hours later (he wasn't allowed in the recovery room ). That was on the Monday - milk was in full flow early Wed morning grin]

DS was voluntarily feeding every 1.5 hours which I think had a lot to do with it. I tried to keep him going for 20-30 mins on one breast then 5-10 mons on the other if he still had the energy!

uwila Thu 24-Mar-05 17:15:31

I'm inclined to believe that some people just produce less milk than others, and that it doesn't have much to do with method of delivery. I just thought I pose the quesdtion and see if others disagreed.

Maybe it has more to do withhormone levels?

I did all the skin to skin right after birth (Well, as soon as I woke up from the general), she sucked right away, although I don't recall how often. Is there a recommendation on how often to let them suck to encourage the milk to flow in? It's maybe just the way my body is, but I figure I'd like to try everything that might help encourage a good milk production.

Any recommendations on encouraging milk flow? Mears? Anyone?

Marina Thu 24-Mar-05 17:17:16

Fennel tea can be helpful Uwila, so can a drug called domperidone (which is safe to take while breastfeeding of course). Mears knows all about this.

uwila Thu 24-Mar-05 17:23:11

Mears... if you would be so kind, enlighten me, please....

beansprout Thu 24-Mar-05 17:54:47

Milk comes in just a bit later apparently. Mine was an emergency and ds is still being fully b/f at 5 months (and counting)

mears Thu 24-Mar-05 18:18:54

Domperidone (Motilium) is a medication for 'bloatedness' which has a side effect of increasing prolactin levels, which in turn is needed for milk production. We prescibe it mainly for women who are expressing for their babies in SCBU when their milk production diminishes. It is an option when frequent breastfeeds/expressing have not reulted in an increase in production of milk.

The best way to make enough milk for your baby is to breastfeed as often as possible. Feeding 2-3 hourly is usually enough to stimulate the body to make milk. Newborn babies should not be left to sleep for hours on end - they should be stimulated to encourage them to feed. Night feeds are also very important because that is when prolactin levels are at their highest. It is also vitally important that babies are latched on correctly to stimulate the breast properly. Milk tends to come in quicker with subsequent babies that first time aroung, just because the body has done it before. Thinking positively also helps IMO. Your body has grown this baby and your breasts have developed in order to feed it. The key is sorting out probelms early on before they become insurmountable. Try not to supplement feeds or your body does not get the demand signals that it needs. A baby that is not latched well will feed for hours on end and give you sore nipples. Make sure you get plenty of help with feeds from the beginning .

Prufrock Thu 24-Mar-05 18:24:11

Not in my Experience. 2 cs, both times milk came in on day 3 and I had lots. My first cs was after 2 days of unproductive inducing and my second was preplanned, but there was no difference.

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