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Questions about breast pumping

(12 Posts)
ParsleyCake Sat 30-May-15 15:54:57

I am very concerned that I will be unable to breastfeed after c section - I am finding out tomorrow whether I will need a c section or not. A family friend told me that getting a c section meant that she was unable to breastfeed, and I would be devastated if this happened to me. Is this a risk?

Secondly, I would very much like to build up a stock before baby is born. I am 38 weeks which I am told is considered full term anyway, so it probably does not matter if I induce labour while doing this, right? Even so, someone told me that if contractions start, simply stop pumping and they will go away. Also, many mothers breastfeed their older children while pregnant and don't induce labour! And also it is not true that you run out of colostrum. Somwould it be safe for me to start pumping now at 38 weeks? Hopefully this would help ensure that in the event of a c section I would not only have a ready supply for baby, but have no problems producing milk.

Caillou Sat 30-May-15 16:01:41

I ended up with an emcs with dd 3.5 years ago and I didn't have any issue fb her until she was 2.5yo

I have never heard of building supplies before the baby is born, so I can't advise on that.

If you haven't already bought a pump though, I bought mine from boots a few weeks back, it is an electric one from haberman and it was around £30 instead of £130, maybe worth checking your local or online to see if they still have stock.

trilbydoll Sat 30-May-15 16:08:41

I had no issues after an emcs for dc1.

I've just been in hospital with dc2 who doesn't want to eat anything at all, and all the info sheets said colustrum should be hand expressed, and you shouldn't use a pump until baby is 48h old. I have no idea why, but it might be worth querying with a midwife.

MrsMillions Sat 30-May-15 16:09:24

I have 4 good friends who had c sections the same year. 3 successfully breastfed for various lengths of time, 1 didn't but she doesn't attribute this to the c section at all. She did however really struggle with the fact she couldn't breastfeed and it made me determined to relax about the idea ahead of DD's birth. So please try to relax about it. BF is wonderful when it works (and it did for me) but if, for whatever reason, it doesn't work for you and your baby, try to move on and enjoy those precious early days.

No knowledge about expressing before birth but would add that pumps are very different to babies so if you try and it doesn't work, that does not mean you won't be able to BF the baby when it arrives.

Bigbadgeorge Sat 30-May-15 16:11:56

I've had two sections and no bother breastfeeding with either baby (and that includes dd being in an incubator for 5 days before I could hold her!) so please don't worry smile
I personally wouldn't bother trying to express before but that's not based on any actual knowledge about it. I know in hospital they won't give you a pump until you can hand express quite a bit - may be unlikely before birth??

TarkaTheOtter Sat 30-May-15 16:13:54

I expressed antenatally because I had GD and it is advised in case of neonatal hypoglycaemia. I don't think it'll do any harm if you are 38 weeks and at least you'll know how when baby arrives... but I don't think it'll make your milk come in any quicker either and the amounts you'll get are tiny. Also, any top ups you give (expressed milk or formula) will potentially reduce your milk supply so whilst you may need to give them, you would be better feeding directly if possible (from a bfing perspective).

Willdoitinaminute Sat 30-May-15 16:17:09

I had elective Csection at 36 weeks DS was breach and was in Nicu for the first few days. He was tube fed with whatever I could express and formula for the first few days. Started feeding him myself at 4 days when my milk had come in and never looked back. Nicu midwives were very supportive and there was great celebration when he latched on and had his first full feed.
Get yourself a good bf pillow to support baby while feeding, and make sure someone is on hand to help you get comfortable in the early days.

Threesoundslikealot Sat 30-May-15 16:17:33

I imagine they recommend hand expressing colostrum because you get small amounts which would get lost in the innards of a pump. It's also very sticky so wouldn't flow through the tubes. Harvesting colostrum is quite frequently done by women who think or know they may need to supplement the baby immediately after birth.

OP, c-sections can cause a delay in lactation but it's by no means universal. You're unlikely to build a milk supply before birth because your hormones are still those of a pregnant woman - a cause for milk to come in late can be a delay in the right hormonal changes if the body has been a bit 'shocked' by the section and hasn't triggered the hormonal drop, so you can see why it would be a challenge when pregnant. I think you should talk to your midwife at your next appointment about your concerns and see what she suggests.

Foggymist Sat 30-May-15 18:41:53

Very similar to Willdoitinaminute, I had an emcs at 36+6, and didn't get to hold my baby until he was over 30 hours old, at which point I was advised to hold him to my breast. He did nothing, just lay there. At the next feed he rooted and sucked mid air, at the next feed he latched on and that was that. He was fed bottles sometimes when I couldn't get to special care, but it had no effect on his ability to breastfeed. They did say it was unusual and really good for somebody to be able to breastfeed so easily after an early section and time away from baby.

I think they just advise expressing colostrum, I don't think it's to build up supply, otherwise you wouldn't have the first milk, colostrum, when the baby is born? And I don't think you'd manage to build up a supply, babies cluster feed a few days after they are born which makes the milk "come in", I don't think a pump could or should replicate that.

TarkaTheOtter Sat 30-May-15 18:45:38

Your milk won't come in before the birth as its driven by hormones not supply/demand until the first few days after the baby is born - see kellymom website for loads of details about milk production.

BadgerFace Sat 30-May-15 20:29:14

I had an EMCS at 37 weeks and my milk came in fine, despite DD having problems feeding for various reasons (relating to her rather than me).

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Sat 30-May-15 20:38:27

My best friend had an EMCS and breastfed for a year.
I didn't produce a single drop of colostrum before giving birth, not everyone one. You won't be able to build up supplies of milk as it doesn't come in until day 3ish, and colostrum only comes in tiny drops until then (babies tummy is tiny). I really wouldn't worry about expressing before birth.

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