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Breastfeeding advice, particularly after CS

(22 Posts)
Matilda30 Mon 27-Jul-15 11:35:44

Apologies, another post from me. I'm so clueless, and you mumsnetters are so helpful!

Anyway, I'm having an ELCS and would like to try n bf. I'm concerned about it not happening straight away and a possible lack of support from hospital as I've heard pain and anxiety can hinder bf (I assume I'll be in some pain and I also suffer from anxiety) and I'm giving birth in the busiest week of the year maternity wise so don't expect loads of bf help.

Any positive bf hospital stories? Particularly CS ones? Any tips? Also, how soon after birth will baby need to feed? Will they make me give him formula after a set time?

Thanks again!

willnotbetamed Mon 27-Jul-15 13:54:03

I have no experience of CS, but had a "difficult" start with bf, because my DS 1 was born prematurely. He was in the neonatal unit in a different building, and I was shown how to express milk so that we could move to bf later on. It was definitely not the way you want things to go, but I just want to reassure you that it all worked fine! I expressed every few hours for four weeks, and as DS1 got stronger I was able to try to let him latch on and feed himself. The expressed milk was used to bottle-feed him. Once he came home, I slowly switched to full bf and ended up feeding him for 14 months.

I hope someone comes along who knows more about this than I do, but I would imagine you just let your DC try to feed as soon and as often as you are able to. They don't have full feeds at the beginning but just suckle to get colostrum, and as long as you let them do that, your milk should come in a few days later, by which time you will hopefully not be in much pain and will be more able to decide how you want to play things. So you have a bit of time for you and your baby to get used to each other and find your way. In my experience, hospital staff are not always great at bf advice anyway - it's a bit trial-and-error at the beginning (having a good book on bf to hand might be good) but it should get easier as you go along!

Good luck with the birth!

Milkyway1304 Mon 27-Jul-15 14:20:23

I had an EMCS, was very unwell after the procedure and was separated from my DD for several hours after the birth. I first fed her about 8 hours after her birth. She latched immediately, fed well and my only real issue in the early days was getting her out of the cot. I never had any nipple pain or supply issues. And nobody ever suggested formula. When you read forums you'll naturally see the bad stories, but lots of people have no problem breastfeeding after a c-section. Seek some real life advice beforehand, and ask midwife to help you position baby for feeds.

I'm still breastfeeding my 15month old so something obviously went right!

mygreeneyedboy Mon 27-Jul-15 15:02:28

I had an ELCS. As soon as I was back in the delivery ward we had skin to skin, which involved them sticking the baby on my breast. I was quite woozy and so most of it was done by the midwives.
When you are back on the ward you can buzz for a midwife or nurse to get the baby out of their cot and hand them to you, I still struggled to get baby to latch so they would stay and help. If you are worried about this just ask. Baby needs to feed every 4 hours, they might even be waking you both up to remind you of this!
So once you are in the delivery room with baby (maybe you will go straight to the ward?) get DH to get a midwife to do skin to skin and the first feed. There should even be a special breastfeeding nurse who does rounds once or twice a day.
I would be surprised if they gave formula quickly..
It was a difficult start, but DS breastfed for 8 months smile

Diggum Mon 27-Jul-15 19:13:02

I had

SomedayMyPrinceWillCome Mon 27-Jul-15 19:20:17

I had an ELCS, midwives put baby on my breast before I'd even left theatre
It wasn't easy as DS had a tongue tie but that was unrelated to CS.
I found that having LOTS of pillows helped (4 or 5), so I wasn't supporting DS's weight

Diggum Mon 27-Jul-15 19:20:24

Bloody hell! Sorry!

I had an emCS for FTP. I was in recovery for about an hour I think, maybe a little more. Fed DD as soon as I got back to the ward.

It was fine. By which I mean she seemed to know what to do while I kept doubting that she was actually getting anything until midwife showed me how to squeeze out colostrum to prove to myself there was something there!

I read a lot about BF leading up to the birth- both on here and from some books recommended by MNers. This definitely helped. But it still took a few days (weeks really) for me to really feel I'd gotten the hang of it.

Having said that I don't think the CS made any difference. I was given regular pain relief and kept taking it regularly at home until I stopped needing it so pain wasn't really in issue. I also tied a sheet to the foot of the bed so I could grab it and use it to haul myself into sitting position when I needed to retrieve DD. I used normal feeding positions.

Still BFing at 15 months so obviously it's worked out really well for us bothsmile

Best of luck to you!

Booboostwo Mon 27-Jul-15 19:27:07

I had two ELCSs and breastfed both times. DD was brought to me in the room after the recovery ward, she latched straight away and fed non-stop for the next two years! The first 9 weeks were painful due to a poor latch but nothing to do with the CS. The first 24 hours I had to ask the MWs to pass me the baby but after that I managed on my own by moving the bed into a good position in relation to the cot.

With DS he was brought to me in the recovery room where he fed for 20 mins straight away, still feeding at 10mo. Again I needed help getting him in and out of the cot the first day but after that it was fine.

The best thing, I found, is teaching the baby to feed lying down, after that you start getting some sleep again!

calamityjam Mon 27-Jul-15 19:27:22

Ive had all my 4 dcs by cs. I breastfed all without problems using the rugby hold technique and pillows. The only issues i had were getting the midwives to pass dcs to me in the night as i couldnt get out of bed and they seemed to leave me waiting a long time

Diamondsandpears Mon 27-Jul-15 19:29:03

If you and the baby are both fine then CS will make no difference to BF. I first fed more than 24 hrs after CS because baby was poorly and had to be monitored. Baby was on a sugar drip. We had tongue tie problems but got through that too. Good luck.

Sweetpotatoaddict Mon 27-Jul-15 19:47:58

I had an emcs, please don't believe that you will be in pain. I took some of the prescribed painkillers and really can't remember anything more than mild discomfort. I was I think lucky, but equally you might also be lucky smile
Make sure you offer your baby your breast regularly, asking the midwives for lots of help. I didn't and I think that ( and prolonged latent labour) delayed my milk coming in. Believe in your body and your baby working together, and try to relax.

Lucy61 Mon 27-Jul-15 19:55:13

You'll be fine, op. I had a cs too and bf no problem. Only thing id say is get a good support pillow to support your arms and take some of baby's weight as you're stomach will still be sore and you won't have much core strength.

Good luck.

luckiestgirlintheworld Mon 27-Jul-15 20:55:17

I had an EMCS and was breastfeeding DS about an hour later (as soon as I was out of theatre and into the overnight ward). They laid him down next to me naked and I lay on my side topless and we bf and did skin to skin that way. Was absolutely fine and I bf for 10 months and loved it.

AdorabeezleWinterpop Mon 27-Jul-15 21:43:36

I had a crash section with DC2. After I woke up, DS was brought to me and I fed him straight away. Even though the op was an emergency, I was in very little pain and BF was successful (he had gained weight before we were discharged from the hospital.)

New30 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:57:01

Sorry I can't help with your question as baby is still cooking but out of interest which is the busiest week of the year?

FluffyJawsOfDoom Mon 27-Jul-15 23:34:10

Ive had an emergency and elective section, and no issue breastfeeding either time. Midwives made every effort to give me skin to skin and a breastfeed immediately after I'd left surgery (even just a very short one with the emcs as I passed out soon after!). It was fine. smile

DuhNuh Mon 27-Jul-15 23:43:38

I also had no problems breastfeeding after a cs. The baby was put to my breast in recovery and visitors /midwives helped pass her to me once back on the ward. Back at home I used lots of pillows to prop her to the right height without any straining in the first few days.

Another tip that is a general post cs tip at home is to make yourself a propped up bed with a folded duvet and cushions so you don't have to get up from a horizontal lying down position.

And the best advice I had from a midwife re pain was to keep on top of it and keep up with the doses for the first week so you don't have to test out how much pain you're in iyswim. I agree with the pp that you don't need to be in pain. Yes it will be uncomfortable but you don't need to be in agony. The worst you will feel, in my experience, is when you stand for the first time but you'll have lots of support for that - or should do!

Matilda30 Tue 28-Jul-15 05:25:21

Thanks so much for all your advice and positive stories! And New30, I'd heard that the 2nd week of Sep is generally busiest, although I obviously don't know if that's true.

New30 Tue 28-Jul-15 16:57:23

Thanks Matilda, I'm the third. Hope it isn't too busy!

AttackOfTheGreyLantern Tue 28-Jul-15 17:07:19

2 sections here - one emergency, one elected. BF both times was easy and painless. Just keep on top of your painkillers after the operation. Timings slip and nurses coming round with the medication get delayed so keep an eye on your timings as it's better to stop the pain starting than try and get it under control again. I had mine during the busy period too and needed to ensure I was taking the painkillers on time, or it wouldn't have happened (two different hospitals both had same problem).

ChristineBrooke Tue 28-Jul-15 20:12:54

I breastfed for 18 months after an ELCS. There is no evidence that I'm aware of that having a CS impedes BFing; it is the removal of the placenta that triggers milk production as I understand it. Doesn't stop the CS's supposed breastfeeding voodoo being bandied around by midwives though.

OP, even if everything goes 'right' breastfeeding is hard work - certainly for the first couple of months, and it might be really, really painful too. People told me to stick with it for six weeks as it got a lot easier then; I did, and just as I was about to give up as it hurt so bloody much, they were right - the soreness and wincing type pain just lifted. I recall that at 4 weeks things got easier, and by 6 weeks the pain magically disappeared. Then all that agony paid off - became very easy and emotionally rewarding.

Feathernest Wed 29-Jul-15 11:52:17

ELCS here too, no problems bf, in fact I think it might have been easier than if I'd had a long natrual labour and was exhausted. I was a bit clueless and as she was so happy sleeping/dropped off while feeding, I probably didn't feed her as much as needed to in first 24 hours, so had to just be more proactive next few days. They come and pick up the baby when you buzz so please don't worry about not being able to move initially. We were shown how to feed lying down, which worked brilliantly for me, so do ask about that. I do remember initially it was quite painful when uterus is contracting when feeding, but think was only first 24/36 hrs, please don't think it will always be like that. My experience is all NHS staff v pro bf. ELCS was a great experience for me, all went very smoothly and really don't think had any impact at all on bf or bonding, good luck with it all!

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