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caesarian and breast feeding

(18 Posts)
hannah001 Sun 24-Aug-08 08:47:45

Does having a caesarian affect your ability to breast feed? I mean - something must trigger milk production - I wondered if a caesarian affects the procedure...?

(I ask because I'm likely to have a c-section but I'm also planning to breast feed)

ShowOfHands Sun 24-Aug-08 08:54:05

It can make your milk come in a bit later but you should still be able to breastfeed.

I had an em cs and dd was sleepy afterwards and slow to latch on (but she was jaundiced so this had an effect). She didn't latch on for nearly 24hrs but once she did there was no looking back. I bf exclusively for 7 months and am still feeding her at 15 months.

There are ways to encourage bfing even after a cs. Ask for skin to skin contact, baby put straight on your chest, keep him/her close and don't limit access to the breast.

cheesychips Sun 24-Aug-08 09:09:28

Not at all in my case. My son was born by c section howling lustily, and he was given straight to me for skin to skin. The wonderful midwife helped him to latch on and he fed right there in theatre whilst they were stitching! still bf happily at 6.5 months.

It may have helped that whilst this had been intended to be a planned section, I went into spontaneous labour which I was thrilled about meaning that I KNEW it was the right time for my baby to be born and not some pre-ordained date set by me. So, this boy was ready to be born and ready to feed.

Finally (sorry) I would say have a birth plan, make your intentions to BF very clear and ask for help and support to make it happen.

LeonieD Sun 24-Aug-08 09:11:04

Message withdrawn

JulesJules Sun 24-Aug-08 09:33:25

I also fed dd2 for 3 1/2 years after a CS - actually I found it much easier than after my VB where I couldn't sit down for months... They were v keen in theatre for us to get skin to skin, and to feed as soon as possible. I would just make sure that you tell the midwives that this is what you want to do. Good luck!

LeonieD Sun 24-Aug-08 09:41:58

Message withdrawn

HeadFairy Sun 24-Aug-08 09:46:44

I was told that milk production in the first couple of weeks is more hormonally driven than anything, ie the fact that you no longer have a placenta pumping out hormones triggers milk supply, so however you have a baby your milk will come in, but having a baby vaginally will stimulate milk supply faster as there are other hormones and milk stimulants released during vaginal birth that aren't released during cs.

That said, I had el cs on a thursday morning and milk supply came in good and proper on Friday night/saturday morning (mind you ds was feeding hourly all that night so he was stimulating supply like there's no tomorrow!). I'm still bfing 11 months on.

Another elective section breastfeeder here, 13 months today and DS is still going strong. DS was latched on and feeding within an hour of birth, I got skin-to-skin in recovery (we were barely in theatre long enough for him to be checked etc before I was stitched and they were moving me so it was fine by me) and the midwives were really good at coming in through the night to help me lift him out of the cot etc. They made him a 'nest' in the bed so he could be close to me and feed lots. Just because your in hospital doesn't mean he has to stay in a little fishbowl cot all day - in retrospect I should have held him much more than I did. It was fine though - milk came in overnight on day 3 and in spite of jaundice and engorgement for a few days we got going without too much trouble.

While you're physically incapacitated with an elective section (can't move until the spinal wears off and then when it does you're stiff and sore) you don't have the tiredness from a long labour so feeding all night and day is less of a hardship.

The crucial thing is to make everyone you speak to aware that you're determined to feed, especially the midwife who's looking after your baby after delivery. Talk to them first and get them on side and you'll get off to a good start.

HeadFairy Sun 24-Aug-08 09:48:28

oops forgot to add, after two weeks of course your milk flow supply is demand driven, ie the more your baby feeds the more you produce. It's just the first couple of weeks that are hormonally driven, hence the mega amounts of milk most people produce at first, and the comical sight of milk squirting across the room the second you take bra and breast pads off

just because you're in hospital blush

HeadFairy Sun 24-Aug-08 09:50:30

I would second what Iaterosemaryconley said, don't leave your baby in the cot. I was a soppy thing and couldn't bear leaving him in there anyway, so ds slept on my chest the whole time I was in hospital, so instinctively I was doing skin to skin without realising it. Maybe that's why my milk came through so quickly.

ILikeToMoveItMoveIt Sun 24-Aug-08 09:51:42

It shouldn't make a difference to when your milk comes in as milk production is triggered when the placenta leaves the body.

Make sure you have plenty of skin to skin asap, so make sure the baby isn't turned into a pass the parcel when the relatives come to visit, and if you can't get the baby out of the crib by yourself make sure you get the mw's to help you - even if that means helping you every hour when they are busy.

Also be aware that you are at a higher risk of nipple thrush because of the routine IV anti-biotics you are given after the cs. Read up on the sypmtoms for you and baby so you can keep an eye out for it and nip it in the bud asap if you do recognise signs.

There are no reasons for you to not bf successfully, just be aware there are a few more possible stumbling blocks along the way after a cs, but if you are aware of them it won't be a problem.

Good luck smile

ShowOfHands Sun 24-Aug-08 10:03:09

Yes my dd didn't go in that fishbowl thing at all. They wedged her in with me with lots of pillows for support. She was close to me at all times.

I had an em cs after a traumatic and intervention-heavy 26hr labour so this might have affected dd's initial interest (she couldn't move her head, was very bruised and had a torn scalp!) but she still had only bm for those first 7 months.

They would not help me in hospital with feeding at all and I felt very isolated. Push, push, push for support if you need it.

RedFraggle Sun 24-Aug-08 10:08:53

I haven't read all posts so apologise if I'm repeating. I had an emcs with DD and having been in labour triggered the milk production so I fed her straight off with no issues.
With DS I had an elective and my milk didn't come in properly for a couple of days. I was still able to breast feed though - the midwives topped him up with a cup occasionally (about 3 times over the 3 days I was in). After that it was all fine. I breastfed both children for 6 months so neither CS stopped me.

hannah001 Sun 24-Aug-08 11:55:41

Brilliant - thanks for all the stories everybody - that's very reassuring. I breast fed my daughter 6 years ago and was planning to go the same way again - but the consultants seem to be hassling me into c-section and I suddently had doubts.

Oma Mon 25-Aug-08 18:58:48

Having a cesarean section should have no affect on milk production. I have had one vaginal birth and three CS. Just as other's have said ... skin to skin, breastfeed at least every 2-3 hours for 10-15 minutes for the first couple days or longer, gradualing increasing time. Your initial "milk" is called Colostrum - yellowish and thin - naturally fortified with nutrients and natural immunities from YOU. Whitish thin to creamy milk usually comes in 3-7 days after you start breastfeeding. Keep breastfeeding ... Production is enhanced by demand ... so keep that baby suckling

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Mon 25-Aug-08 19:03:20

My first son was born by c-section and I BF no problem.

ImnotMamaGbutsheLovesMe Mon 25-Aug-08 19:04:22

He was born at 7pm Monday

Wasn't allowed to be put to the breast until after 10, milk came in Wed, scoffed 2 hourly for the next 6 months.

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