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Odd question about expressing straight after delivery....

4 replies

Writerwannabe83 · 08/05/2017 13:08

This might be a strange question....

I had a planned c-section with DS and we had a very difficult start to breast feeding for the first two days post delivery. He was really reluctant to attempt to suckle, he would start getting angry at the breast because there was nothing there if he did suck and then he eventually stopped trying and he became a very sleepy baby. He had to be seen by the Neonatal Team because they were quite worried about his low energy and blood sugars. I genuinely can't remember him having a proper feed in the first 24 hours of his life.

On day 2 of life the midwives did have to give him a small volume of formula because it was clear I had nothing to offer him. Immediately prior to that I'd had a midwife hand expressing my breast (oh how pleasant that was) and despite her best efforts for quite some time she barely got 1ml of colostrum so there was no option but to give formula.

Anyhow, by day 3/4 everything was back on track and I went home breast feeding but those first 48-60 hours were awful, both physically for me and DS and especially emotionally difficult for me.

I have since been told that following planned c-sections it is very common to have problems with breast feeding because there's been no hormonal warning to the breasts that a baby is imminent in the same way that hormonal changes occur during natural Labour and so the milk isn't prepared for baby's arrival. I don't know how true this is?

Anyhow, I'm due DC2 in three months and this will also be a planned section and I'm dreading the same thing happening again and my friend suggested that I buy a breast pump and from as soon as the baby is delivered I should start pumping every few hours to encourage the milk to start flowing in order to avoid having the same issue again. She said it quite confidently as though it is done quite routinely?

Has anyone else done this or have any thoughts?

OP posts:
tiktok · 08/05/2017 14:07

No, unless there has been more recent research I have not seen, the idea that section babies have to wait for their milk has long since been refuted. There was a connection in the days when babies and mothers were routinely separated after a c section in some places, and when the study did not control for c section babies being more likely to need scbu or nicu stays. Your milk comes in as a result of the placenta being delivered - not the baby :) It's to do with hormones and attached placenta putting a 'brake' on prolactin - when the placenta comes away the 'brake' is released.

Keep your baby skin to skin as much as possible; BF as and when you and your baby want; ask if it's possible for you to have the baby unwrapped straight after the birth so you can hold him and offer a feed....just as you would with a vaginal birth.

Pumping after birth to bring the milk in is just not necessary unless there are known issues. What a faff. Don't know where your friend has heard this.

BusyBee2017 · 08/05/2017 14:11

Expressing straight after birth is not necessary and also more work for you.

Try and do skin to skin straight after birth if you are able to. It will encourage baby to find your breast on its own and suckle.

Milk will not come in until a few days anyways and also you may produce more milk than required which could result in painful breasts, enforcements, blocked ducts and mastitis

Nan0second · 08/05/2017 14:12

I would politely slightly disagree with the poster above. There can be a delay from planned CS especially after a first baby. However, it is not the same for everyone, nor the same for every pregnancy.
The tips above are excellent though :)
Colostrum is best expressed by hand so it would be better to learn how to do that (there are YouTube videos).
You can also do this before the baby comes from 36weeks pregnancy. To start with you may not get much, but you will soon get a ml or so at a time if you practice. You can freeze this in sterile milk bags (or some 1ml or 2ml syringes) and then your partner can bring them in if you need to!

BusyBee2017 · 08/05/2017 15:25

That's a good idea practising to express by hand before baby is born because your body will produce some more milk.

But I wouldn't use frozen breastmilk on a baby because when breastmilk is frozen it loses some of its nutritional value and antioxidants.

Obviously if you have not got any in the fridge and as a back up it's great because frozen breastmilk is better than formula.

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