BREASTFEEDING AFTER A C- SECTION

So your Doctor said you cannot breastfeed after a C-Section.  Your arms will be tied down.  You may be partially unconscious if it was an emergency C.  Have you heard that before?  Have you heard something else?  I’m sure.  Breastfeeding after a C-Section is just as important as breastfeeding after a vaginal birth.  And yes, it CAN happen right after.  Statistics state that women who have a C-Section are less likely to breastfeed or sustain breastfeeding than those of a vaginal birth (71.5% vs 3.5%) (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/21083718/) .  Those who have either an elective C or an emergency are less likely to either initiate breastfeeding or continue breastfeeding vs. a vaginal delivery because it takes longer may have more complications and mothers just want to feed their baby’s.  So they get scared and give in to the bottle thus beginning the end of their breastfeeding.  This is not necessary.
After your C-Section, your partner or doula can place the baby on your chest.  The baby will do the breast crawl to latch itself.   You can visit my website for a video put on by UNICEF on the breast crawl at www.latchwithme.com .  Have your partner or doula keep their hands on either side of your body just to make sure the baby is safe and won’t fall off.  This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours.  It depends on how much medication you received in labour.  The medication you received potentially slowed down your labour as it made your baby groggy.  They will be groggy when they come out as well.  That is why we say that it can take 3-5 days for your milk to come in (shorter if you have already had a child as your body knows what to do).  If the baby is tired, it won’t latch right away and will DELAY not end things.  Milk production begins when the placenta is fully delivered.  That tells your body that it is no longer pregnant and to start making milk.

Once you are out of recovery and find that your pain medication may be wearing off, you may find it difficult to have your baby over your abdomen to breastfeed.  This is a good time to investigate the football hold or lying down to feed.  It’s a matter of comfort.

Whether you had an elective C-Section or an emergency, you can rest assured that you will be able to breastfeed on a long term basis.  Remain skin to skin as long as you can.  Stay with it, it’s worth it.

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