Having a c-section and breastfeeding — The Bump
C-sections

Having a c-section and breastfeeding

Has anyone gone through that and can share with me how it was for them? I know they say your supposed to feed with in a few hours of birth but my last c-section for some reason I didnt get to see my son till 2 and half hours later by then they had fed him and shoved a binky in his mouth and they never asked me So what should i do this time? How can i better prepare what should i mention to the doctor or what questions should i ask?

Re: Having a c-section and breastfeeding

  • If you are having a scheduled or non-emergency c/s this time you should be able to nurse right away if you request it. I wanted to BF in the operating room but that was not possible. I was able to BF within 1 hour though, which some studies say is a good thing (we were at 46 minutes). My RCS was unplanned but not emergency, so I got to request all sorts of stuff I didn't get last time (Doula stayed with me in the OR when DH left with baby, I got to hold her in the room, got to see my placenta, etc.) 
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  • I requested LO be brought to me asap for BF and bonding. The only reason they wouldn't have was a health issue in either one of us. make sure your dr and nurses know those are your wishes!!
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  • LO went to recovery with me. I would find out what your hospitals policy is. Provided there is no issues with you or LO, they should be able to go to recovery with you and nurse there. It was within an hour. He really was not interested in nursing until about 5 hours after.
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  • my rpc and bf experience was slightly different. we delivered DD at 34wks so she was taken to the NICU. She was given a paci the first wk of her life (to help her learn to suck) and a bottle the 2nd wk of her life (she had to take all her feedings from the bottle before she could go home).

    we introduced the boob at the end of her 2nd week and she took right to it. no nipple confusion at all.

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  • I had an unscheduled c/s and did not get to see my son until at least an hour later.  I have a vague memory of trying to breastfeed him in the recovery room but I don't think it went very well.  Then I tried to feed him in the middle of the night when the nurse was in the room and I had no idea what I was doing - we couldn't seem to get him latched on.  I kept trying and trying until the following day when I saw the LC, which was a savior for me!  He wanted to be on the breast constantly and I know he didn't get much because my milk didn't come in for 5 days.  Here we are 2.5 months later going strong with the BF.

    If you have ?s or preferences, tell your doc!  You are the patient and your wishes should be respected. 

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  • I had an emergency c/s and was given LO as soon as I was stiched up. I started BFing as soon as we got into recovery, so it was all within an hour.
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  • imageJennV514:
    I had an emergency c/s and was given LO as soon as I was stiched up. I started BFing as soon as we got into recovery, so it was all within an hour.

    This was my experience, too.  And like PPs mentioned, make your wishes known this time around.  Unless there is more medical need, they shouldn't have an issue with you BFing while in recovery.

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  • I told the nurse that was taking him to the nursery that I was going to EBF and to NOT give him any formula or pacifier.

    They put on his crib card that he is breasfed. It worked out perfectly. I didn't get to see him for 3 1/2 hours but breastfeeding went well until he had latch issues. I EP and let him feed at breast for 2 or 3 snacks a day. We are doing great.

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  • Because DS was born not breathing and had a fever, he had to go to special care/Level 2 NICU.   I didn't get to hold him until he was a day old.   The nurses didn't start feeding him until he was 2 days old(he was getting IV  nutrition)  

    I started pumping right away(he was born Tuesday night...I started pumping the next day)   I also got to breastfeed him 3 times.   He had no problem latching even though the nurses gave him a binky those 1st 2 days as a comfort measure when he was NPO.    Then when they started feeding him, he was getting what I pumped in a bottle and supplemented with formula.  

    When the LC came to see me when he was 3 days old, she was impressed with his latch.

    Unfortunately, when all my complications set in and I got moved to CCU, I was unable to keep up with pumping.   Plus, they wound up putting me on meds that you cannot take while BFing.  

    I don't know what questions to ask ahead of time.   When I was in L&D, I told the nurse I planned on breastfeeding.   Also while he was in special care, his nurses there told me to make sure I kept pumping to get my supply going until he was ready to breastfeed.   But I wanted to let you know that even though DS and I didn't get skin to skin and I didn't get to BF him right away, we had success when we started.  

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  • I held and nursed DS in the recovery room about an hour after he was born.  He latched well immediately, and had a good suckle.  But my milk didn't come in until day 5, so on day 4 we had to supplement with some formula because he was getting dehydrated.

    At the hospital where I delivered, there was a section on the surgical consent form for "special instructions".  I wrote that no formula or pacifiers were to be given without my instruction.  The nurses were really supportive of that.  DS is 9 months old now, and nursing is still going strong!

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  • Like PP said make it known you don't want your baby to have formula. I told them I was BF and did not want her to have formula. Your baby can go a few hours without tying to BF and still be successful later. That happened to me and we are still successfully exclusively BF two months later. Stick to your guns it will be fine.
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  • HelsHels member

    My only advice is to memorize the following, "I would like to exclusively breastfeed my baby".  Say it to everyone you see in the hospital. You'll be shocked at how much support you will get. 

    I had an emergency csection, followed by a NICU stay and this baby has been EBF from day 1 with no issues. Don't let people scary you. You can do this!  



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  • I wasn't planning on breastfeeding but once I had her something changed and I felt like I needed to. I didn't start until the second day and she had already had a bottle and a binky and she did just fine. The only thing that was hard was how sore I was when trying to hold her to feed. Not just the incision was sore but my whole stomach so that was hard.
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  • imageLnsy:

    imageJennV514:
    I had an emergency c/s and was given LO as soon as I was stiched up. I started BFing as soon as we got into recovery, so it was all within an hour.

    This was my experience, too.  And like PPs mentioned, make your wishes known this time around.  Unless there is more medical need, they shouldn't have an issue with you BFing while in recovery.

    This exactly.  It was my hospital's policy to keep baby with mom at all times - babies don't see the nursery unless there is a problem.  

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  • I had a lot of trouble breast feeding after my c-section.  The c/s was unplanned, but after 12 hours of labor LO didn't look like she was going to come out on her own.  When she arrived, we were all surprized that she weighed 9 lbs. 13 oz!  No wonder I was so huge!  The combination of a big baby and recovering from abdominal surgery made breastfeeding difficult.  She was too long for the football hold, and it was too painful for the cradle hold.  (They took my epidural out a few hours after surgery.  I've heard this isn't the case in some hospitals; some of my friends had theirs in for a few days!)  Plus, my milk didn't come in until 5 days later!  I wanted to BF exclusively, but she had trouble gaining weight.  No matter how much I pumped or fed her, I just couldn't produce enough milk for her to gain weight.  We ended up having to supplement with formula, but in the end, the pumping, feeding, and supplementing was exhausting.  When she was 2 months old I gave up bf exclusively and switched to formula.  It was an emotional decision, but she has done great!

     I'm going to BFE a try again with this baby, but hopefully I won't feel as guilty if it doesn't work out.  Gisele came out with her comment about breastfeeding right when I had to give it up, so that didn't help! 

    I wanted to have a VBAC this time for various reasons, but the hospital doesn't allow them. Sad

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  • Thanks Ladies this was alot of help to me. I appreciate all ur help, its made me feel at ease about it all and gave me some hope Big Smile
  • I BF both my boys while I was still in recovery (withint 45min of their birth).  I had to hound the nurses to bring them to me, they wanted me to "rest" for a while but I was adamant that I would nurse my baby.  DH also knew that's what I wanted so I think he was pushing on the nursery end for them to bring me the babies.

    I think you just need to be persistent.  The nurses just do whatever is standard but they will bring you the baby if you ask (and ask and ask).  Once I was out of recovery, the babies didn't leave me so I was able to feed them whenever.

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  • Stress to them how important your desires to get the baby back as quickly as possible are! I didn't shut up about wanting to breastfeed and do skin-to-skin ASAP. They brought her to me as soon as I asked and could hold her. In the meantime, my husband did skin-to-skin. Good luck!
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  • Wow, my hospital was very accommodating.  They changed their procedure about c-section and recovery shortly before I had my daughter.  The new procedure has dad and baby go to mom's recovery room.  Baby is weighed and bathed with dad there and waits for my to arrive.  My DD was waiting for me in recovery.  I would have been able to hold her right away except I was shaking so bad.  I was moved to my room a couple hours later and was able to breastfeed then.  My daughter was never away from me, therefore never given the opportunity to be feed by anyone else.
  • I had DD at 1:56 AM after several hours of labor, so between the time of day and what I had been through before surgery I was very tired.  I also had bad shakes (my body temp went down to 94 degrees, which I didn't know was possible) for several hours, so while I was able to see DD and hold her in the crook of my arm in recovery, I wasn't offered help BFing and was too out of it to ask.  Then we let the nurses take her to the nursery for a few hours while we tried to sleep.  So I didn't even try BFing for maybe six or eight hours, and she was so drowsy that it took almost 24 hours to BF successfully.  That said, the maternity nurses were wonderful and really helpful with BFing.  They didn't supplement or express any concern that DD wasn't eating yet.  She dropped about 10 oz. but regained most of her birthweight by the time we left the hospital.  And I nursed her for 21 months, so everything worked out in the end.

    Although everything worked out with DD, I want to optimize my chances for successful BFing with this one and will make sure that I can BF this one ASAP.  I'm giving birth at a different hospital, and from the materials they've given me it looks like they encourage BFing in recovery.  They also provide a birth plan I can fill out and specify how I want to feed my LO.  So it seems like I'm already going into a very supportive environment, but I want to be more proactive this time in any case and use the opportunity of a planned RCS to make sure things go as I want to them to, as much as possible  anyway.

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