VBAC vs C-section: Breastfeeding question — The Bump
VBAC

VBAC vs C-section: Breastfeeding question

I had a C-section with DD1 (she was breech and I ran very low on amniotic fluid, had to have her 37w5d). I had a plan on breastfeeding (and a natural but bviously that didn't work out). Anyway, had a very difficult time producing milk, I pumped and pumped and finally after a week of her being born I would get drops. She had to start formula and was used to the bottle. So from there on out it was formula + whatever I could get pumped (wasn't much, less then a 50/50 split).

So, I am 20 weeks pregnant with baby #2 and keep going back and forth about c-section vs vbac. I also have GD. So, if I decide c-section they want to deliver at 38/39 weeks. I would love to attempt breastfeeding again and was wondering- since I've been pregnant before, will I have an easier time producing milk? (even with c-section). Or does your body have an easier time when naturally going into labor "signaling" it's time to produce milk?

Or does it not matter either way and just depend what your body decides to do?!
Lilypie - Eu0n
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Lilypie - pXE7
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AYLA BLAIR   3♥27♥14

Re: VBAC vs C-section: Breastfeeding question

  • I had GD and induction/vaginal birth with baby 1 at 40 weeks and no diagnosed GD (but a large baby) and c/s (breech) with baby 2 at 38w4d (spontaneous labor). Both times I had low milk supply, although the second time was a bit more than the first. At best we managed 50/50 breast milk/formula. Personally I felt that having the c/s made it more difficult to get into a good groove early on, with latch and positioning, etc. 

    However, there is so much more that can contribute to low milk supply than your method of delivery. I've been doing a lot of research since my last delivery, and learning more about how hormonal imbalances, insulin resistance, and other health conditions an impact milk supply. Issues with baby, like tongue ties, suck issues, etc can come into play as well. 

    I would highly recommend finding a good IBCLC to work with prior to your delivery, to discuss your history, future goals, and develop a game plan. You might also find a Facebook group called "IGT and low milk supply support group" helpful. Good luck!
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  • I haven't had a vbac yet but I breast fed both my sons. My first was vaginal with preeclampsia, 38 wks and my second was csection 36 wks with GD and breech. I wouldn't say one was easier than the other except my second had to have cpap and so he was on a feeding tube for he first 3 hours because the doc knew I wanted to breastfeed so she didn't introduce a bottle. With all that said, I would ask to see a lactation consultant immediately and ask for skin to skin after baby is born. Introduce the breast as soon as you can and I've recently read that the natural breastfeeding position is baby laying stomach to stomach so you could even introduce breast right after delivery is you and your doctor are okay with this. I would say avoid formula if you can but if you decide to introduce it, try using a syringe instead of the nipple. It may take more effort but it'll avoid nipple confusion. The first few days are hard because we only produce colostrum and I felt like my babies only ever wanted to eat and do nothing else lol. 
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  • Just as no two births are the same, no two breast feeding experiences are the same! I have a friend who had baby #3 ten months ago and it's the first of her babies that her milk actually came in for! I personally could barely keep up with demand for my first and had to supplement occasionally, and with my second (which was a VBAC) I actually had crazy over-supply issues.

    There are certain foods and herbs that help with milk production that you can take at the end of pregnancy and immediately after baby is born. Fenugreek, Anise, Goats Rue, Hops, Raspberry Leaves, Oatmeal. Dark beer for some reason is really good for helping kick-start milk production too. As always though, there's some luck-of-the-draw to it. Good luck! 
  • My VBAC attempt with baby 2 failed but I will say I have successfully BF all 3 of my csection babies.  My milk came in faster with each one.  


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  • With my first I had a CS and it took about 5 days for my milk to come in. BFing was a learning curve but we got in a routine quickly and it lasted 16 months. 
    With my VBAC baby I got my milk by like day 2. And honestly it was so hard nursing him! I actually exclusively pumped for the first 6 weeks BC he just didn't get it at all! Then one day he was like "oh, ok let's do this" lol

    so I guess I don't think it matters CS vs VBAC makes nursing easier or harder. I think every experience is going to be unique to the kiddo and situation. 

    Either way way good luck! 

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  • Our ped who is also an IBCLC said to have a pump on hand, even if it's a hand pump, and begin pumping as soon as you can after your CS.  Ideally within the first 30 minutes.  This will tell your body that you need the milk even if you are separated from your baby for a length of time.  Also, if you have issues, make sure you have someone check for a tongue tie.  This has impacted so many people I know yet the medical community is still somewhat clueless about it and it greatly impacts a baby's ability to feed and the signal they give your body to make milk.  I struggled with supply after my CS and 3 months later, after switching peds, I finally had my son's tongue tie clipped and we've been doing great ever since.  I never pumped a lot though and always had to feed both sides at each feeding.  We made it to 11 months though and I'm newly pregnant again (still BFing but waiting for my supply to drop) and hoping for a VBAC.  I will have a pump at the ready in case there is any separation though or if we have latch trouble before our ped rounds after the birth.  I think the separation is what can cause issues personally but that is just based on what our ped has said.  
  • I haven't had a VBAC as I'm still pregnant with baby 2.. but I think its an every experience is different thing. I had a csection with my first and milk came in quick (within 2 days) and I had a ton of it.. I can't even imagine having more or it come in quicker
    Abbygirl 5/2012
    Baby Boy due 04/07/17
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