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Thread: Surgery and breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Surgery and breastfeeding

    I had asked this on the other forum but have forgotten the advice I was given. Plus now I have a date for the operation (spinal) but still do not know how many days I will be in the hospital. My DS will be 6mo then and I plan to continue to bf as long as I can at least the first year. I am afraid that since I will not be able to bf him all day and night he will either reject me when we get back together or give my DH heck while he tried to feed him exbm. DH has no real idea how many times he gets up during the night and I also worry he will sleep through his calls. He can bring him to me during the day so I think I can bf at least a few times and I will pump the rest. How often should I pump? I will make sure the meds I am on are bf friendly also. On top of this one I may need a hysterectomy for pre-cancer shortly after the other surgery and I know that is a 4 day stay. I am hoping to be able to put it off but will find out more from the second oncologist opinion. I just hate the idea of being away from him at all let alone two times in a short period.


  2. #2

    Default Re: Surgery and breastfeeding

    Wow, that sounds really stressful! I hope everything goes okay for you!

    At 6 months old, your nursing relationship should be well established, and even if he has several alternative feedings over a few days, he'll probably come right back to the breast (especially if your DH can bring him in a couple of times a day for "on tap" feedings).

    Will he take a bottle or a sippy cup? Make sure that you have a reliable method of feeding that he'll take. That will be one less worry. If you're concerned about your DH sleeping through your DS' night wakings, perhaps he would agree to move your DS' bed into your bedroom during your hospital stay? And many mothers find that their babies behave better for the caregiver when the mother is out of the home--somehow they seem to know that mom and her breasts are away!

    Contact the hospital lactation services and see if you can have the use of a hospital-grade pump during your stay. These are highly efficient pumps that should help keep your supply up (if you have a good double electric pump of your own, though, bring that and it should be fine). You should probably pump at least every 3-4 hours, maybe more depending on how often your son normally feeds when you are with him. It may help to take something to help you let down for the pump (a picture, a tape-recording of his voice, a blanket that smells like him). Bring some extra milk-storage containers and labels and ask the nurses to put them in the refrigerator for you while you wait for your DH to collect them. Make sure you drink plenty during your recovery period and eat enough once you are allowed to eat again. And of course, any time you can have DH or someone else bring him in to nurse directly from you, do that!

    Hope this helps and good luck!

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