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Thread: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Default Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    I'm having a repeat c-section and have some questions. This one will be scheduled before I go into labor whereas last time it was an emergency.

    My questions are: since I'm not going into labor naturally will my body still know to produce milk for my baby right away?

    I have been reading that it is hard to bf in the side-lying position yet I fear that's all I'll be able to do while I'm still in the hospital so that I don't hurt the incision. Will I have problems with this? Should I prepare to try other positions? Anyone know good positions for c-section moms? What if I need help while I'm there making sure new LO is getting a good latch? I will be in there for 5 days - can I get a LC to come to the hospital?

    Last time I was told my breasts were not the right shape to feed my child by a nurse in the hospital which led to me doubting myself and well that led to early supplementation due to failure to thrive and jaundice but then once out of the hospital I got support from friends, established my supply, and exclusively pumped with a lactina select for 13 months. My question here is I want to avoid any supplementation and just wondering what I can do to be better prepared this time.

    Thanks for reading and for your help.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    Congrats on your upcoming arrival and for seeking help before hand - It's sure to lead to success




    Here's a link with some info that should be helpful to you
    Last edited by Number3; April 1st, 2008 at 11:59 AM.
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
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    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
    Emerson


    Ban the bags. ......... Watch your language. ....... Help keep Dr Newman's clinic open!

    We demand that our childcare providers are CPR certified... why don't we demand the same of ourselves! Get certified!

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    Most hospitals have lactation consultants on staff, you can request to see one and I think it is free as long as you are still checked into the hospital- that's how it was for me, anyway.

    I'd recommend you get a boppy pillow- it really helped me after my section. The LC I saw suggested the football hold- that way there is no pressure on the incision site and with the boppy to help support the weight of the baby it was pretty easy. I took full advantage of the moveable bed, too while I was in the hospital. I slept sitting up a little bit, with a pillow between me and the rail and the baby was tucked un my arm lying on the pillow nursing- so I suppose it was sort of like side lying, but I was on my back (if that makes sense).

    You can definitely do this!! There are a lot of moms here who've successfully breastfed their babies after csections. You are on the right path by trying to find out all you can ahead of time. This site is a great resource, so come by anytime you have questions!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    Congrats on the upcoming birth of your LO! I had a c-section as well. My milk started to come in within 48 hours of DS's birth so it isn't true that a c-section affects that.

    Definitely have an ICBLC lined up beforehand in case you experience any problems. We had tremendous latch issues which resulted in DS being fed expressed BM in a bottle for 2-3 months. During this time, I worked tirelessly on latch and was rewarded in the end with a great BFing relationship. I didn't have to supplement with formula at all because, like you, I began pumping on Day 3 when I realized that we were going to have major problems with latch.

    I didn't have a lot of problems from my incision. I took it easy but I moved around and went out all the same. We mostly did the crossover position (the typical BF position) using a regular pillow. You can also try the football hold which will keep your LO away from your incision. The kellymom website has details on that particular hold.

    Lastly, the shape of your breasts do not affect your ability to BF. Whoever told you that is wrong and should be made aware of the grave error of dispensing such information to scared, new, impressionable moms. I have very large breasts and, while it's been a challenge at times for various reasons, I never doubted their ability to function as nature intended.

    Good for you for doing this research beforehand. You will establish a successful and rewarding BFing relationship with your LO - don't ever doubt your body's abilities. Surround yourself only with those who support and nurture you in your decision to BF!
    Andrea - mama to Laith 02.20.07 and Sommer 01.21.11
    'Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it's from Neptune.' - Noam Chomsky

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    Absolutely!!! And I agree with Andrea that whoever told you that needs some education, and fast!

    I did not go into labor, and I had no problems with my milk coming in. I used the football hold, but more because it was the most comfortable for me; after about a week I wasn't really aware of my incision much, and it didn't hurt for him to lie on my stomach.

    Congratulations on your new baby!!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    Congrats!!!!! and oh by golly yes you can I did for 13 months! Whoever sad no is wrong. Make sure you let the hospital know BEFORE things get hectic that you want to nurse, that way they are prepared also.

    I felt better after about 2 weeks (including about aweek in hospital) but I pushed for 3 hrs before baby was taken and I had preeclampsia. walking slowly helped alot esp if you use the stroller or a cart at the grocery store or something.
    Danielle

    Mom to Gage 12/28/06

    Wife to Trinity 6/21/03 my best friend

    ed for year, finally done!!!!
    for more than a year now!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    i'm another successful breastfeeder who had a c-section. i guess i lucked out with my hospital-- all of the nurses seemed to be LCs. why don't you speak with an LC before the birth? that way you'll feel like you have a jumpstart on successful bfing.
    Jean
    proud mama to ds, born 8/3/06, 11 lbs 14 oz, 24", now 35 lbs, 35", self-weaned at 20 months
    expecting baby boy #2 on 7/21/08, hoping for a VBAC

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    IIRC there is some information out there with regard to the certain shape of a breast not being as "successful" BUT not that it is impossible. I don't have any info right near me at the moment But breast size doesn't matter - that only determines ones "storage capacity"
    Click here to find an LLL leader near you...or call 1 877 4 LA LECHE for help now.

    "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
    Emerson


    Ban the bags. ......... Watch your language. ....... Help keep Dr Newman's clinic open!

    We demand that our childcare providers are CPR certified... why don't we demand the same of ourselves! Get certified!

    I lost 22 lbs in 8 months... with a bit of determination and common sense information from this book.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    Ladies,
    Thank you! I must be hormonal b/c you have made me cry (in a good way) with your wonderful encouraging support. I expected nothing less here.

    Loved all the links and helpful tips - I'll be printing everything out to take with me, I'll definitely refuse the free 'gift' bag of formula, and go in with confidence knowing I can and WILL do this. The pump and I had a love/hate relationship as I'm sure many of you have experienced and just want to make sure I get off on the right start with BF'ing first. My breasts are large and I was told they were too pendulous (sp?) in order for BF to work. Now I know better.

    I'll be checking out a local LLL meeting and getting in touch with hosp to see if there is a LC on staff. And I'll definitely be checking back in after new LO is here.

    Thanks (can't say it enough)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: Having a c-section - will I still be able to breastfeed?

    with pp. I have had 1 emergency c-section and 1 planned c-section. The first was after 36 hours of induced labor, I was exhausted and my recovery very difficult for various reasons. The second was so much easier to recover from and BF was easier. Some hospitals in my area require you to have someone in the room with you 24/7 if you want to room in after a c-section. I would find out what the procedures are at your hospital so you can be prepared. I would also let your doc know that you want to nurse ASAP after delivery. Our first nursing was with me on my back about 20 minutes after my lo was born. I then began asking how soon I could roll to my side and kept asking until the docs said okay (about 2 hours later). I then, like pp, took advantage of the adjustable bed and slept/nursed semi-upright. I would find out if they have an LC on staff and her credentials. I would also find out if there is a local LLL and be in contact with the leader. Also, since you know this will be a c-section you can discuss with your pediatrician that you want to BF w/ no supplements. Some peds will put it in the lo's chart to have no water, no paci's no supplements and they will advocate for you to start nursing asap.
    Proud mom of 2 boys, both weaned gradually and with love.


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