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Thread: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

  1. #1

    Default If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    Hi everyone, I am due to have a repeat c-section possibly 2 weeks earlier than the due date. Since my first baby came 10 days late and had to be born with a c-section I didn't get milk until the 4rth day after her birth. We had no major issues with her and breastfeeding.

    I am a bit concerned that I will not go through labor (which according to my OB starts the lactation process) and whether any of you have had similar experiences and can guide me.

    One of friends gave birth 6 weeks prematurely and had absolutely no milk.

    I am concerned that it would happen to me and what could possibly be done to prevent that. Except to let the baby suck even on empty and hopefully that would do the trick.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    1,610

    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    The birth of the placenta (and of course baby!) is what triggers a change in hormones and causes you to lactate. Women with a retained placenta (among other serious problems) often have a hard time lactating or don't lactate while the placenta is not removed.

    This is why adoptive mothers can nurse and women can relactate - it's a shift in hormones.

    That said, yes you most certainly will be able to nurse. It's important to nurse early and often - and even when you can't it can be made up for and many mothers of even very early preemies have had successful nursing relationships! 4 days is within the range of normal for getting your milk in - just keep the baby close to you and nurse nurse nurse!!
    It takes work, that's for sure, but it can be done.

    ETA: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/milkproduction.html This link is a little outdated (with regards to the inner workings of the breast - what it looks like specifically) but it shows how lactation starts and hey you could even print it out for your OB!
    Last edited by @llli*bunnyscooltes; December 2nd, 2008 at 09:40 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    My son was born six weeks early in October and my milk came in just fine. It was a little rocky at first since I didn't have him right there with me (he was rushed out of state to a NICU) to nurse and help things along it was very possible.

    Seeing as you will only be about two weeks ahead of your due date you should be totally fine. Try not to stress about it too much, stress can cause a decline in your supply.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    Both my boys were emergency sections: 3 weeks and 5 weeks early. I had no problems with colostrum/milk coming in...nursed both the day they were born.

    Good luck with everything.
    2005 2008

  5. #5
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    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    My little one was born 6 weeks early via c-section. As a first time Mom, my milk took 4 days to come in. I pumped from day 2 onwards, which was helpful. I gave them the little bit of colostrum I had and it was mixed into her formula. By day 5 she was 100% on breast milk.

    You'll be fine. In fact, because this is your second baby, you may find it will come in earlier and faster than your first!
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  6. #6

    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    Thank you Jessica for that article, after reading it I feel better. When I had my first daughter, I would sometimes let her have a bottle of my pumped milk (if I wasn't around) and that slowed my milk production to the point that she wasn't getting enough. Mind you, she might have had two bottles in a matter of maybe 2-3 days. I panicked and didn't find an answer here, so I called a consultation listed for my state and she told me to just stay in bed with the baby and let her nurse even on empty and that would bring it on. And of course it did.

    After reading that article, now I remember older women telling me that they would have shots to dry their milk even though they never started to nurse their babies.

    As far as OB is concerned, he probably feels overwhelmed by having to know so many things and not wanting a legal issues, would probably refer me to lactation consultant at the hospital.

    I sincerely appreciate your answers!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    Slightly off-topic, but is there any medical reason why the repeat c-section needs to be scheduled so far in advance of your due-date? Babies born at 37-38 weeks can be a little "undercooked" and can have difficulty nursing. If there's no good medical reason to schedule the c-section at 37-38 weeks, you can tell your doc to please bump the date closer to 40 weeks. I know a lot of docs will say "I don't want you going into labor, the risks of uterine rupture are too great," but they're really pretty minimal, especially in early labor.

  8. #8

    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    To momma1,

    OB wants to schedule it close to 40 weeks, I want 38+ to 39. My bp is going up and I am now 35 weeks. I am retaining tons of fluid. With my last pregnancy I retained as much as 6 lbs. one week, towards the end, and then I went over 10 days. As much as my baby is important, so am I. I have another one to take care off and if something happens to me, I will be no good to my family. There is no protein in urine at last visit, but once again, I feel my health deteriorating, besides I am in my 40's.

    I was only concerned if I went early, because my uterus is tensing so incredibly, which didn't happen with previous pregnancy.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    38 weeks is full term. I went into labor at 38 wks and my milk came in just fine. Baby was pretty sleepy and I remember the tips of his thumbs were halfway between skin and nail (hadn't hardened into true nail), but he was officially fully developed and he figured out the BFing in a day or two. The nurses insisted on attaching me to a pump to get my milk started but the LC consultants said it wasn't necessary because I was producing colostrum. The second night, he wanted to nurse and nurse and nurse and my milk came in after that.

    I was retaining a lot of water toward the end - my feet looked like they had been inflated, so I understand your reasons, esp with the BP.
    Emma

    J from Aug '06 to Nov '08 and S from April 2009

  10. #10
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    Default Re: If Baby Is Born 2-3 Weeks Early, Will Lactation Be Jeopardized?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cokule View Post
    As much as my baby is important, so am I. I have another one to take care off and if something happens to me, I will be no good to my family. There is no protein in urine at last visit, but once again, I feel my health deteriorating, besides I am in my 40's.
    Do they think you are headed toward pre-eclampsia? What is your b/p? Are you on bed rest now?

    Absolutely you are important mama. Take care of yourself and good luck!
    I'm Hillary
    Wife to Gualberto
    Mom to Nolan
    Born at 32 weeks-3lbs/10oz
    11-25-2007
    Our precious early angel

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