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Babystore • Tue 30-Jan-2024

Breastfeeding your baby after a C-section: Making sure it works

Breastfeeding your baby after a C-section: Making sure it works

What do experts think?

So you have reached the end of the 9-month journey and you are now at the beginning of a lifetime journey with your new bundle of joy. As expected, you have to feed your baby with breast milk but for certain medical reasons, you gave birth through a caesarean section (C-section) rather than spontaneous vaginal delivery (SVD).

A C-section delivery may restrict the course of breastfeeding and this may make it tough for you to give your baby essential nutrients that can only be gotten through breastfeeding. Therefore, C-section or no C-section, you want to make breastfeeding your baby work.

Even with the possible restrictions, you can make breastfeeding work after a C-section delivery. In the subsequent paragraphs, we run through certain things you should know to successfully breastfeed your child following a C-section.

Breastfeeding constraints that are consequences of C-section

  • Somnolence: C-section or Caesarean section is a surgical process in which a woman is delivered to her baby by making incisions in the abdomen. The incisions give access to remove the baby from the womb. Like many surgical processes, anaesthesia is needed for a C-section too. Depending on the type of anaesthesia used, you and your baby may be too somnolent to breastfeed and be breastfed until the anaesthesia wears off. Sleepiness commonly occurs with general anaesthesia but is uncommon with epidural anaesthesia.
  • Delayed milk production: In certain cases, the production of milk is delayed and this delays the onset of breastfeeding. But with frequent contact with the baby and with frequent stimulation of the breast, the milk eventually comes. The breast may be stimulated by the baby suckling or with a breast pump.
  • Pain: following surgery, the mother experiences pain as the abdominal incisions heal up. The discomfort from the pain may make it difficult to breastfeed the baby. Also, you may have to find the best positions in which you protect the incisions from opening up and experience the least pain while breastfeeding the baby.

Furthermore, the mother will be placed on pain medications and some of these may get into the breast milk and affect the baby. It is necessary to discuss the choice of pain medications with your physician.

  • Emotional constraint: the conditions surrounding the surgery may cause the mother to be despondent. Such conditions include an unexpected surgery, the cost of surgery or a tough surgery.

The feeling of sadness may affect the way the mother breastfeeds the child. However, by discussing how they feel, this can get better.

How to make it work

Breastfeeding after a C-section may be uncomfortable but with the following tips, you can make it work for you.

  • Commence breastfeeding at the earliest
  • Have your baby by your side as much as you can and have skin-to-skin contact with the baby
  • Breastfeed the baby often or stimulate the breast with breast pumps. You may be unable to move around to get a breast pump but you can buy it online and get it delivered to you.
  • Discuss with the health care providers as much as you can about the measures that can help with breastfeeding your child.

Do not allow the circumstances of a C-section to overwhelm you and your baby. Seek information and get help as much as you can and as many times as you need to. As long as you put in the right effort, it gets better with time.

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