Breastfeeding after a C-Section

Melinda - posted on 10/18/2011 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Okay, all you wonderful breastfeeding gurus out there! I have a question that I haven't been able to find any information on, let alone an answer to....

First some background. I was induced with my first son at 38 weeks and ended up with an emergency C-section due to infant distress. My milk never really came in and we were forced to supplement with formula. He quit nursing completely at 4 months. My second son was born at 36 weeks 5 days (after my water broke unexpectedly), again, via C-section.
Since my milk never dried up after my first and I went into labor on my own, my theory is that this is why breastfeeding went so well the second time around. I am now 20 weeks with our third, my milk just now dried up, and I'm scheduled to have another c-section in late February. How can I make sure that my milk is ready to feed my child when he/she is born even though my body won't know the baby is coming yet? I really want avoid a repeat of the first failed experience and have another positive experience like my second! Please, please help!

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Karen - posted on 10/21/2011

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I had C-sections with all my kids (4). I tandem nursed through all the pregnancies, so never fully LOST my milk. Well, it may not have been there, but the kids kept nursing regardless. It is fine to continue nursing for comfort even if you don't have a lot of milk. Eventhough you may not be able to express any, there may still be some there that your little one can still get. That is my suggestion. They also have Mother's Milk tea which is good, oatmeal in any form, or any lactation increasing substance.

Constance - posted on 10/18/2011

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With my 3 and 4 I used Fengreek Seed it induces lactation. Only side effect is you smell like maple syrup. I mean everything. It help me a lot when I didn't lactate at all before or after delivery.

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Chelsea - posted on 10/24/2011

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Skin-to-skin immediately following the birth (like RIGHT after the baby is born) has been associated with NO delay in lactogenesis after a c-section. As someone before stated, with a c-section the milk generally comes in a day later than with a vaginal delivery. Some hospitals are incorporating this practice, but for many it is not part of their routine. Make your wishes known, and tell your OB why. Good luck!

Enza - posted on 10/24/2011

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Even if you will deliver your baby by a Cesarean birth, can't you still labor? This would benefit you and the babe so much. With my son, after many hours of contractions and dilation it became apparent that something was not right and we had an emergency C section, but I am confident that the hormones of labor were a very, very important part of my child's enterance. This is not to say laboring makes nursing happen, your body (placenta exiting) and baby will bring the milk. We nursed soon after birth, tho it took nearly 30 hours for him to latch on. One nurse was particularly concerned by this and was pushy with us, but I was confident he would get it and he did. My husband and I demanded some space!! Whew.



I encourage you to speak to your doctor about allowing the baby to begin it's coming naturally, if you want this. An interesting film is "The Business of Being Born", it shows a lot about mother's being moved to the conveinences of doctors and hospitals.



Best Wishes to You All!

Misty - posted on 10/24/2011

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The placenta being removed starts the hormones that get your milk flowing. Just give it time to come. I started nursing my DD in the recovery room within 30 minutes of her csection delivery . congratulations on your 3rd and wishing you luck with a healthy pregnancy, delivery, and your BFing adventures!

Toni-Lynn - posted on 10/21/2011

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I had two c-sections and I had more than enough for both, the milk is there, just needs the hormonal green light... nursing will get that going quickly!! Let them suckle whenever they are willing. Congrats on #3

Tiffany - posted on 10/20/2011

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I would suggest Fenugreek (an herbal supplement) to help with your milk supply. I used this and it worked well for me. Also, eating oatmeal is very good for milk supply too. When the baby is born in Feb., just nurse as often as possible. This will encourage your body to make more milk. It's a hormonal response that you have even after a c-section. I had c-sections with both of my boys and nursed both as well. Make sure the baby gets a very good latch when putting him/her to your breast. This will help to totally empty your breast which there again tells your body to produce more milk. I hope this helps and good luck to you!

Jessica - posted on 10/20/2011

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I have had 4 c-sections and never had any problems with nursing. I make sure I drink enough water, at least 8-16oz before and after nursing and more throughout the day. My sister had problems with production and realized she wasn drinking enough.

Heather - posted on 10/20/2011

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Your body will probably soon starts producing colostrum! So check your nipples every week or so to see. Mine did that when I was around 20 weeks prego with my second child. I think that your OB can give you something to make your milk come in if it doesn't. I would ask him/her. I would also ask to have them bring you your baby BEFORE they bathe them so that you can nurse. We did this with our daughter, and she was less than an hour old and she latched on really well! She nursed greatly till I weaned her at 22 1/2 months!

Maria - posted on 10/20/2011

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I had two c-sections as well. My first didn't nurse well either. My second nursed so well he never would even take a bottle. I think it was partly the difference in babies and partly I just knew what to do with the 2nd. After a c-section your milk takes on average 1 day longer to come in than after a vaginal birth, but in most cases there is still no reason to supplement those first few days.
Spend lots of time in the hospital with your baby on your bare skin and let the baby suckle often and trust that now you know what you are doing and your milk will be fine!

Ania - posted on 10/19/2011

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Even though i didn't have c- section i read some articles on it. and my sister had it, I you put baby to your breast in the first 4 hours after delivery there is a high chance that your milk will come fast. Suckling reflex will trigger your breasts to produce. I would check out www.kellymom.com great website with great resources

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My first c-section was after being induced and I had to supplement with formula too, my baby quit nursing completey at 8 months. I was worried that I would have a low supply of milk too when I went in for my scheduled c-section in July (my milk had dried up way before we were even pregnant). But that wasn't the case at all... Your body knows when the baby has been delivered and the suckling of the baby triggers the milk to come in. I started nursing my second baby right after delivery and my milk came in just before we were released from the hospital (a couple of days after delivery) and supply hasn't been a problem at all. I think you will be fine, especially if you've already had a successful breastfeeding experiance with your second child. Best of luck!

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