C-sections and breastfeeding questions

Jodi - posted on 11/15/2010 ( 88 moms have responded )

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I'm due for twins in February and while my doctor is an advocate for natural delivery, twins or not, a c-section is a definate possibility. I have been trying to research this stuff and having a hard time weeding though wives tales, myths, sources I don't find credible and the real facts. So please, answer these questions as best you can for me (ESPECIALLY an LLC leaders, lactation consultans or midwives!)

1) how soon, in general, after a c-section can I nurse for the first time?

2) I have read that having a c-section makes breastfeeding difficult and less successfull, please, if you can, explain to me why this is?

3) Will the anesthesia effect my breast milk if I have to have anything other than a spinal block?

I do not want a c-section, but I have to face it as a very real possibility and would like to go in fully armed with knowledge. My OBGYN, while breastfeeding supportive, is not very knowledgeable on the issue and seems to dance around giving me answers ( I think because she doesn't want to admit she just simply doesn't know!)

Any help, suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Maria - posted on 11/22/2010

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I have had 2 c-sections, I was able to nurse as soon as I was out of recovery. Nursing is more difficult because of your incision but supporting your baby with a pillow will take the pressure off your wound. The spinal will not affect your breast milk

Merry - posted on 11/20/2010

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Becky, she isn't going to use bottles!
She really shouldn't need them anyways and she has none in her house at all.
Pumping and bottles are SUCH a waste of energy! It's so much easier to just feed the babies the normal way and save your strength! I couldn't stand the pump, so awkward.

Katie - posted on 11/16/2010

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I can't offer advice about twins, and am definitely not an expert but I had a surprise c-section after 25 hours of labour and then my daughter had to go to the NICU with a CPAP machine for 36 hours. Not at all the childbirth experience I'd envisioned. The nurses at the hospital brought me a breast pump about 30 hours after she was born (she was getting an IV in the NICU). I was never successful with the pump and pumped little to nothing... anyway, after all that, a bout of jaundice, phototherapy treatments, a minimal amount of pumped colostrum and days of frustration I met with a lactation consultant who advised me to supplement with bottles of formula and feeding tubes. It was hell. We were finally released 5 days later, I had hardly had my hands on my daughter since she'd been born. I finally got to relax and learned how to breastfeed at home and did so, exclusively, until my headstrong daughter self-weaned at 16 months. I could only breastfeed at first by sitting on my bed and covering myself with pillows, but with some determination and slow healing it eventually became completely comfortable. So my advice is don't let early frustrations scare you away from breastfeeding, and trust your instincts. I'm not judgmental of people who do choose formula but, I didn't want to supplement at all, and had all kinds of excuses to give up- but, really trust yourself and you'll all be fine. Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 11/28/2010

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I had my daughter by C-section and started to nurse her about an 1hour afterward, I honestly don't think it matters, and neither did the lactation consultants at the hosp.

Merry - posted on 11/22/2010

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Jessica Dillard, you know you can have an epidural if you need a pain free birth, csections have much more risks to your life and babies life, i feel it's not something you should choose! I mean babies and moms are designed to do vaginal births, csections are sometimes necessary but they really are not as safe as a Normal birth.

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Tyrae - posted on 11/29/2010

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I actually just had a c-section on the 20th and am breastfeeding. They allowed me to breastfeed in the recovery room. The only thing that makes breastfeeding difficult after having a c-section is you typically don't want anything touching your incision, so you have to find ways to work around it. I personally like using the football hold. Getting a nursing pillow that wraps all the way around you is a god-send, I suggest you invest in one. The anesthesia shouldn't affect your breastmilk. They tend to ask you whether you are thinking about breastfeeding or not, and they will give you drugs depending on your answer. I didn't want to have a c-section either but because my baby was breech I decided it was the best possible choice for both of us.

Jessica - posted on 11/29/2010

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Hi :) I had twins in September 09 and i had to have a csection due to presenting twin being breech. I BF immediately after leavin surgery so dont know of why a csection would present problems to do so as i had no problems watsoever.I havent ever heard that anesthesia can be bad for ur breast milk either.
Twin feeding can be hard too but sooo much easier to nurse at the same time. I hope u can have a natural delivery i wanted one so bad and was very disappointed when i was told no :(
Good luck with it all!!!

Ania - posted on 11/29/2010

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My sister just had a c-section and she was able to nurse imedialtely. Nurses were coming to her all the time and helping baby to latch. c-section makes it difficult because you can't move and somebody has to help you and if personel or hospital is not BF friendly nobody will help you often enough to feed the baby. It is easier for them to take the baby and give her a bottle. Spinal block doesn't affect your milk, although all the iv's and fluids in your body and trauma from c-section may delay milk arrival, but it is more a wife tale than a real information. Maybe you should hire a doula or midwife to be with you and put babies close to your breast for the first few days in the hospital when you won't be able to move after surgery

Liv - posted on 11/29/2010

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1) most of the time you have to come out of recovery before they allow you to hold/feed your babies. However, if all is going well you can request that you feed your baby whilst in recovery. I have even heard of mums feeding on the table whilst being closed up.

2) generally breastfeeding is more difficult because the 1st feed is not within 60mins of birth, the babies sometimes are not very alert and find it hard to latch and the mother can be in significant pain

3) it is perfectly safe to feed after anesthesia, however a spinal block is usually better as you are able to start feeding immediately and don't have to wait to wake up.

Good luck with the natural delivery! hope all goes to plan for you

Nicole - posted on 11/28/2010

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Okay, I will answer your 3 questions:

1) how soon, in general, after a c-section can I nurse for the first time?
You can breastfeed as soon as you are off the operating table. In the recovery room is fine. If you can hold your baby(babies), you can nurse your baby (babies). You want it to be within the first hour after birth, preferably.

2) I have read that having a c-section makes breastfeeding difficult and less successful, please, if you can, explain to me why this is?
Breastfeeding can be more difficult for the sectioned baby (or babies) and mother for several reasons. One theory is because vaginal births naturally help get the extra fluid out of the baby's throat and lungs from being pushed through the birth canal, while sectioned babies do not and they have to be suctioned more aggressively and/or still have problems with that fluid for a few days following birth and this can cause breastfeeding to be more difficult. (Again, just a theory among some.) Also, breastfeeding can be more difficult after a c-section because breastfeeding initiation is delayed due to the operation (a mother giving birth vaginally can begin nursing before she has even delivered her placenta, while a c-section mother has to wait until she is "closed" and in recovery, this takes important time). And because of the section, the mother can be in lots of pain and skin-to-skin contact can suffer. The pain can also make breastfeeding difficult in certain positions, too. Sometimes scheduled cesareans can also delay the transition of colostrum to mature milk since labor (and the hormones that are released during it) are not allowed to occur and these are important for milk production, so they are delayed. This does not harm the baby, but it does make breastfeeding difficult for the mother because usually the hospital staff and pediatricians put so much pressure on mom for their "milk to come in" without taking into consideration that a small delay following a cesarean can be normal.

3) Will the anesthesia effect my breast milk if I have to have anything other than a spinal block?
Anesthesia, whether it's during a vaginal or a cesarean, can effect a baby and breastfeeding. One study showed that babies born to a mother who had anesthesia during her birth were more likely to have latch problems. But this does not have to mean it is *always* that way. Also, the pain meds given to a post cesarean mother can have more of an effect on breastfeeding. But, taking the lowest dose that the mother can possibly stand is a help and always breastfeeding during the time that the meds have less concentration in the milk are also best.

Don't worry too much about it. The best thing you can do is educate yourself about breastfeeding following cesarean (just in case it happens) and breastfeeding multiples. You will have lots of things that can interrupt your breastfeeding plans, so education will be crucial. And support! Read up on as much as you can about both of those and be very prepared. Go into the hospital with a birth plan and stand up for yourself in an educated way. Educate yourself about avoiding cesarean with twins, too, but prepare yourself for it if it were to happen. Good luck! Breastfeeding twins is completely possible and so is breastfeeding twins following cesarean! Just get support and you will do great!

Jessica - posted on 11/28/2010

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But you should contact the lactation consultant at the hosp, and ask them if you have lots of questions. Do you have a book what to expect when your expecting?? Their is great information in there it's what my doctor suggested and it was like my bible my entire pregnancy. And Congratulations on the twins, all will be fine.

Janice - posted on 11/28/2010

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I had a c-section because my daughter was breach. While in the recovery room I nursed my daughter while I was still numb, roughly 1/2 hour after she was born. Although we had some latch issues with her tiny mouth and my strong let down with in two weeks nursing was going great. I never really had any pain related with breast feeding but my SIL also had a c-section and she found it painful. My best advice if you have to have a c-section is to make sure and ask to breastfeed if the recovery nurses don't offer and when you go home take the pain meds regularly. I would often be feeling fine and forget to take a pill then I would move the wrong way and be in a ton of pain. Good luck!

Emma - posted on 11/27/2010

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I had to c sections and was able to BF both, the first Bf obviously delayed for a short while due to being stiched up, but I still remember how magical that first skin to skin and BF was, roughly half an hour after the delivery. The lack of being able to move can make it a little difficult at first, but with the nurses help they can show u ways to nurse around it:) good luck with your bubs

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I am finishing my class to be a CLE (lactation educator). What I've learned about C-section nursing is that you can still do it, but you need to change your expectations a little bit. For example, instead of putting baby to breast in the first 30 minutes, you may have to wait up to 1 or 2 hours, depending on how long it takes the doctor to finish surgery. Next, due to medicine and IV fluid, you can expect your mature milk to come in 24 to 48 hours later than a vaginal delivery (so day 4-6). Because of the delay you may have to give some supplementation, but still put baby to the breast often to get that milk to come in.

Last, you can expect baby to be sleepier due to medication, so you may have to do more skin to skin contact to get baby interested in nursing.

Good luck!!

Merry - posted on 11/27/2010

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Women who deliver vaginally also are in a big amount of pain! Breastfeeding is a skill to be learned and usually your body is hurting while you learn, but we do it!

Merry - posted on 11/27/2010

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Francia, let's try to be encouraging Jodi here, she doesn't need negative thoughts being pushed on her!

Sure it could be hard, but it's totally possible, and rewarding!

She doesn't need to be scared out of breastfeeding after c section. She will do great and she doesn't 'need' bottles or pumping at all.

Please just try to keep it positive and encouraging.

Francia - posted on 11/27/2010

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Q3: I dont think so...But I remembered waiting for a while before I start pumping it to feed my daughter...

Francia - posted on 11/27/2010

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Q2: Like I said, it is difficult only because of the wound. Imagine yourself wounded in the stomach, then imagine also having your baby at your side, and think of a position that would be comfortable for you while feeding the baby? Nothing. After the effect of pain reliever...everything is so painful for you. So that would make it unsuccessful...a baby sucking your breast loaded with milk, is another story, but really painful...

Francia - posted on 11/27/2010

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Q1: After giving birth, generally, we can do breastfeeding already. But if u gave birth thru C-section, of course it would be hard for U to breastfeed literally because of it. First, you wont be comfortable with your wounds still so fresh. At least you would wait after sometime when It would be easier for you to move freely and it would be much tolerable for you to feel both pains. Cause It is also painful for the first timer to practice breastfeeding. But having C-section is not a reason to deprive a baby for a mother's milk. Of course, U can use always use breastpump so u can put your milk inside a bottle and feed it to the baby. Trust me, I was CS also when I had my youngest and I remember doing that since I had so much milk and its such a waste not to use it.

Lori - posted on 11/26/2010

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1. I nursed my son in recovery. It was good. he stayed in my room for my entire hospital stay. 2. No problems with feeding. My milk came in day 3 as it should. I have seen moms take about 5 days. 3. have a epidural if you can. it is better for feeding right away and less effect on the baby. Good luck.

Brittany - posted on 11/26/2010

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As a Postpartum nurse I'll tell you that you should be able to nurse the babies as soon as you're in recovery and both you and the babies are stable (there are a lot of factors such as their weights, their gestational age, blood sugar levels, etc.). The only difficulty you may have breastfeeding is the discomfort in your abdomen from having a c-section. I have found that different positions, like football hold, work better for my c-section moms for the first couple days. Hope this helps, and congratulations on twins. Hope breastfeeding goes well for you, and just know, they won't give them formula unless it is absolutely necessary. If they have trouble with their blood sugars or drastically lose weight it may become a possibility. I hope none of these things happen though :) Good Luck and Congratulations!!!!

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Hi. I had a c-section with my son who is now 2 and it did not affect my breastfeeding him. I was able to see him after about 45 minutes and he started nursing right away. Once that baby is in your arms and on your breast, nature takes over. Don't let anyone tell you differently! I nursed him for 12 1/2 months and had tons of milk. Unfortunantly, there are still some doctors that don't push breastfeeding, especially with twins but you can do it. Our bodies are made to adjust to the milk quantity for the babies and it's so much better for them! Don't stress about it. Just let nature take it's course and enjoy every minute, even if it's difficult at first.
Good luck!

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Okay, I wanted to do a natural delivery with my daughter (my first child) but she never turned in the womb to where she was head down, so the doctors ruled that I should have a c-section. Apart from my entire lower body, from natural waist down, being completely numb I was just fine afterwards and after the doctors were finished cleaning her up they brought her in for her first feeding. I had a little trouble getting her to latch on in the hospital, but the nurses helped with that, and her father stayed there in the hospital with me to change diapers and bring her to me for feedings, so not being allowed to get up and walk right after wasn't a problem either. Also, being home for the first time made her nervous and it took her awhile to get used to the new place, but we just stuck to it and now she is a year and a half old and still breastfeeding.

Long story short, never believe that you can't do it. I got a lot of crap from my mother-in-law during the pregnancy because she hadn't been able to breastfeed her kids and didn't think I'd be able to. The bottom line is that every mother and child have a chance to breastfeed. The method of giving birth doesn't matter, and unless there's actually something wrong the milk will come in. Just stick to it, don't get discouraged, and don't think that having twins to feed will make a difference. The body works by the rules of supply and demand, when the supply runs out, the body makes more to meet the demand. My grandmother had twins (one of them my mother) and breastfeed them the full year plus, it's possible. Hope this helped!

Beth - posted on 11/23/2010

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There should be no affect whatsoever. You can nurse as soon as your are able. I think they say that having a c-section makes BF more difficult because they assume that the hormone changes that occur are delayed when having a c-section as opposed to a vaginal delivery. But the breasts are already ready to BF before you have the baby! So if the baby (or pump if need be) stimulates the nipples then the milk will come in regardless. My c-section was an emergency, and my daughter was in the NICU for 3 days and I was not able to BF her right away, but I pumped and my milk can in right away when it was supposed to. Don't forget that the milk doesn't come in right away, at first it is colostrum. Try to relax, it will work out just fine.

Amy - posted on 11/22/2010

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the insurance companies should buy boppy pillows for moms who have section. omg makes life better.....i left mine at home and bedpillows weren't stirty enough...

[deleted account]

I had a c-section in July and had all these same questions.

1) I was able to nurse in recovery. From the time of birth it was about 1 hour before nursing. They got me settled into the recovery area and then my son and husband came in and the nurse immediately helped me to nurse.

2) I'm not sure the scientific reason, but it was a bit difficult just because motion was kind of limited. I brought a Boppy nursing pillow which helped relieve pressure on the incision. I also had the nurse or my husband bring my son to me which was helpful.

Amy - posted on 11/22/2010

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i had my fisrt section 7 weeks ago mama. i askd the same thing. d/h and myself want to nursed for as long as possible as we dont have alot of money to be running out and dumping money on formula. i nurseed my other gurls for a lonnnnng time and nursed my now 6 year old thru my preggo w her sister. so im a bfing crazy woman! i do think everything u eat, drink and take for meds goes to ur milk. wheather its safe or not. and i did see my baby sleepy after i had the meds from the nurses. and i mean like my 3th day there. i think part of it was that she is new and new babies sleep alot. :} and some of it was the meds totally, some i had taken after the surgery and some from during the surgery, the ting is they have to give you meds to numeral you. and if you have to get a section you want the meds. or you are in a back alley somewhere or back in the dark ages...lol. it isn't what most moms would want for their birthing but sometimes you have no choice or a ob who wouldn't be ur doc any other way. like in my case. :/ yea know w all the sue happy people in this world. wth about that cause it makes everyone SUFFER. just keep at it mama. keep talking about it ur appointments w ur ob. and if u think she is clueless than call her on it! call ur local le league for more infor.

Gabriela - posted on 11/22/2010

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I had an emergency C-section and my baby was premmie and just under 1.5 Kg, so she was whisked away to the special care baby unit straight away. I did not get to breastfeed her for many days, but instead I had to express for her. I know it's not the answer you were looking for, but my point is that it doesn't matter what happens, you will be able to breastfeed your baby (or at least give him/her expressed breastmilk) if that is what you want.

[deleted account]

I had an emergency c-section with my little boy and was breastfeeding him just 40 minutes after delivery (I was given GA as soon as Caleb's cord wascut as the epidural wore off, so didn't wake up until then).

April - posted on 11/21/2010

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I was the same I had 2 C-sections and both time I breast fead as soon I was out of recovery. I breast fed both my girls for months afterwards and was out of the hospital in less then 3 days. Goodluck!

Michelle - posted on 11/21/2010

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Jodi,
I just had a c-section 9 months ago. I started breast feeding my son as soon as I got to the recovery room. It was not hard at all and my milk came in almost immediately. Although this is different for everyone. As far as i know the anesthesia does not affect your breast milk any worse then the typical medications they give you for a vaginal delivery or postpartum. My c-section went great within 5 hours of having my son I was up & walking on my own. By midnight that night I was unhooked from everything & could do as i pleased just like a normal delivery.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Sally - posted on 11/21/2010

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1. If you have the epidural, you can nurse as soon as they hand the baby to you, though the doctor may want you to wait until you've been sewn up.. If you have to have a general anesthetic, you be able to nurse as soon as it wears off enough for you to hold the babies.
2. It can make nursing harder because you are more sore, on a lifting restriction, and it takes longer to heal, but if you have help there is no reason why it would stop you from nursing. There are lots of resources to help with it. It would be a good idea to find a LLL group or lactation consultant before the babies.
3. The anesthesia won't affect the babies any mre through your milk that it already did through the placenta.
Good luck

Sara - posted on 11/21/2010

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I had a med-free vaginal delivery with my first, but had a c/s with my second due to him turning breech after my due date (devistating.... definitely allow yourself time to mourn if it doesn't turn out the way you hope! ) The major difference is that for my first BFing session with my 2nd, I had to have the nurses help me. I was still lying down, and had lots of tubes and wires attached in the recovery room. The second major difference was the sleepiness factor. With all the narcotics in my system for pain, both my baby and I were very sleepy, and so nursing sessions were short and sleepy until I started to decrease my pain meds. Don't worry that they're not getting enough though. At newborn stage, their tummies are the size of a marble. A teaspoon-tablespoon is all they need each feeding for that first week. 10% weight loss is normal, don't let them pressure you into supplementing if it's not what you want. Breastfeeding is based on supply and demand, so more frequent feeding will be helpful in building your supply. And don't forget kellymom.com as a resource. You might want to go take a la leche league class in preparation for the arrival of your twins. Good luck, you can do it,momma!!

Jessica - posted on 11/21/2010

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My little man is 13 months old now and has never had formula. I was nursing him in the recovery room after my ELECTIVE c section. I had no desire to push and go through a painful vaginal birth. My little man took right to the breast no problem!! He nursed right from the start. As far as the c section BEST decision I ever made. Almost no pain after.. I had no pain meds after the 2nd day and the recovery was a breeze. I was back in the gym 7 days after. Good luck!!

Heather - posted on 11/21/2010

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That's a bunch of crap. I had c-sections with both of my children and nursed my son a few hours later and my baby girl nursed and latched on when she was less than an hour old. Having a c-section doesn't matter if you can nurse or not. If you want to nurse them, then do it. Your milk will come in just fine a few days after they are born. Don't give them formula, they won't need it. Make sure that on their little beds that there is a BIG note posted that says that your are breastfeeding them and not to give them any formula. We found this out the hard way with my son. He was about 5 hours old, this was after I nursed him, and some moron gave him 4 oz. of formula. He was sick and had a bad tummy ache and he kept throwing up for several hours afterwords. After that we had them put a BIG sign on his bed saying that I was breastfeeding and to not give him formula or anything else. He nursed till he was 11 months old! My baby girl is now 16 months old and still nursing, lol. I don't think she's ever going to stop.

Mel - posted on 11/21/2010

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I have had 3 C sections, it is advisable to start feeding asap. I was still in recovery and was feeding my youngest. It is more painful to breast feed after a section due to not being able to get comfortable, the let down reflex also contracts your womb which after a section can be painful. I think as long as you take every painkiller you are offered you will be fine!!! I think the most pain I had was my nipples as after 9 years I forgot what it was like having a baby attached to me, it felt like he was biting me even with no teeth. Saying that he still has breast milk now and he is 2.

Lanna - posted on 11/21/2010

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I have had both natural and c-sections, the only difference with breastfeeding is the recovery time for an hour before you go up to your room, I feed all my babies as soon as I could and requested that they not be fed otherwise UNLESS it was necessary. Tell them you want to nurse and get a birth plan in action so they can follow it.. Much success to you and congrats!!!

Teri - posted on 11/21/2010

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Oh -- the other poster was right -- be prepared to feed those babies pretty much all the time in the first 8 weeks. it does get better, but if you don't realize that the first 8 weeks can be quite overwhelming, you will be quite surprised. I resolved to do it and in all the hard times, I stuck to it. so few twin moms do. Good luck with everything, I'm sure you'll do fine.

Teri - posted on 11/21/2010

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1) how soon, in general, after a c-section can I nurse for the first time?
I was able to breastfeed my twins when I got to the recovery room after their birth. It was about 40 mins after I think.

2) I have read that having a c-section makes breastfeeding difficult and less successfull, please, if you can, explain to me why this is?
-- It's my understanding that because your body does not go through it's own birth, there is no release of hormones that tells yoru body that you've had the babies. So, it takes a bit of baby stimulation of the breasts to make the call for milk and it can take a few days for your milk to come in. I had bf jaundice with both of my pregnancies (twins and single) but I breastfed through it. I made sure that my pediatrician (or the one who was attending) was ok with me trying to bf through it instead of supplementing with formula.

3) Will the anesthesia effect my breast milk if I have to have anything other than a spinal block?
I'm not sure about this, btu the pain meds can make the babies sleepy -- so minimize pain meds as much as possible, just use motrin if you can and you will be ok.

The best advice I can give, having BTDT, is to keep the babies in your womb as long as possible. Esp for tiwns. Dr's love to take twins early -- but bf success can be directly related to gestation. I gave birth at 37.5 weeks. I had big babies (6lb13oz and 6 lb 15oz) and they both were terrible breastfeeders. I was able to get one back to breast, but I had to pump for 12.5 mos for the other. They never had formula, for which I was very proud of myself... but it was a tough year that would have been different had they bf'd better.

Good luck -- honestly, knwo your hospital, ensure taht they don't take the babies away to the nursery without being monitored as those nurses love to give formula and pacifiers. Just say no to the nurses!! ;-)

Heather - posted on 11/20/2010

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Also HIGHLY recommend a GOOD Pump for home use!!! Do NOT go cheaper on this, esp since you're having twins! You will LOVE getting a few extra moments of sleep while someone else feeds your new little ones! I have 4, as stated, my oldest is now almost 8yrs, but my next 3 (ages just turned 3, will be 2yrs in early Feb, & my youngest will be 1 in early Feb) & so I can relate w/ no sleep. Not to mention my family & close friends live a good 20 drive (straight), so I would pump here & there & save every ounce (I brought home some of the storage bottles the hospital has for storing Breast milk. I'd use a dry erase marker & date/ time them. So my hubby could take over occasionally. Not to mention your ladies will need a break, esp in the beginning!

Kym - posted on 11/20/2010

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I had a c-section 9 weeks ago. Only one baby though... i was able to feed my little girl witihin the hour whilst i was in recovery. I was advised to start trying to express 3 weeks before i was due by the lactation consultant to try and get my milk to be ready for when she was born. Didn't get anything out. that being said I had my c-s 1.5 weeks before my due date and haven't looked back. Problems could occur with c-s and bf because you could find it painful (choose different postition), you could be early and the anesthesia can interrupt breast milk production. I had a spinal block so can't answer about other anesthesia.

Heather - posted on 11/20/2010

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I had sections w/ all 4 and it does make it tricky to bf due to incision pain, it can be done. Football hold is the best imo as it keeps weight of the incision not to mention I'm a fuller breast & the football hold was the ONLY way I could bf. W/ twins this hold could also be better as you can feed both at the same time. You can usually feed right away as long as babies are ok otherwise most hospitals have a pump you can use. Good luck :)

Amber - posted on 11/20/2010

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I didn't have time to read through all the comments so I don't know if this has already been suggested or not but it would be a great idea to get hooked up with your nearest chapter ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network). I, myself have had a cesarean and successfully breastfed that baby until 15mo and am a co-leader of our local ICAN chapter. With ICAN you will find all kinds of support and information to help you avoid an unnecessary cesarean, support and information in recovering from a cesarean (including breastfeeding!), and support and information about VBAC (if so needed in the future). The website is www.ican-online.org. Click on "find a local chapter" on the right side to find a chapter near you. Even if there is not one in your town, contact the leader of the chapter nearest you and she will certainly be happy to help you!

Diane - posted on 11/20/2010

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1. about an hour, sometimes less, if they are in the NICU though then a lot depends on how they are but if you can't nurse soon afterwards then ask for a pump and a LC
2. Generally it is because nursing doesn't begin immediately and also because the baby is druged and isn't always able to right away, in a normal unmedicated birth babies are ready to nurse almost immediately and thay are also strong enough for it (not loopy)
3. I would call a certified Lactation Consultant on this one because they are more likely to have an accurate educated answer but I would think that since the baby gets the drugs via the placenta (which does not filter like breasts do) then it would less harmfull to them via the breast.
4. Most OBs don't know that much and a good one will usually refer you to a LC

I would start going to LLL meetings and take a breastfeeding class from a LC and try to find a twin mom in your area who was successful breastfeeding her twins and ask her about logistical things regarding breastfeeding. Look on line for the EZ2 nurse twin nursing pillow, it was great help for me, I didn't use it that long (some people do though) but even though I didn't use it very long it was a tremendous help for me until I was able to go without. Also, I would highly reccomend 'friending' The Leaky B@@b on facebook, it's a great resource for info and support, you could ask these questions there and you will get tons of great info and there a quite a few LC and LLL leaders on there. I would also look up their Lactation cookie recipe, it has ingredients that help increase milk supply. Just a note of encouragement, my twins are 15 months old and I've never had to supplement, they were exclusively BF until they 7 months old and they were premies in the NICU for 2 1/2 weeks, they were an emergency C-section because one was growth restricted and even with all of that (which is not typical) we were still able to breastfeed, it was a challenge in the begining but it has been great and they've only been sick twice so it was definitly worth it. I would also add that it is never too late to change practitioners if you ever feel uncomfortable with your OB, you can shop around OBs and midwives until the the very end if need be, obviously you don't have to but just know that you are never stuck with someone you don't agree with. I would reccomend also familiarizing yourself with the hospital labor and delivery dept and NICU so you know what to expect and know that you can always refuse any and all of their 'standard procedures' and 'hospital policies' I took a Bradley Method childbirth class when I was pregnant with my twins and I learned a tremendous amount, they present an amazing amount of information and can also help you find good LC and LLL leaders, plus it's fun :) Good luck!

Becky - posted on 11/20/2010

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I had a c section and I struggled to breast feed at first.
However 13 months on I am still breastfeeding.

1. generally after a c section your babies can latch on as soon as you feel able.

2. The drugs will not effect your breast milk. Your babies might be tired form the drugs so might not feed much for the first 24 hours.

3. Yes c sections make breast feeding more difficult. You don't get the same hormone release, and it's harder to get them latched on and the milk flowing. But this is only a temp. problem - it does go! I had a section so i know all about it.

4. Invest in an electric pump if you can. It will help you out letting others (dad, grandma, friends) giving a feed so you can get some sleep/

5. Get the babies used to a bottle so you can express and then others can feed the babies.

6. Prepare yourself for a couple of months of sat on the sofa doing nothing but breastfeeding in the first few months.

8. You will be very thirsty and hungry from all the feeding - drink as much water as you can and as much food as you can

xxxx

Tina - posted on 11/20/2010

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i had an emergency c-section after being in labor for 17 hours, so my milk came in after 2 days, just like a natural birth. and i've been successfully breastfeeding for 10 and a half months, so the second thing is definitely a myth. don't know about the third cos i just had injected painkillers, no epidural. if you can, go for a natural birth cos tho you go thru labor, but the recovery is immediate and you have more energy after the baby is born. with c-section it took me nearly a month to recover from the energy drain and pain.

Bernadette - posted on 11/20/2010

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you can breast feed as soon as you like or are able after a c-section. I had one, and was able to feed my daughter pretty much as soon as I was taken back to my room to see her. I had no problems with supply, and she fed exclusively until 6 months old, and then continued to feed along with solids and cows milk until 17 months. She was a very contented baby and loved to feed. As for the anesthetic, she slept very well the first night as she was a bit drowsy, but that was the only side-effect.

Renee - posted on 11/20/2010

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I had a c-section a year ago. I knew I was having it. I was able to breast feed maybe an hour after surgery when I got into the recovery room. I don't really know too much about the effects of anesthesia or pain killers on the baby but I did both. Baby was not knocked out, still cried plenty. It was not hard because of the section. The babies will be small enough not to put pressure on your belly and with the help of the hospital bed you can get comfortable without having to strain much. Just make sure you tell the nurse you would like to BF ASAP. He was born on Thursday mid morning and my milk came in Saturday afternoon. I didn't have any problems. Good luck!

Merry - posted on 11/20/2010

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Jodi, this is all an inersting read, but I specifically posted it for number 17 about c sections.

Merry - posted on 11/20/2010

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Oh and Jodi, please brand it into your mind to always ask, "is that policy, or LAW?"
policy says one thing but if you disagree it's your children and your choice. Law is more firm, and usually there for a good reason, but policy is not necessary to follow.
Policy may say you can't hold baby immediately after birth to bf, they want to weigh, measure, foot print, bracelet, diaper, wipe off, etc baby before giving it to you.
Law, and aap ruling says a vaginal healthy baby should not leave moms chest until first feeding is completed. So if you get a csection, ask the law, and look into aap guidelines for breastfeeding after csection. Odds are it's alot better then hospital policy.
And remember the dr, the nurses, they are your Employees!
You pay them. They work for you. And if you say no bottles, no formula, no footprints etc and babys life isn't at risk they must listen to your wishes.
I'll check into aap guidelines on breastfeeding after csection and post anything I find. Also aafp is much more breastfeeding friendly so I'll se what they say.

Julie - posted on 11/20/2010

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I had an emergency c-section with my first baby and they helped me latch her on as soon as I got back to the ward. Your baby might be a bit drowsy but if you have your mind set on breastfeeding, don't let anyone tell you you can't do it. Just because you have twins does not mean you don't have enough milk. Just remember to keep your fluids up and feed as often as the babies want to, supply is depicted by demand. The more they drink, the more milk you produce. And try the normal route first, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to push both babies out - just get your mind strong and tell yourself you can do it. Good luck!

Cat - posted on 11/20/2010

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I had an emergency c-section with my daughter at 27 weeks, so been there done that :)
1. It depends on what drugs you've had. If you need general anesthesia (highly unlikely), it'll be a bit longer. For your standard epidural and cesarean, you should be able to nurse pretty immediately. It's more about your hospital's policy than anything else in the US, so be aware of that. If they won't let you nurse asap, make sure they obtain a pump for you so that you can at least begin to stimulate lactation.
2. The drugs used in labor and in cesareans can cause lazy latch, groggy babies, and a whole host of other issues aside from breastfeeding problems. Basically, medicines have side effects. However, if you truly do want to breastfeed, you can do it regardless. :)
3. It can, but again, it depends on the specific medication - you'll want to talk to your doctor about this.
Talk to your OB about her recommending an IBCLC within the hospital - whether or not you get a c-section. They're life-savers ;-)
Good luck, mama! You can do it!

Merry - posted on 11/20/2010

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I delivered vaginally, but just thought I'd share that I was not able to breastfeed Eric for 5 hours after birth. He had latch issues, but no bottles were used, and we are still going strong at 1yr 7months later.
Even if it's a bad birth experience, even if nothing goes right, if you are determined to breastfeed I believe you can make it work.
So keep those bottles out of the house! And stay positive and confident. I know you can do this beautifully.

Celeste - posted on 11/20/2010

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Jodi, I would also research about c/s and premature babies. That's one thing that I wish I would've researched before having my twin boys. Not saying that you are going to have them premature, but a large number of twins are born early (if I remember correctly, I read somehwhere around 75% of twins are born early)



That really sucks that the LC won't see you before the girls are born!



I think I told you before but check out Karen Gromada's (author of Mothering Multiples, mom of twins and an IBCLC) yahoo group.

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