Breastfeeding and Cesarean Sections

Are you wondering whether or not it is possible to breastfeed after a cesarean section birth? It is, of course, possible, although it may be a little more difficult during the first few weeks. If your cesarean section was not expected, you may be a bit confused in terms of feeding. You had anticipated a natural delivery, and now you are not sure about what to do.

You can avoid anxiety by putting together a birth plan. This can help clarify your desires and expectations no matter what kind of delivery you end up having. You will want to discuss the birth plan with your doctor, and make sure they have a copy. Also you can have the hospital put a copy of your birth plan on file. Among the things to address in your birth plan is what anesthetics are available in case you have a cesarean section.

If you can have an epidural, you can be alert enough to breastfeed your baby right after delivery. Keep in mind that you are going to need some help, whether from your partner or a nurse.

Hospital room equipment, such as IV lines and heart monitors can be a bit restrictive, so getting an extra pair of hands is necessary. Moreover, you will have to do your first feeding lying on your back, so nursing pillows might also be very helpful for that first feeding.

The first feeding will likely be a bit difficult after your cesarean. You will need extra assistance in your room throughout your hospital stay. The baby’s father should be able to help, but if not, find someone else who can stay with you to lift the baby, change the diapers, and so on.

Your movements will be restricted for a few days, and having someone in the room to help you will ensure that you can get your breastfeeding routine off to a good start. It will also help you avoid engorgement in those first few days after your milk comes in.

You will probably be given medication following your cesarean section. This may cause concern that the medications will be passed to your baby during the feeding process. However, the medications you are given will be safe for your baby. By the time your milk comes in, you may not even need medication.

Skip the painkillers if you feel you can; you will be more alert to respond to your baby’s early feeding cues. Be sure, though, that you take enough medication to keep you comfortable. If you are in pain, you wont be able to respond to your baby as well as you might if you feel well.

Feeding after a C-section can be tough, but with the right assistance, both you and your baby can make have the benefits of breastfeeding.