Your caesarean may have been planned or unplanned, but either way it needn’t derail your breastfeeding journey.
Get some skin-to-skin contact with your baby as soon as possible – preferably in theatre immediately after birth.
It will make a real difference to baby’s instinctive behaviour at the breast by getting hormones flowing for both of you, allowing both you and baby to get to know each other and start your feeding journey. Finally, be patient. Take your time, baby might not feed as quickly as you expect but skin-to-skin will help. Try hand expressing some colostrum if your baby is unable to latch straight away, ask the ward staff for help. Get your partner or family member to take over all other chores, so you can concentrate on feeding your baby and recovering from the birth.
You will most likely be in some pain and discomfort after a c-section. You may have to try different positions to feed baby, lying down on your side or ‘laid back’ or sat up and well supported by pillows are all good options to try. Don’t be a hero, take pain medication if you need it especially in the early days. The stress of being in pain won’t help your milk production or help you enjoy your new baby.
Here is some helpful information from the Breastfeeding Network on feed on c-sections, medication and breastfeeding.
- Breastfeeding after a c section
- If your baby arrives early or unwell
- How do I get my baby attached and feeding effectively?
- How can I tell if breastfeeding is going well
- Why am I finding it painful?
- Why is my baby feeding all the time?
- Breastfeeding challenges
- Baby blues
- Will I ever sleep again?
- What can partners or others do to help (instead of giving a bottle)
- Expressing milk