Many women deliver their babies by cesarean section (c-section). It’s Important that moms who plan to breastfeed are prepared no matter how they end up carrying. While giving birth isn’t typically accessible (hence the term “labor”), C-sections add a whole new dynamic to delivery and breastfeeding for which many moms aren’t prepared. Research shows that moms who delivered via C-section may stop nursing earlier than moms who deliver vaginally, so belly-birth moms must start on the right foot to meet their breastfeeding goals. As a lactation consultant, nurse, and mom of three, I’ve put together some tips to help you get your breastfeeding journey started outright.
How a C-Section Can Affect Breast Milk Supply and Breastfeeding
You have to face the breastfeeding challenges after a c-section, you can prepare for them and meet them with knowledge and confidence. Here some points explain that a c-section can affect breastfeeding.
- Pain Can Make Breastfeeding Uncomfortable
- It May Delay the Start of Breastfeeding
Pain Can Make Breastfeeding Uncomfortable
Pain from the incision site and after pains from your uterus contracting back down in size can make it uncomfortable to breastfeed. The side-lying and football hold positions are excellent choices, while your incision is healing.
It May Delay the Start of Breastfeeding
Based on the type of anesthesia you are taking for your surgery cause baby, and you may be sleepy for a while after the procedure. If you are using general anesthesia, you will be able to breastfeed once it begins to wear off and you are feeling up to it.
10 Tips for Breastfeeding Success After a C-Section:
1. Set Breastfeeding Goals
Take a proper decision for breastfeeding. It may be based on your lifestyle, personal health, family support, and previous breastfeeding experience. After making this decision, it can be useful to set a goal for how long you’d like to breastfeed.
For example, your breastfeeding goal is one year. you reach the goal is for two years. you haven’t made it there yet, but you have surpassed the one-year mark with each of your kids. Whether your goal is two weeks or two years, concrete breastfeeding goals can contribute to your overall breastfeeding success no matter your delivery method.
2. Do Skin – Skin after delivery
When you have skin-to-skin time, you always want to make sure the baby can breathe. You don’t want to baby neck bent too far forward, and baby’s nose and mouth should still be uncovered.
Skin-to-skin can help initiate breastfeeding, regulate the baby’s body temperature, and stabilize their heart rate and blood glucose levels. As long as mom and baby are healthy, skin-to-skin contact can occur in the operating room and recovery room. If you’re unable to have your baby skin-to-skin due to medical circumstances, consider having your partner or a close family member hold your baby skin-to-skin.
3. Learn how to hand express
Hand expression helps increase milk production, learning how to hand express your breast milk can use you feel more confident about breastfeeding, and also the milk you express can be fed to your baby if you’re separated after delivery.
To hand express, smoothly massage your breasts to help get the milk flowing. Then, holding your hand above your areola in a C shape around your breast, gently compress your breast and simultaneously push the tissue toward your breast wall. Then roll your fingers forward toward your nipple.
4. Have a support person
Since you may be tired or uncomfortable after a C-section, a support person can help you position yourself and ensure you and your baby are safe; this assistance can help reduce your anxiety and get your baby latched on.
5. Embrace pillows
Pillows can be your best friend when you are breastfeeding at home or hospital. Nursing pillows are better, But any pillows you have will work just as well. Place pillows under your arms behind your back and even across your belly to protect your incision site. If you want to place a pillow under your baby to help bring them closer to your breast.
6. Wear comfort clothes
Ask any mom who has had a C-section, and she will tell you to be sure your clothes don’t rub on your incision site. It’s also essential to wear clothes that allow easy access for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding. Being prepared for breastfeeding – no matter the delivery method – can increase your confidence and help you make the adjustments necessary to feed your baby comfortably.
7. Take a rest
Due to taking medicine from the surgery, you may be drowsy and incredibly tired, especially if you had long labor before delivery. Seek help when you need it. Those first few days and weeks are filled with wonder and excitement. While you will likely want to share the joy with your loved ones, you may require to consider asking visitors to wait until you are settled at home. It will allow you to make a bond with your newborn and begin your recovery.
8. Breastfeeding early and often
Some researchers show that initiating breastfeeding within two hours of delivery. Significantly increase breastfeeding rates. Early breastfeeding also increases overall milk volume and reduces the amount of time until lactogenesis-II, the onset of copious milk production. Since C-section delivery may cause a delay in milk production, belly-birth moms can prevent this delay by breastfeeding as early and often as possible.
9. Pay attention to your pain level
A C-section is major abdominal surgery. I can’t stress enough how important it is to rest and take your prescribed medications as needed to keep your pain level manageable.
10. Nurse, however, you’re most comfortable
To keep your newborn away from your incision site, try breastfeeding in a laid-back position on the couch. Also try in bed with your baby on your chest or in a football hold. Once you’re home and have recovered for a few days, a side-lying position may be comfortable and allow you to rest while nursing. Some moms prefer to nurse while sitting on a couch or recliner while others prefer to sit up in bed.
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