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Mine was fine. I didn't nurse her for the first time until 5 or 6 hours after delivery (I'm pretty sure... the timeline is a little hazy for me with recovery and new mommy euphoria), but the nurses helped with technique and latching on. The big challenge was keeping her awake to nurse 10-20 minutes each side every 2-3 hours, with the possible exception of one 5 hour stretch every 24 hours. That was what the nurses and lactation specialist told me to do, and as a first time mom, I was trying to stick to that exactly.
They didn't warn me that my nipples might bleed internally, so we went to the ER when she spat up blood until they determined that it was coming from me, not her. And then my milk came in on Day 4 and no problems after that. Well, except for needing to use lanolin constantly for about 2 weeks, maybe a tad longer because man, it hurt! But that passed, and we've been doing fine for 6 months now.
It's going very well for us. I think the two things that helped the most were laboring for a good period of time before the section (I think that made him more alert, but I could be wrong) and getting to breastfeed skin-to-skin 45 minutes after the surgery, but I know not everyone gets to do that. I think the biggest thing I'd recommend is spending as much time as possible skin-to-skin with the baby in the first few days to make it easy to breastfeed every time the baby opens his eyes for five minutes.
My experience BFing after my c-section was not good either. If I have to have another c-section one day there are definitely things I'd do different. I didn't get to nurse for several hours after my surgery, next time I'd insist on doing it as soon as possible, maybe even in recovery. I would try to go without pain pills because they made me way too sleepy and I think they made my DD sleepy too, which made it hard to wake her to nurse and I wasn't nursing her often enough. I was super exhausted after my c-section thanks to laboring for over 24 hours so the pain pills only made me more tired which was not good.
I had a great breatfeeding experience (still going strong at 16.5 months)! My advice is nurse ASAP, whether that is in Recovery or after you get back to your room. Tell everyone (nurses, doctors, anesthetist...) that you are planning on breastfeeding. Don't let anyone give the baby a bottle while out of your sight and no pacifiers. Rooming in with the baby also helps you to get a great breastfeeding relationship going.
Also, realize that it's going to hurt for a while (up to 8 weeks!) and you're going to be sleep deprived because breastfed babies eat about every 2 hours, around the clock! But once you get through the first couple of months, everything becomes easier!
My first was a c/s, I had zilch milk until it came in on day 5, then I tried pumping, supplementing and bf until day 7 when the health nurse finally came to visit and asked me what on earth was I doing, put that baby to breast and he stayed there EBF until I stopped at 6 months. So I didn't establish a routine for bf at all until he was a week old, and didn't go back until we stopped. With this 2nd pregnancy, I will do what I need to do in hosp, understanding that my regular meds are probably gonna interfere again with my milk coming in, and once I get home and my milk is in, to go exclusively back to breast. Worked the first time, can't see why it wouldn't again this time.
I had a great BF experience after my c-section. The hospital was great and I was able to BF in recovery, while she was nice and alert. I would definitely see if your doctor/hospital can make sure you are able to do that. I think it is really important.
My first birth was an emergency section--I was induced during week thirty-six due to pre-e and after thirty something hours of labor we were whisked off to the OR. Babe went to the NICU and I didn't get to see him in person for about twelve hours I pumped for him until I could go in person to nurse him. It took about five days for my milk to actually come in (good thing those tiny bellies are satisfied with colustrum until then!). Learning the football hold was such a wonderful thing--much easier to do while healing! We coslept so I got more sleep than I would have if we tried to do a crib and that really helped keep me from getting overly exhausted.
My second time around was a planned section and I got to nurse the baby within an hour or so of birth. Milk came in at two days that time around. Again, football hold during the first days of recovery and cosleeping
I had emergency csection and didn't get to bf until the next day after having the baby. All hospitals have a lactation consultant on staff, so I requested one and she came in and helped me (this was my first baby). It took some work, even after leaving the hospital, but totally worth it
I didnt get to BF right away bc DD was too early but I did pump. The nurse set me up within hours of recovery since I couldn't sit up on my own. I had a great supply even in the first days. The nurse I had was great about helping me and later another nurse commented on it and how the lactation consultant helped me. But the lac con never even came! It was the post partum nurse that got me going and made sure I did it every 3 hours on the dot until her shift was up.
The nurse I had was great about helping me and later another nurse commented on it and how the lactation consultant helped me. But the lac con never even came!
She probably WAS the lactation consultant...most lactation consultants in hospitals are just nurses with additional certification....My lactation consultant was one of the nurses who assisted in my csection (OR nurse).
I had a pretty good experience, except that I didn't get to see the baby for several hours after the section. I'll make sure that is not the case next time and will request that I get to BF in recovery. Other than that, she latched like a pro and we continued to BF until she weaned at 8 months. There are other things I will do differently next time to ensure that I am able to BF my next at least until one year, but that's a whole other story. I think the main thing, though, would be to see and feed (and skin to skin) the baby as quick as possible. Good luck! I hope you are able to get the BF experience that you want!
I'm not familiar with what your issues were the first two times but, I've had two C sections and the first was more difficult because I was on meds she couldn't have so I had to wait a few days and she was 5 weeks early. I pumped and BF her for 4 weeks before she was really awesome at it. I took it in stride and did my best not to get frustrated because I knew it was something A. I wanted to do and B. It would get easier and it did.
My son was born 4 months ago and the C section was planned and I was able to have him on the breast in recovery. He latched right on and camped out. I worked on his latch just a little but, overall it was a night/day experience. He has always pretty much known how to nurse. My husband helped me put him on in the recovery room and I did skin to skin.
If you relax and REALLY want to do this it's TOTALLY doable for you. You can't put tons of pressure on yourself and the baby and stress out or it's not gonna work. If you end up having specific issues there's plenty of resources to help you correct them. Kellymom.com is a big help and I got a chance to view this ladies DVD before and she is a wealth of info. I learned that the way you give birth DOES not determine when your milk comes in or how it comes in. It's only the hormones that affect this. http://sharicriso.com/mybabyexperts/ Anyways, if you want this you can do it. Just enjoy it as much as you can. It will get easier, I promise and then it will be like you always had done it.
Melanie, mama to Kaia, Ewan, and Paige
Paige Clementine born October 23, 2013