Breastfeeding after a C-Section

Those of you who think you have escaped all that pain through a painless C-Section process, well here is a scenario for you –

You are drowsy and all that you want to do is go back to sleep but you can’t because you have to position yourself in a precarious awkward position while the nurse holds your baby (who is trying literally chewing your breast off). Does it sound like a nightmare? Your nightmare has just begun!

C-Sections have become fairly routine process nowadays. It is also the safest way to deliver the baby especially if there are complications during the pregnancy. And those who have gone through it, will know how challenging it is for the mother to feed the baby for the next 48 hours especially when she can’t lift the baby to her breast, on her own.

To nurse the baby after a C-Section you will have to turn to your left or right slightly and the nurse will have to bring the baby near the breast and once it latches on, the baby can rest between the crook of your arm. If the baby is hungry and wants to feed for a long time, then it would best to get the nurse arrange a pillow on the back to support the abdomen one between the legs to increase comfort.

The worst part of this whole process is that you cannot do anything without somebody’s assistance for the next one or two weeks. It is impossible to position your baby for nursing on your own since you probably wouldn’t be able to lift the baby.

Most often, the breast milk supply is also low after a caesarian birth because the mother’s body is not aware that the baby has born so it will probably be 3 – 4 days before you produce significant amount of breast milk. In the meanwhile, you can feed your Colostrom to the baby. Ensure that your baby doesn’t get dehydrated due to lack of milk. Signs of dehydration that you can watch out for would be very few urine nappies, inactivity, and a significant drop in the birth weight.

One of the things that you can do on the first or second day after the baby is born is to express your milk at regular intervals. It wills save you lots of frustration and you will also have a precise idea as to how much milk you are able to produce. Do not worry about nipple confusion. Once you recover your strength, and are able to sit down, you can start breastfeeding normally.

If you know beforehand that you are going to have a C-Section, here are a couple of things that you can do –

  • Buy a maternity belt to tie around your belly above the bandages. This will provide you relief from sudden stomach pangs
  • Nursing pillows are a great help and it helps to prop the baby to the correct position once you are able to sit and feed. You can place the pillow above your bandages and hold the pillow to support your baby.
  • Attend birth classes to learn various positions through which you can feed your baby comfortably after a C-Section.
  • Enlist the help of a friend, relative or hire a nurse to help you during the initial weeks. You will definitely need it

Don’t let these initial challenges and hiccups get to you. There will be frustrations, there will be pain, but in the end it is worth it when you finally hold your bundle of joy in hand!

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