After the c-section, you are under the effect of general or regional anesthesia (epidural) for a long time. Moms might wonder whether having a c-section makes a difference in breastfeeding their little one for the first time? Will your baby get affected by the medication you were put on while preparing you for the delivery? Will you be able to feed your baby while simply lying down?
Breastfeeding is a natural process—though a c-section might not give you enough liberty to move around, you can still feed your baby without any trouble.
We have your questions answered. Here are 5 important things to know about breastfeeding after having a cesarean.
1. You Will Be Able To Breastfeed Even After Receiving An Epidural
The epidural will only be rendering you motionless waist down. Your upper body will be voluntarily functional and in your control. So you can hold your bub and latch them on your breasts right away while the obstetricians do their business down there.
Most hospitals use epidural, use of a general anesthesia is fortunately rare. In the beginning, however, you may still need some help from your partner or a nurse to get your newborn to latch. They may help you sit up slightly, to make holding and nursing your little one easier.
2. Medications Received By Mother Don’t Harm The Baby
Medications that the nurses provide you at the hospital are safe for the baby including the intravenous medicines. Though some amount of epidural does reach the baby via the mother, it has not been known to cause any harm. Some painkillers could make your baby little sleepy, nothing more than that.
3. You Might Require Certain Help In The Beginning
The first few days after the c-section could be tough. With the stitches up your belly, it may be difficult to walk around or bend and lift the baby from the cot for feeding. Take help from your partner or hire a doula to help you. Take the rest you deserve until you recover enough to carry out the task yourself.
4. You May Need To Try Different Position For Breastfeeding
The usual position of feeding your baby, holding him or her in a cradle might seem uncomfortable as it may put pressure on your abdomen where you have received the stitches. Try the football hold, also called clutch hold, wherein you hold the baby with their head and guide them near your breasts while their body is below your elbow. Get the support of the pillows. Try other positions for feeding only when you feel comfortable.
Give a try to the positions like football hold, also called clutch hold, wherein you hold the baby with their head and guide their head near your breasts while their body is below your elbow. Get the support of the pillows. Try other positions for feeding only when you feel comfortable.
You could even feed lying down on the side. If required, consult a lactation specialist to help you with the positions.
5. Keep Nursing During Your Recovery Period
Start breastfeeding your baby as soon as he/she is handed to you. Even though your c-section could be grueling, nursing will help you relax and make you feel better. Ask for help if you feel numbness, the nurse or your partner could assist you in positioning the baby or latching them onto your breasts. Nursing soon after birth will help you bond with your baby—you will feel rejuvenated after meeting your little one no matter how you are feeling.
The type of delivery doesn’t make any difference in the breastfeeding. Your baby will be brought to you immediately after the surgery for nursing. The discomforts you feel initially will gradually dissipate and you will feel better. Until then take care of yourself and keep your near ones close to assist you during your recovery phase.