Breastfeeding After a Cesarean Section

Often women choose to have a cesarean section, also known as a C-section, in order to have their baby. This procedure is carried out because vaginal delivery puts the baby at risk.

Preparing for a cesarean section

Having a cesarean delivery can be a very positive experience, but it is also a major operation. In order to have a safe delivery, your doctor will discuss the possible risks and complications.

In addition, you will be asked to complete a pre-admission screening. This will help reduce the number of germs on your skin and prevent infections during surgery.

You will also be given a packet of wipes with antiseptic soap. If you have an epidural, you will be able to lay on the operating table while the surgery is performed. You will receive instructions on how to care for the incision site.

You may have to wait a week or more before you can go home. You will be advised to avoid stairs. You may also be prescribed pain medications.

Before you go home, you will be asked to follow up with your surgeon. This is usually scheduled for 4-6 weeks after your surgery.

If your baby is premature or small, he or she may need to be admitted to a special care nursery. You will also be given a rubella vaccination. If you are healthy, your baby will be sent home with you.

You may be able to breastfeed your baby during the post-operative period. Your midwife can help you do this.

Common reasons for a cesarean section

Choosing a cesarean delivery over a vaginal delivery is an important decision for many women. It can prevent complications during delivery and can save a mother’s life. The c-section procedure involves incisions on the abdomen, and is considered an emergency operation.

During the first stage of labor, the cervix can become slow or stop. If the cervix does not open, the mother may have a labor dystocia. A baby can also be in a position that is not optimal for delivery, requiring a cesarean.

Some women are concerned about the risks of a vaginal delivery, especially if they have a history of chronic health problems. Women who have had invasive uterine surgery may have a higher risk of uterine rupture during the birth process. This can cause heavy bleeding, and can interfere with the baby’s oxygen supply.

Other conditions that can result in a C-section are a large fibroid in the uterus or a pelvic fracture. These complications can cause an obstruction in the birth canal, which reduces the flow of blood to the baby.

In addition, the umbilical cord may prolapse before the baby is born. This can cause the cord to wrap around the baby’s body and decrease the baby’s oxygen supply.

Another common reason for a cesarean is a breech presentation. This position means the baby is positioned head first, and is often difficult to turn.

Breastfeeding after a cesarean section

Trying to breastfeed after a Cesarean section can be challenging. Some mothers find it hard to latch on, while others produce a lot of milk quickly.

The most important thing to remember when trying to breastfeed after a Cesarean is to let your body heal. You may experience uterine contractions, which can be uncomfortable.

Another thing you should do is pump colostrum. Colostrum is rich in concentrated immunity factors and protein. This milk can help your baby have their first bowel movement and prevent engorgement. Pumping should begin within a few hours after delivery.

You may also want to try skin-to-skin contact. Some hospitals encourage this, while others will do it in the recovery room. A study suggests that mothers who experience skin-to-skin contact report better breastfeeding experiences.

It is also a good idea to find out what your hospital’s policy is on breastfeeding. If you have a scheduled Caesarean, it is best to know ahead of time. Some hospitals offer virtual breastfeeding classes to help mothers who have had a C-section.

You may also want to consult a lactation consultant to see if they can help you breastfeed after a Cesarean. These professionals can provide helpful tips on achieving a successful latch and positioning your baby for the most efficient milk flow.

You should also consider taking antibiotics for a few days after your C-section. You will also need to drink plenty of water and eat snacks.