Every pregnant mother hopes to have a quick and easy delivery. However, sometimes, there may be a medical situation that necessitates delivering your baby with an unplanned cesarean section. If this happens to you, having an emergency c-section doesn’t mean you can’t breastfeed your baby.
Here’s what you need to do so you can still nurse your infant even after a c-section.
- Make the commitment to breastfeed. Breastfeeding isn’t easy. It can be painful and difficult, especially during the first few weeks. If you want to breastfeed your baby, you must be committed to it. It’s much easier to make a bottle of infant formula for your child, but it won’t be as nutritious as your breast milk. Make the commitment for your child. It’s just another selfless part of motherhood.
- Hold your baby close to you as soon as possible. To breastfeed after a c-section, place your baby in your arms as soon as you are able. Cradle your baby in your arms, even while you are lying down, so you can position your baby properly to prepare to latch.
- Learn to latch your baby properly. Getting a good latch is crucial to breastfeeding successfully. Your baby’s mouth should take the entire nipple and surrounding areola to have a good latch. If your baby isn’t latched to your nipple properly, you can get sore nipples and your baby won’t be able to extract the milk from your breast efficiently. This may take several tries but keep at it.
- Keep breastfeeding until you have established a good milk supply. You must breastfeed consistently to be successful at it. It is crucial you keep trying even if your baby seems to fuss. The first two to four weeks of breastfeeding will be the most painful and difficult, especially the three days after you give birth when your breasts get engorged. After six weeks, your breast milk supply should be well established and all the pain will be a thing of the past.
- Take care of yourself. An emergency c-section can wreck havoc on your emotions and take a toll on your physical well-being. Let go of any guilt or misgivings about your “imperfect” birth plan and focus instead on your beautiful child. Allow yourself proper time to rest and wear your binder as needed. Breastfeeding will actually help you heal faster since it promotes contractions in your uterus. Take pain medication as needed and use nipple creams to relieve sore nipples.
- Ask for help from a lactation specialist. If you can’t get your baby to latch or nurse properly, ask a nurse to teach you how. You can also talk to your doctor or any of the lactation volunteers at the hospital or clinic. You can also contact the La Leche League to get help and support from other breastfeeding mothers.
Breastfeeding you child affords your baby the best possible nutrients, vitamins and antibodies his little body needs. Not only are you helping ensure that your baby is healthy and strong, it also helps the bottom line since breastfeeding is free. Make the effort to breastfeed your child as long as possible.