Is breastfeeding after C-section possible and how can I prepare myself for success?
Breastfeeding after C-section may come with a few challenges, but it can certainly be done. A cesarean is major abdominal surgery, which somewhat limits your mobility and ability to lift your baby, but it should not prevent you from nursing your baby if this is part of your feeding plan. Because every woman’s body is different and each birth is unique, limitations vary from person to person.
When it comes to breastfeeding, with proper positioning, your baby will feed beautifully. If you have a breastfeeding pillow, I recommend bringing it to the hospital, although just stacking up several regular hospital pillows will also do the trick.
The best position for breastfeeding after c-section may be the “football hold” so your baby is not lying against your abdomen. Football hold entails cradling baby on one arm, cupping her head in your hand and letting her body rest on your forearm. Slide your baby back to meet your breast and use your free hand to ensure proper latch.
Following the first day after your c-section, you may find that you can better position yourself and baby in a glider than you can in your hospital bed. If your doctor will allow it, try to get out of bed and into a chair to see if that works better for you.
Cramping commonly occurs during the first few days of breastfeeding. Be sure to pay particular attention to your body and stay medicated for pain under your physician’s care. Also, consider having your partner or a close friend or relative stay with you in the hospital for the first few nights to assist in lifting your baby out of the bassinet for feedings.
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