|Can I still breastfeed if I have had a cesarean section?|
Definitely! Some mom's have more challenges when they are getting breastfeeding established. If you know you want to breastfeed, make sure you tell everyone near you in the hospital. Tell the nurses. Tell your doctor. Request a lactation consultant as soon as you can. Since you are going to be in the hospital for a few more days than the average mom, take advantage of the resources available to you.
Information and Tips
Breastfeeding Basics: Breastfeeding After a Cesarean A thorough article with lots of tips and details about how to maximize your chances for success in breastfeeding after a cesarean. Includes illustrations to help you understand positioning tips. Written by Anne Smith, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with over twenty years experience in lactation counseling.
Find a Lactation Consultant A lactation consultant is trained to help you breastfeed your child. Hospitals often have them on staff - but you can also hire one to come to your home. This site provides a quick and easy way to find an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Includes resource for both those in the USA as well as many other countries around the world.
La Leche League: Is it possible to breastfeed after a cesarean birth? Thoughtful tips on special issues facing cesarean moms who want to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding Supplies Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump This is an amazing breastpump. Breastpumps are very useful in a number of situations. Are you planning on working and continuing to breastfeed? Is your child in the NICU? Are you having problems with cracked nipples, bleeding or other breast pain? This pump may seem expensive - but it does a great job of simulating the nursing patterns of a baby - starting out with a rapid pattern to get your milk flowing and then slowing down to a longer, deeper pattern to make the most of your pumping session. Also available in the less expensive model (without the two stage pumping pattern) that many women swear by - the Medela Original Pump In Style Breastpump.
Nursing Stool It may sound strange, but having your feet on a stepstool like this when you are sitting on a chair or couch to nurse your child can make a huge difference in how comfortable you are. It takes strain off your back and helps you find an optimal position for holding your baby. This and the support of LOTS of pillows can be credited with many women's nursing success. As an added bonus, these are useful long after you have stopped nursing. I have my feet on one under my desk right now as I type this!
Motherlove Herbal Nipple Cream It never occurred to me that I would need something like this - but trust me when I tell you that if you are nursing it is a good thing to have in your medicine cabinet. This is a small jar - and very concentrated. It is good for healing cracked nipples and is safe for your baby to ingest - no need to wipe it off before nursing.
Breastfeeding Books Spilled Milk : Breastfeeding Adventures and Advice from Less-Than Perfect Moms In the introduction, the author says she wanted to write a book that would read like a middle of the night support group from mom's who have been there - for mom's in the midst of breastfeeding. A great read - and very supportive of whatever choices you need to make. Includes stories from other cesarean moms.
The Nursing Mother's Companion, Fifth Revised Edition A great book with all the basics - as well as an extensive troubleshooting section. Good to have on hand for reference - even if this isn't your first time breastfeeding.
The Womanly Art of Breasfeeding The La Leche League classic handbook. Includes some information specifically for mom's recovering from cesareans. Also has good diagrams and lots of supporting information explaining all the ways that breastfeeding is good for you and your baby.
|The Nursing Bra|
One of the most essential tools for successful breastfeeding is a great nursing bra. You may be thinking to yourself that you can't possibly buy that online - but trust me when I tell you that the Bravado Nursing Bras are amazing. The come in three styles: Basic (shown to the left), Plus Size and Double Plus. See the handy chart below to figure out the best style and size for your body. These bras are 92% cotton and 8% spandex to breath, support you and adjust to your changing breast size during the day. Snaps at the shoulder to make it easy to open and close one handed, a wide band at the bottom to keep them in place and there are NO hooks or underwires to poke you.
|* Those with a DD cup and above may prefer the added support and features of the Double Plus--especially for sleeping.|
Shirts and dresses designed to be worn while nursing will give you greater confidence to nurse your child wherever you are because they don't make you contort into weird positions to get your child to your milk. Take a look at the clothing available on websites like Motherhood Nursing or Nursing Tops available on Amazon.com. They don't have to be ugly or expensive - but they can make all the difference.