Breastfeeding Challenges Of A C-section Mom

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Due to elevated blood pressure in the last month of my pregnancy, I had to undergo an emergent C-section in the 38th week.  My baby was full term by then and barring the elevated blood pressure the C-section went pretty smoothly and I delivered a 3.6 kg healthy baby boy.

As the C-section was carried out under spinal anesthesia, I was on complete bed rest for 1 full day with no water on the evening of C-section and starting with liquids and very light diet the next day.  For the first 1-1/2 days, I was unable to breastfeed my son.  He was kept on top feed.

Once I was able to sit upright on the second day of the surgery, I tried to latch my baby.  I being the inexperienced first-time mother was having difficulty latching my son.  I had heard a lot that babies latch and start feeding instantly, and here both me and my son were frustrated.  The nurse tried helping me with the latching.  Ultimately, my son started to suckle but was still crying.  I realized that I wasn’t producing enough milk and hence he was hungry and crying.  We couldn’t keep him hungry and hence the top feed was continued.  I felt this was may be because unlike normal delivery, the body wasn’t “prepared” for the baby and hence I wasn’t producing enough milk.  Apart from that the major surgery and the emotional turmoil might have contributed to this.  My doctor also understood my anguish and reiterated these points.

I also had difficulty sitting upright for a long time and feed my child as the C-section stitches used to hurt.  Though at that point lying down and breastfeeding was the most comfortable position for me, I tried to feed in an upright position with a regular pillow propped on the back to be somewhat comfortable.  On a scale of 1-10, the pain from my stitches was 8 in terms of pain which would cause more difficulty and anguish during feeding.

It’s so frustrating for a new mother to not being able to feed her child and see him crying, trying to latch, again getting frustrated, and wailing!  The gynecologist understood this concern and prescribed me an herbal Ayurvedic medicine to enhance milk production.  Along with that having regained the appetite by the third day, I started to eat a normal nutritious diet and kept myself well hydrated.  Apart from this, I continued to practice latching my son.  By the fourth day, both of us were much better off than before.  Along with my feed, still once top feed was given to fill the little one’s tummy.

By the time I was discharged on the seventh day, I was pretty much better both physically and emotionally.  Though being the first-time mommy, I was still facing the teething troubles of motherhood and breastfeeding.  As per the gynecologist’s instructions, I continued with the herbal medicine till the time I was confident enough that I was producing sufficient milk to feed my son.

Within 10 days, my son was happily taking my feed multiple times a day and I knew we both had won the initial battle and challenge of breastfeeding.

For the expectant mothers, don’t fret too much about C-section or normal delivery now, but if C-section is unavoidable or maybe you opt for it have patience in the initial few days when it comes to breastfeeding.  Don’t stress too much or worry too much about it.  Seek the gynecologist or lactation expert’s help.  Have patience!  Motherhood is precious but yes there are a few teething troubles always.

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