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How to successfully breastfeed after a cesarean

Whether planned or not, a caesarean section is not an insignificant procedure. However, although it can cause fatigue and discomfort in the days following delivery, it should not stop you wanting to breastfeed. On the contrary, breastfeeding is even recommended as it is beneficial to the child! Here are our tips and tricks for healthy breastfeeding!

Inform the medical team in advance

Bringing your child into the world by caesarean section cannot always be predicted but in no way removes breastfeeding as an option afterwards. Be sure to inform the medical team (before giving birth if possible) that you want to breastfeed. They will then put in place all the necessary means to support you as best as possible.

Start as soon as you can

As soon as your condition and that of your child allow, be sure to bring it to your breast. Starting as soon as possible will trigger the milk-ejection reflex. You will then observe an increase in milk after the caesarean section, and it will become easier for your baby to breastfeed.
Baby being cuddled by mother

TIP: Discover the benefits of skin-to-skin contact for you and your child

Skin-to-skin contact is a privileged moment to share with your newborn on bare skin. It is an excellent way to prepare for breastfeeding, as the child becomes familiar with the breast and your smell. Your resulting bond will only be stronger, especially after having been separated in the moments after the operation.

Adopt appropriate positions

After the procedure, it is possible that the scar from your caesarean section may cause you discomfort during breastfeeding, due to the area being very sensitive. Rest assured, adopting an appropriate approach should quickly put you at ease. The following positions are recommended:
Mother Breastfeeding

Lying down

At first, it is recommended that you feed your child in a lying-down position. To do this, lie on your side and bring your baby to your breast while supporting its back. Use pillows to help you.
Mother Breastfeeding on the lounge

Sitting position

A bit later, you may try to breastfeed in a seated position, continuing to use cushions for support. Place your baby against you with its head resting on your forearm, and support its back.

TIP: Familiarising your child with breastfeeding

To help your child open its mouth properly to take your breast, touch its upper lip with your nipple, then move away gently, and repeat the movement. A few drops of milk can also help.

Get help

Although the birth of a child is an indescribable source of happiness, it is nevertheless tiring, especially after having experienced such a procedure. Surround yourself with family or close friends who can help you on a day-to-day basis. For example, give your baby to a trusted person while you take a nap and get some well-deserved rest!

Breastfeeding after a caesarean section requires time and trust, both in yourself and your baby. It is quite normal to be a little off balance in the beginning, but breastfeeding will soon feel natural to you, we are sure of it!


Further Reading

Male and Female smiling at baby

Feeding Choices

Breast milk contains all the nutrients needed and a combination of hormones, antibodies and prebiotics that help support their immune systems and promote healthy growth and development.

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Important notice

By clicking on the "Continue" button, you can learn more about infant nutrition. If you choose to continue, you agree that Danone is supplying this information at your individual request for information purposes.

Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants: it is best adapted to their specific needs. A healthy and balanced diet of the mother is important for the preparation and continuation of breastfeeding. Mixed breastfeeding can interfere with breastfeeding and reduce milk production. It’s hard to reverse the choice of not breastfeeding. If an infant formula is used for a non-breastfed baby, it is important to carefully observe the instructions for preparation and use and to follow the advice of the medical profession. Incorrect use could pose a risk to the child’s health. Socio-economic implications must be considered in the use of infant formula. After 6 months, in addition to breastmilk, water is the only essential drink. Do not hesitate to consult your health care professional if you need advice on feeding your baby.