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 advanceBringing 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 canAs 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.
TIP: Discover the benefits of skin-to-skin contact for you and your childSkin-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 positionsAfter 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:
Lying downAt 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.
Sitting positionA 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 breastfeedingTo 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.
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!