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Breastfeeding after a Cesarean delivery

Many factors determine the flow of breast milk for different mothers. It can take a bit longer before the milk comes in for a mother who has given birth with a Cesarean delivery. We don’t really know why. But it most definitely is not an impediment to successful breastfeeding. Below are a few things that you can do to promote breastfeeding as soon as possible after baby is born.

What you can do to get breastfeeding started: • When you are awake, hold your baby skin-to-skin (making sure that his or her airways are free) as soon as you can after birth and as much as possible the first few days. • If your baby does not nurse after your Cesarean delivery, you can hand express to help your body start milk production. Imagine that you are placing an order for milk and that you are telling your body there is a demand for breast milk. It’s not important to get a single drop of milk when you hand express. The reason for doing it is to stimulate a greater supply of milk later. If you do get a few drops of colostrum, give these to your infant. • Breastfeed as much as baby wants in the beginning. Let your little one decide. Some infants nurse often the first day while others sleep a lot. • Rest as much as you can, drink both water and other nutritious beverages. • Take pain medication if you are in pain—the objective is to help get your breastfeeding started.

Once it gets started, there is no difference in nursing after having a Cesarean delivery or vaginal delivery. All the tips and advice in the app’s Breastfeeding Guide are for any mother who wants to breastfeed, regardless of type of delivery.