Giving birth by Cesarean will not prevent you from breastfeeding. The pain medicine(s) you receive are safe for your baby.
Breastfeed as soon as possible after giving birth. Ask for your baby in the recovery room.
However, you may need a little help the first few days positioning and burping your baby.
Here are some suggestions to make breastfeeding easier:
Your body produces breastmilk on based on supply and demand. You will produce the milk your babies need.
You may be wondering if breastfeeding more than one baby at a time is possible. The answer is: yes!
If your babies are born early, they will likely be sleepy and unable to breastfeed well. If your babies are born full term, feedings will be easier.
Your health care provider and lactation consultant will help you create a feeding plan that will work for you and your newborns in the hospital.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using an electric breast pump for 15 minutes every two to three hours if your babies can't breastfeed. Use a "hospital grade" double pump. Pumping will help make sure your body makes an adequate milk supply even if your babies are too small or weak to breastfeed in the days and weeks after birth.
When your babies are able to breastfeed, the transition to normal feedings will be easier if there is plenty of milk. Cuddle skin-to-skin with your babies for the first hour, if you are able.
Breastmilk is the best food for a premature baby. It can help prevent infection, promote growth, and shorten your hospital stay.
Your nurse can help you master pumping and storing your milk so that it can be fed to your baby.
As your baby grows you will be able to breastfeed her directly. Skin-to-skin contact can provide closeness until your baby is strong enough to nurse on her own.
You can continue breastfeeding after you return to work or school. Continuing to breastfeed may help you and your baby reconnect at the end of the day.
All Minnesota employers must provide employees a room other than a bathroom to breastfeed or pump milk. Talk with your employer before going on maternity leave.
You may wish to start pumping once breastfeeding is well-established, usually around four weeks. Pumping before you need to return to work or school will:
It can be helpful to talk to other mothers who are continuing to breastfeed. Talking about your feelings with your partner is important for both help and support.
Talk with your employer about options for breastfeeding at work before you go on maternity leave.
Some companies have programs to support breastfeeding mothers. You have the right to pump breastmilk when you return to work. You may also have the option of extending your maternity leave, working part-time for a while, working from home some of the time, or job sharing.
Share information about how to store and thaw breast milk with your day care provider. Ask that your baby not be fed right before you are scheduled to return so your baby will be ready to nurse. If your baby is hungry during that time, the day care provider should give your baby one-half of an average feeding of breastmilk.
When your milk supply is well established and your baby is nursing well, introduce a bottle. Your baby may be more receptive if someone else does the feeding. Then, offer a bottle occasionally to remind your baby of this option.
When you put breastmilk in a bottle, consider the average feeding for a baby younger than 3 months is two to five ounces. But remember, every baby is different.
The Federal Drug Administration advises that women should never buy a used breast pump or share a breast pump due to concerns about spreading germs.
Hospital-grade breast pumps can be cleaned to meet the Federal Drug Administration advisory.
You will need something more than a hand-held pump to maintain your milk supply. Depending on your work situation and where you will be pumping, choose an electric or a battery-operated pump. Look for a pump that will cycle on its own rather than require you to release the pressure. A breast pump should never cause you pain.
This will enable you to express milk from both breasts at the same time. Expressing from both breasts saves time and will help maintain your milk supply.
Become familiar with the pump before using it at work. Knowing how it works will help you relax while you're using it.
If you can, return midweek so that you only have a few days until the weekend. This can make the transition easier.
The more your baby or a pump stimulates your breasts, the more milk you will produce. Don't skip a pumping session at work.
Nurse just before you leave in the morning. If you can, meet your baby for lunch. Pump two or three times during your workday. Have each session last 10 to 15 minutes.
You may feel anxious or nervous the first few times you try pumping at work. This can inhibit your milk let-down reflex. Massage both breasts for about 30 seconds before starting to pump. Be creative in finding ways to relax:
If you don't have a refrigerator at work, use a cooler case.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts