Breastfeeding and Caesarean

Hi Mums and Mums to Be!

Just thought I would share my experience so others don't suffer the same.

My baby boy was born by emergency caesarean. I had already decided that I would try BF if I could.

I stayed in hospital for a total of 3 days to get some BF support before going home. During my stay I was told baby was latching well and we were having regular feeds - everyone was happy.

When I came to go home they weighed my baby boy and he had lost 11% of his birth weight- ideally they should only lose a maximum of 10%!

To say I was distraught was an understatement. The hospital suggested I express but there was no milk at all. They allowed me to go home.

Our first night was awful - he cried and cried and cried. By 9am next morning I gave in and called my Mum who arrived like Super Nanny and finally settled him.

The community midwife arrived later that day and was the first person in 3 days to tell me that as I'd had a c-section my milk would take a lot longer to come in.

My poor baby boy was starving!

Myself and husband made a decision to switch to bottle feeding - I was too distraught to continue BF.

24hrs later he had put on 100grams and been so content!

16 days old and he's now over his original birth weight!

Im certainly not suggesting that caesarean means you can't BF but do consider that your full milk flow will take longer to come in and the midwives should help you create a plan to ensure your baby gets the nutrients they need.

6 Replies

  • Hi

    Its rather funny how babies seem to settle very quickly for someone else when things like this is happening.

    I also wanted to say ive personally never experienced a C-sec ( & i dont plan too for the delivery of my 2nd child due early november) but shortly after giving birth to my son in 2008 i remember feeling unusually tender around my stomach / pelvic area.

    The baby was fine & successfully passed all the necessary tests so we were sent home the next day.

    The same night of us getting home all hell broke loose & it just seemed as if my Lil one was refusing to sleep. This being my 1st child i was absolutely shattered, & disolusioned at the fact that my BF seems to be not satisfying enough.

    So a few weeks after the birth the baby seems to be settling better with a part feed "formula" in the evening & Breast throughout the night & day but i unfortunately was suffering with perlonged bleeding due to a mishandelling of removal of the placenta / after birth.

    I sometimes believe there was & still is an enormous amount of pressure for new mums in particular to exculsively breast feed their baby's when at times we may be unable to do it if the breast milk may not have had the time to come in enough for the baby.


  • To be honest I always top up in the first few days till my milk comes in properly.. The hosp have never been keen on me doing it but its always worked well for me... i didnt know that either thou and can't believe they didn't tell you ! Bless him glad all is ok now xx

  • It sounds like a good idea actually, but still makes me feel just a Lil guilty as the baby is bound to become custom to the formula feed & not want to latch on as well as you'd like them to.

  • Congratulations!!sorry you had to go through that!i think it depends as everyone is different.i had emergency csection as well and within an hr of giving birth the midwife encouraged skin to skin while I was in recovery room and my baby was breast feeding straight away!and on the 4th day she had put weight on.however she was always hungry so I decided to start formula as well.combined fed till 2 weeks ago when I decided to stop breastfeeding completely.x

  • Hi, Sorry you had a bad experience with this and were not given more support to help you continue breast feeding. I have had 3 C-sections(not through choice) and have managed to breast feed all my babies but it wasn't easy as yes milk does take longer to come in and all my babies lost a bit of weight before they started to gain but we got there eventually. The only real tip I can give for others in this situation is let baby suck as much and often as they want to in those first few definately helps and even before your milk is properly established they do still get something. Glad you are now happy and baby is feeding well....breast or bottle doesn't really matter as long as you have a happy healthy baby xxxx

  • Hey hun sorry to hear our story, I am in the same boat as you.


    I had excess blood loss during forceps delivery, was told everthing is perfect - Litttle girl lost 18% of birth weight and was nose fed in neo-natal unit (doctor said, the might have wrongly registered the birth weight, as she was born a good 3.72 Kgs).

    24 hrs in neo-natal she put 300 gms already (doctors still surprised)

    we are now 43 days, LO is healthy and has recovered well, my milk supply still pretty low (although i am being persistent and BF her throughout the day)

    I have decided not to give up that easily, as she is going to be my only child (we dont plan on any more babies).

    I would be going for my pos-natal examination on Monday (we would be 7 weeks than), and probably ask my GP on h my milk has not flown yet (I hope there is no trace of left-over placenta in me, as I am still bleeding :( )

    I would say to you - dont give up just yet :)

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