Tuesday, September 15, 2009

C-Section Nursing

****Warning****I don't think any men read my blog, but if you do, you might not want to read this one about nursing, and female stuff like that!!

Nursing is one of those gifts that I so look forward to with each baby. I enjoy the time I get with each baby, the feeling of feeding my baby and some usefulness for these large things that I was given.

One thing I always forget, is with c-sections, it takes 4 days for my milk to come in. I guess the average time is 3-4 days for c-sections. So, by the time I leave the hospital, the baby is fussy, and rightfully so, she is losing weight and basically I'm starving her. By the 3rd night, the nurses are wanting to supplement the baby and I'm in tears. I feel called to nurse and I know once the milk comes in, it all gets better, but until then, it is so hard.

With Sweetie Pie, the 3rd night, I decided to pump and got enough colostrum to supplement her and continued to pump every 2 hours, both breasts. By the time we left the hospital, she was down to 6lbs 6oz, from her birth weight of 7lb 1oz. My milk came in sometime Thursday in the wee hours (she was born Monday night) I was feeding her and pumping every 2 hours, to supplement, to make sure she got enough. We had a "one-day after leaving hospital appointment" to check her weight, thank goodness she had gained 2 ounces. Big sigh of relief, as I said, once my milk came in, I knew it would be fine.

Sweetie Pie had her 2 week appt on this past Friday and had gotten back to her birth weight of 7lbs 1oz, so another big sigh of relief.

Nursing is hard though, She is so tiny and has a hard time sucking out my nipples, so I use a nipple shield that is a soft rubber like thing that goes on my breast and she sucks the nipple out and gets milk. Sometimes I use it and sometimes I try to do it without it, if she can latch on, I don't use it, if she has a hard time, I use the shield.. I try to do both, but when they are this small, those darn nipples get so sore, it's hard to even hug anyone. It is so painful once she latches on, that it is eye cringing, toe curling pain the whole time she sucks!!! That pain only lasts a month or 6 weeks or so...if I'm remembering right and then it gets better! Once the baby is bigger, things go much better.

I am just writing this to I guess explain c-section nursing. The surgery slows down the body and since the body has not gone through labor, all of a sudden a few days after the baby has been taken out, the body kind of says "Hey, there's no baby, we better make milk!" The meds and just the healing process slows down everything. (including pooping...tmi?)

Note to self: Next baby, start pumping the 2nd day!!! Maybe my milk will come in sooner!
Another note to self: Next baby, maybe start pumping before the c-section (assuming baby won't go early like this one) like maybe a day or 2 before....just a thought to get things moving faster. (a nurse suggested this one...I don't know though...)

I don't really have much point to this post I guess, just things I've wanted to post since I was in the hospital!! If anyone out there reads this and ends up having a c-section, don't give up on nursing. It can work, just not without a little hard work and tears from mama!

In the end, it's all worth it!
I am in no way saying people who don't nurse are doing anything wrong, I'm just talking about my situation and my determination to use these giant things God gave me, it gives them purpose somehow in my mind!


  1. Of course, I read this after writing about my own decision in the hospital to not nurse...perhaps if I had had a positive experience previously...but i hadn't...I need to just have peace with what we've decided...glad you're doing so well! ;)

  2. Not doing so well, yet, Therese, that's my point in this, it will get better!

    You have to do what is right for you--not nursing is ok too.

    Heading over to your blog now....

  3. Jamie- I knew the post wasn't aimed at me...it was just timing. We posted on the same thing but from different directions! Thanks for being supportive!

  4. The point is to feed the baby and reduce stress on both of you; so, in conclusion, doing what is best for the both of you and not starving the baby. :)

    I gave up w/ SB, but Teenie was a nursing champ! Crickles was supplemented from six months and weaned off me for real milk by a year. You do what ya gotta do and boy do I know about the slowing down all the way to the poop. TMI? Yes. But it's true.

  5. Anyway, this post made me laugh. I so know where you are (if memory serves rightly). :)

  6. Men like boobs so you are blessed. TMI???? So do babies.

    OH do I remember the pain and my toes are curling just thinking about it. I remember bleeding and a chunck of my nipple falling off. No one prepared me for this!!! So this is an excellent post because I am sure there might be a young mother out there that has not had this experience.

    Just wait it out it does get better and I nursed my last baby for 2 years. TMI???

    So cool you can talk about your bowel problems hee hee...I think it is because you are OLD...like 40 or something??!!! just giving you a hard time. I suppose you do not need anymore. Sounds like you are so sore. I love how you talk about your next baby...so beautiful.

    Maybe jumping on that trampoline will get more milk out??!!! just kidding

  7. I had two c-sections and I can't remember if I had any problems with my milk. I thought it was normal for milk to come a few days after delivery. I guess because my kids where two weeks over their due date. I will ask my sisters who both had natural births. I am the only one who had a c-section in our family. And I am hoping next time we will have a natural birth, but just in case I have another c-section, I will keep this in mind. I am not pregnant yet. But I do want another baby. Hoping it will be in God's plans soon.

  8. Jamie I am so glad that you are nursing your baby, but I'm sorry that you're struggling with pain. It sounds like you are confident that it will get better.

    I wanted to tell you that I am preparing for consecration. I was back and forth for a while, but now I am definitely excited about it. Thanks for all of your support and information!

  9. If God blesses us with a baby someday (still praying and hoping it is not too late for me at the ripe old age of forty three), I look forward to giving birth, breast feeding, carrying my baby around in a sling, and trying to be the a good Catholic wife and Mama.

    I have several of the Sears books including books on breast feeding and a sling already. I bought all of this before I was married.

    I really want the experience of carrying a child in my womb, giving birth, and breastfeeding. Every day I am asking the Blessed Mother and Jesus to PLEASE bless us with a child.

    Question: What if God blesses you with a child through adoption and the child is a newborn? Can your body still produce milk for that child? Just wondering!

    If only I could have one child....just one child is all I'm asking for...okay going off to pray the rosary again!

    Thinking and remembering you all and your intentions in my rosary!

    Praying especially for pregnant mothers and mothers with newborns - do you know how lucky you guys are? How blessed you are? To be able to have children? You are so blessed!! Being a Mom, a stay at home wife and mother is my dream job, the job I've always wanted for as long as I can remember!

    With love and much hugs,
    Maria Therese <----barren as a stone (I think) in Mass

  10. I'm worried that the pain my be an improper latch on. Have you had a nursing consultant look at you? Whenever I had pain in my 4 nursings it was because, like a golf swing, I had forgotten something....how I was holding the baby, the babies mouth being fully opened, my posture and how I offered my breast and detaching correctly when the latch is wrong...etc...

    I needed reminders, like videos. And you right...it WILL get soooo EASY, eventually.

    There are some great teaching videos... http://www.snbsonline.net/id11.html to find by googling and on youtube.

    I remember that blinding pain and I am still so glad I nursed my babies! There are 101 reasons to do so, http://www.promom.org/101/

  11. Thank you JMJ, I checked out the videos and will try one thing different, I am having her nose right into my breast, but my breast if quite a bit bigger than those pictured and my nipples don't come out that much--not like the ones in the videos, so I really think it is that she is so small and my nipples are kind of inverted and need to be drawn out (sucked out....oh, too much info!!)

  12. I've had 4 c-sections. With each, it took about a week for my milk to come in. Even still, each of the babies nursed for at least 11 months!

  13. Hi Jamie, It's been over seven years since I nursed a baby, but I still recall the satisfaction I got from doing so, with all three of my children. I had all of them by c-section, and I really don't remember how long it took for the milk to come in. Learning how to nurse the first child was frustrating, but she seemed to be satisfied.
    I breastfed each between 12 and 17 months. Even with a case of mystisis (I'm sure I spelled that incorrectly), I stayed with it through the pain. Some would wonder why. But,it is such a personal decision, as you know.
    I just wrote a post on another aspect of c-sections. Check it out when you can. It's titled "Vaginal vs. c-section."

  14. eastfed all three of my babies well into their second and third years. I am a doula and childbirth educator that has helped many women into a happy healthy nursing relationship with hteir babies. If breastfeeding hurts, see a lactation consultant or a La Leche League leader. Breastfeeding should not hurt, at least not hte toe curling pain that some experience. Pumping before baby gets here may just send you into labour early - it's one of the ways we induce loabour for postdates in our midwifery practice. The quicker that you try to find help for problems, the better the chance of a good nursing relationship. Mine was saved by a midwife. My heart goes out to the momma that didn't get the help that they deserved!


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