Breastfeeding after c-section?

There is a small chance I will be offered a c-section next time I have a baby, due to my first birth experience, so I was wondering... Did you breastfeed successfully after a c-sec? I think I have read that sometimes babies find it harder to latch on than after a natural birth - was this true for you? What about recovering from the op - did this make breastfeeding harder?

Despite an unpleasant birth, Sam latched on perfectly and I never had any problems with BFing - I really hope this will be the case with my next baby, which is why I'm asking!

Thanks xx


  • Out of the 6 in our NCT group, 4 had sections. All four of them plus one of the others breastfed without a problem. In fact, they are all still breastfeeding at 11 months!

    It was only me who had a problem with Hannahs latch, and I had the most straightforward birth!

    I am now thinking about whether number 2 will have problems feeding!!
  • i had a c section in december and my DS latched on really well straight away, they did skin to skin as soon as i was back on the ward (which was within 1/2 hour of delivery!) The only thing i did find was that my milk was a bit delayed coming in and the health visitor did say this is quite normal for a c section delivery. I had my LO early on a thursday and my milk didnt come in until the monday which meant he did lose quite a bit of weight (about a pound!) but he fed really well and i dont think having a c section affected his ability to latch on!

    Good luck x x
  • My sil had a section and despite some initial problems that I think are common (cracked nipples, pain etc) she went on to bf for 17 months. She had less trouble than I've had and my baby practically fell out!
  • Hi Coco I had a c-sec and bf Luke about 2 hours later, it was the middle of the night and still feeding him now he will be 1 in just over 3 weeks time.

  • I can only comment from my own experience. LO NEVER latched on properly maybe this was due to c-sec or maybe it was due to me doing it incorrectly or maybe he just wasnt keen who knows.. but i did find it extremly difficult in the first week to get him into the right position and to move him around due to c-sec pain.

    I think ( wish) if i had persavered (SP?!!) longer than maybe we could have cracked it, but intially i found it difficult because of my scar x
  • Hi coco, I had a c sec and somehow didn't get the skin to skin I wanted straight away, this could be why we had a tricky tome feeding. Or it might have nothing to do with it!! I and Two other nct ladies that had sections are still feeding at 9 months, so although it was hard, it wasn't enough to put us off!

    Em x
  • I had a planned C Section and we got skin to skin - I've actually got a lovely pic of us having skin to skin in Theatre which DH took, I will dig it out in a sec! We had problems with DS latching on but this waws because of his hypoglycaemia resulting from my diabetes NOT because of the C section. I had an emergency C with DD and she actually latched on quite well immediately after but then had to go to SCBU because she was poorly - again, nothing to do with the section.

    I think it's easier with a planned section as you can prepare and inform yourself. I think some mums can be so shellshocked after an emergency section that if there are issues it can put them off continuing to BF because they are worried about doing the best for their baby and may already feel, totally wrongly, that they've 'failed' or compromised their baby's birth. That's not a criticism or suggestion that they 'should try harder' by the way, I totally understand those feelings of shock, maternal guilt, maternal fear.
  • Here you go - DS and I having some skin to skin literally minutes after his birth - this was while I was being sewed up!

  • i had an em c sec with ds, bf was tricky to start, but i ook myself into the birthcentre for a few nights to ensure i had the help and support necessary and i bf until 3 weeks, and mixfed until 7months, the c section wasn't what led to the mixfeeding, more his undiagnosed (at the time) milk allergy. i'm torn between vbac and elective c sec this time round (baby girl due in december) but if i do go for a c sec then i'm not concerned about issues with bf, i *think* that a planned c sec is slightly easier for such things as baby ur in recovery quicker etc and ur less knackered as haven't laboured prior to the op, plus baby is generally handed over to u much quicker if its all planned, my em c sec, i didn't get to hold ds until he was a little over an hour old, think planned its more like 20-30minutes, if not sooner xx
  • i had an EMCS and didnt get skin to skin straight away but we tried BFing about an hour after and she latched on straight away the little gannet image x
  • Kaleb was born by EMCS after a long labour. I didn't get to hold him straight away- in fact I didn't hold him until I was in recovery after they'd stitched me up. But when I did I fed him straight away. He latched on without any problem- he knew exactly wat to do! I had the usual ailments for the first week i.e. Sore nipples but nothing Lansinoh couldn't fix. I'm still BFing him now and intend to continue to do so for a while yet.

    Keenbean and Kaleb 5+2 Xx
  • I had an em c-sec and had real problems with LO latching on but we are also subsequently found out that she had a slight tongue tie and that blood pressure meds I was on were suppressing my supply. Also, my milk didn't come in until the Sat, after having her on the Tues. It's so difficult to say whether things would have been any different with a natural birth, altough I suspect not x
  • i had an emergency section and has problems feeding and BF for a week in total, i never had skin to skin and was not helped to feed until LO was a god few hours old which i think were our main issues as well as my appualing blood levels which stopped me producing milk, i should think a planned section would not hinder you in BF in any way,

    i intend to try to BF again with my next (we are TTC) and if end up having a section again, i will be making sure we have skin to skin asap and feeding as soon as possible, i think due to our circumstances last time it wasnt on my mind to ask/do x
  • I had an em c section, and didn't have skin to skin for a few hours as I was so out of it and to be honest I can't remember much about it. I didn't know that you were supposed to have skin to skin and try and feed so quickly. I wasn't in a fit state to for hours after the birth. But my milk came in really quickly, and by the time I'd left hospital, the midwife had latched lo on and he was feeding fine. I didn't find that the incision stopped me positioning himw ell at all - this didn't seem to make a difference to how I sat to feed him or how he laid.

    BFing for me went wrong as I couldn't maintain the latch and must have forgotten how to position him properly once I got home. I persevered for 3 weeks but after cracked nipples, a baby who simply wasn't getting enough milk to be happy and lots of pain and tears, I stopped.

    I don't think this was anything to do with the c-section though, I think it was a lack of support and information when we got home. I tried calling various BFing counsellors and support groups, but they couldn't see me for days and it was too long to be in more pain for, so I started to express.

    Good luck - I hope it works out for you x
  • Thanks ladies, this is really encouraging. Maenad, that photo is beautiful xx
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