Question for those that have had ELCS and tried to BF, or those who had milk production issues


I'm a bit worried that now my section date is upon me that I'm not going to produce milk. My original plan was to harvest in advance as there's a 50% chance I might have to have a GA, however there's no sign of any milk. In fact I have had no breast symptoms at all and other than them growing a bit I've had no tenderness or anything since the 1st Trimester. From my understanding the hormones released in birth will trigger the production, however as the baby is being delivered before they're ready does this cause a time lag?

Do I need to be prepared to have to FF to start with and try BFing later?

Or does the fact I've had no breast heaviness etc.. mean I'm not likely to produce at all?

Sorry for all the questions but I sort of want to be prepared mentally before tomorrow so I'm not disappointed.

Thanks for your help.


  • My two ELCS were both with spinal rather than under GA, but in both cases milk came in quickly, 36 hours after delivery with the first and 48 hours after with the second and both have BF with no issues at all. Breast changes and leaking in pregnancy are no indication of BFing success so please try not to worry. The best thing for BFing is lots of skin to skin and feed, feed, feed from the start - my philosophy with a newborn is if it squeaks or opens its mouth, feed it!

    Do ask at the hospital for support, ask if they have an infant feeding coordinator who can offer some support and advice and don't be afraid to ask for help with positioning post section. No reason at this stage why formula would be needed though.

    Good luck!

  • Also, do remember that the colostrum you will produce in the first few days is liquid gold and baby will only take a tiny quantity, a couple of ml, to fill it's marble sized tummy, so you may not even be aware you're producing it! Keep an eye out for wet nappies and baby clearing the meconium out of its system and poo turning to mustard yellow as a good indicator of milk intake.

  • I had an emergency first time and an elective the second time.  First time we were both so drugged up that I can't remember what happened, had him Thursday night stayed in hospital until Monday, but I bf'd for 20 months.  2nd time,  just kept baby on the boob to encourage the milk, he was born Thursday am, and definitely feeding well by Saturday am, we were home Saturday evening, b/feed until 10 months, as he kept biting.  I had no milk signs before birth for either boy.

  • Thank you for your help I feel more confident in what to expect now, it's helped a lot. I've now just got to try to get to sleep tonight instead of being like a kid at Christmas  :)

  • I had an emcs and I'm still bfing at 9+ months. I can't remember when my milk came in as I was out of it for days drugged up and he did get formula occasionally in hospital as he didn't even want to root around.  I expressed in hospital and I've expressed every day in the time I've bf! A cs doesn't need to mean bfing isn't possible. X

  • I had an emcs under ga last week, his first feed was formula as I literally couldn't have held him or stayed awake long enough to latch him on. I was clear beforehand that if I couldn't feed for any reason I wanted him to be syringe fed and she assured me they would never introduce a teat to a baby where the mother wished to bf. It is going ok and milkcame in aabout two days after he was born.

    Good luck for tomorrow, look forward to your ba x

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