Will I still be able to breastfeed after I have a cesarean section?
In short, yes. How your baby is born does not affect your ability to breastfeed. However, there are steps you can take to make sure your c-section does not affect your breastfeeding journey. Be sure your doctor is aware you plan to breastfeed so they can choose medications and pain relief that are safe for breastfeeding. Any medications given during labor, whether cesarean or vaginal, can cause your newborn to be drowsy. If your baby is very drowsy, they may get off to a slow start with nursing.
To get breastfeeding off to a good start, keep your baby skin to skin as much as possible. Your support person or nurse can help support your baby on your chest if you are groggy. You will have some pain near your incision. So the usual cradle hold is not ideal after a cesarean. The side-lying or football hold positions will be much more comfortable!
Keep your baby close and offer your breast when you notice your baby has early feeding cues. Massage your breasts before and during feeding. This will help your baby get plenty of your amazing colostrum.