The upcoming cesarean operation scares the future moms not only with their invasiveness: it is believed that after the COP to establish breastfeeding is much more difficult than after natural childbirth, and this opinion is not unreasonable. Of course, lactation after surgery has its own characteristics that complicate the success of HB, however, it is still possible and necessary to adjust the production of breast milk! What to expect after the planned and emergency COP? After how many days will breast milk come in and can this process be accelerated? An advice of consultants on GW will help dispel all doubts about this!
Features of lactation after cesarean section
Breast milk does not come by itself – special hormones, including oxytocin, which is synthesized in large quantities during labor, trigger its production. With a cesarean section, there is no need to prepare the body for contractions, which means that the mother’s endocrine system does not immediately adapt to the fact that the crumbs that come into the world need nourishment. But this does not mean that milk will not come at all – with proper approach and proper stimulation, it will definitely appear, only a little later.
As a rule, the moment when lactation comes depends on how the cesarean section was performed – urgent or planned. Let’s look at the main features of these operations:
- The planned cesarean section is usually performed before the onset of labor. In this case, the hormonal surge, characteristic of natural childbirth, completely bypasses the woman’s body, so breast milk comes later. Under such conditions, colostrum appears approximately on the fifth or tenth day after birth. However, many experienced obstetrician-gynecologists, despite the planned nature of the operation, try to postpone it until the moment when the patient begins to have contractions – this approach can significantly facilitate the formation of HB.
- An emergency cesarean section is usually necessary when generic activity is already in full swing, but the natural completion of the process for any reason is impossible. After such an operation, breast milk arrives almost as quickly as after the classical birth, because the hormonal background of the expectant mother is subjected to the same stress. In rare cases, lactation is delayed for a day or two, but this time is not considered critical and depends largely on the characteristics of the body of a particular patient.
It is impossible to consider these terms as an immutable credo – the answer to the question on which day after cesarean section breast milk will come cannot be unambiguous. Of course, the hormonal component of the process is important, but the physiological features of the future mother, her heredity and even psychological attitudes play an equally important role. With due effort, absolutely any woman is able to accelerate the moment when the first colostrum arrives and to establish a successful HB regardless of the characteristics of the birth process.
What if milk does not come?
Unfortunately, if you let the process take its toll and wait for the breast milk to come on its own, you can never wait. When HBG develops, the first attachment of a newborn to the breast immediately after birth, plays a key role, however, after a cesarean section, this process may be difficult. First, at the time of surgery, the patient is under the influence of general or local anesthesia, which means that the first colostrum may be unsafe for the crumbs. Secondly, the infant is most often immediately carried away to the ward of newborns, where they are fed with a mixture from a bottle, and then he simply does not want to suck breast.
Sometimes the separation of mother and child after cesarean section can take several days, and at this time the main thing is to try to develop the mammary glands on their own and speed up the moment when the milk comes. Possible difficulties should be resolved in conjunction with the medical staff of the maternity ward, but most of the activities of the woman are able to carry out independently.
To help the body tune in the production of useful milk, you need:
- Start pumping as early as possible. Even in the postoperative ward, the patient can develop the breast independently. If the state of health after cesarean section allows, it is necessary to immediately ensure full outflow of the first drops of colostrum – this process will stimulate the production of oxytocin and accelerate lactation.
- Tip! Before each decanting a little mash the mammary glands, massage the nipples and the area of the milky passages. Such a self-massage will facilitate the outflow of colostrum and allow breast milk to come faster.
- Do not make long intervals between expressions. It is necessary to concentrate approximately every 2 hours, giving the mammary glands at least 5 minutes. At night, a more tangible break is allowed, but it should not exceed 6 hours. An electric or manual breast pump would be an excellent solution, but if it is not available, it can be drained manually.
- Important! Milk production is most active in the early morning hours – it is at this time that the amount of prolactin in the body is at its maximum. Therefore, try to organize the regime in such a way that at least one pumping time is necessary from 4 to 6 in the morning – so the long-awaited milk will come faster.
- Ask the medical staff not to feed the baby from the bottle. With long-term separate hospitalization, feeding is unavoidable, but it is much better if the crumb gets the first food not from a bottle, but from a spoon or cup. True, in the hospital it is almost impossible, but try to stipulate this nuance is still worth it.
- To organize a joint stay of mother and child as early as possible. The sooner the crumb comes to the mother’s breast, the faster the breast milk will come, because, as you know, no breast pump can completely imitate the natural sucking process.
- Correctly apply the crumb to the breast. When the newborn is finally in the same room with you, immediately teach him to suck properly – the more he eats, the more milk will come. After trying a bottle mix, it will be difficult for him to adapt to more complex and energy-intensive food, but it is not worth giving up. Initially, each feeding may take a large amount of time (up to two hours), so you need to choose a position that will be equally comfortable for both mom and baby. Try to do it lying down, alternately changing the position so that the newborn can suck both breasts – after a cesarean section when the seams hurt, and physical exertion is undesirable, this posture is considered optimal.
And, perhaps most importantly, tune in to the positive. The time when breast milk doesn’t come at all can get out of the rut and upset mommy, but you should not panic. Everything will definitely work out, the main thing is to believe in you and tune in to the best. The desire to breastfeed a child is at least half the success and everything else will come with experience!