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How long after a scheduled c-section can you breastfeed?

With my first son, I labored but still ended in c-section. But I was able to begin producing milk and breastfeeding within the normal time. I am having a scheduled c-section for this son...since I'm not laboring, how long does it normally take for the process to start? Will my body know that I gave birth and understand to start producing the milk?

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Asked by RockyMax26 at 1:00 PM on Aug. 15, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • It may take some more effort on your part, but do not hesitate to ask for help. Your hospital should have a lactation consultant on hand to help you get started. Start breastfeeding as soon as possible, for some this will be in the recovery room, for others you may have to pump for a sickly baby or to encourage your milk supply. There are different positions that will be helpful to you in breastfeeding after a cesarean, like the football hold, or any other position that keeps the baby off of your incision.

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 1:04 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • It's important to bf in the first golden hour after birth. You may need help. Tell everyone your baby is not to get any bottles, water, or formula. Your milk should come in quicker this time since your breasts have breastfed before. With your first you grow more milk glands and your breasts become mature. Your milk should come in by day 3 but it may be day 5. It could be as soon as 24 hours. Babies are born with extra fluids so they are ok until your milk comes in. Jaundice is not a reason to not breastfeed. is a great breastfeeding website.


    Answer by Gailll at 1:05 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I breast fed right away.

    Answer by emilysmom1966 at 1:06 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I know you should be able to feed right away but it took me 3 months before I could exclusively breast feed (not using supplemental formula.) I had supply problems but I don't think that was c-section related. And the lactation consultant was no help. Be persistent but don't starve your baby if you think there might be something wrong!

    Answer by getrealmama at 1:30 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I had my 2nd baby via planned c-section, and I was able to breastfeed her as soon as we were moved to our room less than 2 hours after she was born. She actually breastfed better than my son. She was born on a Tuesday, and my milk came in on Friday. I had the same concerns as you since I wasn't going to be laboring at all, and my body hadn't progressed at all by the time I went in for the c-section at 39 weeks.

    Answer by Journey311 at 4:00 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • I was able to nurse within the first hour or so after my c-section.

    Answer by missanc at 4:48 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • MAN! I posted a LONG response...and it's gone.

    Basically, you should nurse as soon as you can after delivery. Some doc/hospitals allow you to nurse while still in surgery. Nurse early and often.
    Second, when the placenta detaches, that is what tells your body to begin production. So, your body will know. Don't worry if mature milk takes a few days to come in. Colostrum is all baby needs at first.
    Third, the excess fluids during a c section can sometimes cause minor issues (but NOT always). My nipples were practically "flat" right after the surgery, basically they were swollen and it made initiating latch difficult. Babies can safely lose up to 10% of birth weight, but know that this percentage is sometimes slightly higher in c section babies, due to the excess fluids. Unfortunately, many (not all) medical professionals don't know much about breastfeeding and might tell you to supplement because baby lost too much/

    Answer by Krysta622 at 5:30 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • your milk hasn't come in/baby has jaundice/X/Y/Z reason. Be INFORMED. That's most important. Many LC's in hospitals are just nurses with a bit of breastfeeding education. Some don't even have ANY breastfeeding education. You want an IBCLC for help if you need it. Also, I'd recommend checking out your local La Leche League now, so they can arm you with info, and you can get to know the ladies and leaders. The leaders can help you in the hospital if you need, and also at home. It's so important to have support, and the ladies here are great, but sometimes you just need that hands-on, in person support.
    Good luck to you, congrats on your decision to nurse, and feel free to ask me anything here or via PM, and I'll answer to the best of my ability. I think my original answer here said more, but I think CafeMom got hungry and ate it. I might throw more in here and there.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 5:36 PM on Aug. 15, 2010

  • i was able to nurse within an hour after my c-section. are you a member of the breastfeeding moms group? if not, you should think about joining. lots of good info there!!


    Answer by kyriesmommy13 at 2:40 AM on Aug. 16, 2010

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