That tiny Human Being was pushing her mother with so much power, while the mother was trying to pull her in, forcefully.
The baby was just a few days old but just like her mother she was so strong willed.
- My Story
- Common struggles of breastfeeding C-Section mothers
- 10 Tips for C-Section moms to help them in their breastfeeding journey
Baby was crying and pushing and the mommy was pulling her in.
It is true. It was me and my 4 days old daughter.
It was a kind of momma-baby battle.
I was trying my best to feed my daughter with the most nutritious food but I was following the wrong way.
It was my very first day, trying to breastfeed my daughter and I wasn’t expecting this reaction.
How I got there?
When my baby was so ready to come to meet me, my labor contractions began in the morning but I had to go through an emergency c-section later in the day because of some complications. That’s a whole different story.
My baby got used to the bottle
We spent 3 days in the hospital. I was unconscious for the first 12-14 hours and met my baby after 16 hours of her birth.
I came to know that during all this time, they have been feeding my baby with the formula milk through a syringe.
I was okay and for those 3 days I kept feeding her through a bottle.
Although, I was planning to breastfeed her, but I was not ready for the fact that she will get used to the bottles. No one even told me!
I was determined to breastfeed her, no matter what! However, she was not ready at all.
I had almost zero milk supply
She was refusing to take breast and every time I tried to feed her, she cried and pushed me.
And the real struggle began when I came to know that my milk supply had almost vanished, maybe due to not feeding her for 3 days, or maybe less water consumption was the reason.
I spent a lot of time searching on the internet on how to deal with such a situation.
My husband bought me a manual breast and I pumped and pumped and pumped, till I saw the first drop.
For over a week, me and my baby had a very tough time.
But I made it
By eating the right food, pumping, and trying so hard, I was finally able to breastfeed my daughter. After so many attempts of refusing, she eventually started to accept mother feed (when the milk started to flow).
In the beginning, she also took formula milk 2 times at night, but by the time she was 2.5 months old, she became an exclusively breastfed baby, on her own.
It was her decision, she stopped accepting bottles and I was fine with that.
I’m so proud to tell you that I exclusively breast-fed my daughter for 2 years.
Common Struggles of Breastfeeding C-Section Mothers
That was my story but I would say that almost every other c-section mother faces some common problems, as listed below:
- Low milk supply
- Baby gets used to the bottle
- Not able to sit due to pain
- Baby kicking in the c-section stitches
Helpful Breastfeeding Tips for C-Section Moms
So, with my experience, I’m going to share some super helpful tips to survive the common new c-section mom challenges:
1- Ask the hospital staff to feed your baby with your milk – directly!
I’m not sure about what hospitals in your location do, but whatever they do I would advise you to talk to the nursing staff right before your c-section. Ask them to feed your baby the mother’s milk directly right after the birth.
Even if the breast supply is not there or is negligible, they should get the baby close to your body. This way, your and your baby’s struggles will be reduced to some extent.
2- Get a good quality (manual) breast pump even if you are not planning to express milk
Even if you are not planning to express milk, still you should get a good quality breast pump (Manual or electric, depending upon your requirement).
I bought a small manual pump to help with the milk supply.
The more you pump milk, the more you will get milk supply and it will be much easier for your baby to feed and the process will become smoother for you too.
3- Eat a lot of white cumin
White cumin is known to improve breastmilk supply and I have tried and tested it. It does wonders. I used to make cumin tortillas with bean soup. Fortunately, I like the taste of white cumin.
You can use it in any form, try white cumin tea, if you want or eat it raw with lukewarm water.
Other than white cumin, cinnamon, fenugreek seeds, oats, and dairy, etc also help with milk production.
4- Drink tons of water
If you are from a tradition where new mothers are asked to avoid water, you are unlucky. So I was.
I was asked to avoid water, not from the doctor but from other older ladies around me. The reason I was told was that I will lose all the weight around my abdomen.
I don’t know if it was true or not but the only thing I’m sure about is that it affected the milk supply.
I realised it after 6 days. As soon as I started drinking water, I began to see improvement. So drinking more water is crucial for an improved milk supply.
5- Get 2 soft pillows to place in the lap and behind the back
You should get at least 2 extra pillows. One pillow for back support and the second one is to place in the lap while feeding the baby.
Place the pillow in your lap and the baby should lay down on the pillow. (baby’s face will become closer to your shoulder.)
This way you will
- Get back support to reduce back pain.
- The baby will come higher towards you and you will not have to bend to reach the baby. It may help in reducing back pain. ( This tip is especially helpful for long heightened ladies and those who have small breasts.)
- With the support of the pillow, the baby will not be able to kick your stitches. hurray!
6- Know that a newborn feeds every 15-30 minutes
It is a very common misunderstanding that I have seen.
Mostly new mothers complain that they have very low milk supply, the baby is not getting enough. Which is not true.
Newborn’s stomach is too small. They feed every few minutes. On average, every 20-30 minutes, they will be hungry again.
So, set realistic expectations. It will help you a lot. Don’t worry the feeding gap will keep increasing with time. By the age of 3-4 months, the gap will be around 2 hours.
7- Know that newborns go to sleep while feeding
Another fact! newborns are so sleepy. Most of the time, the mother thinks that the baby is feeding but her hunger is not going away. She is demanding milk, again and again, every 5 minutes.
But the reality is that the baby goes to sleep during the feed. To overcome this problem, check the baby’s chin. If the chin is moving, the baby is feeding. If the chin is static and only the lower chin is moving, it means the baby is not feeding.
8- Forget about the weight
Usually, mothers expect that they will lose the baby weight immediately after birth but the truth is the opposite. Instead of 9 months, you will start looking 6 months pregnant.
Weight becomes a bigger problem for c-section mothers as compared to those who gave vaginal birth. Starting your weight loss journey right away may cause problems for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding needs a lot of energy. Stay away from exercise for at least the first 6 months, after that you can start working out from home. And remember, not everyone loses weight while breastfeeding, some women gain. I was the one who gained weight, I started to lose weight right after I stopped feeding my daughter.
9- Go for 1-2 formula feeding per day for the first few months
If you are planning to exclusively breastfeed, that’s great. That’s what I did. But I would suggest (If you agree), offer 1-2 formula bottles to your baby in the beginning, I mean for the first 2-3 months only.
Usually formula milk is more filling and the baby will not demand milk for like 1-2 hours, on average.
It’s a very good opportunity for mothers to take rest.
Remember, c-section mothers need more rest for proper healing of stitches.
I would suggest, give one formula milk after a warm bath.
Give a relaxing body massage, a warm bath and then feed the baby with formula milk.
You can expect the baby to sleep for straight 2-4 hours. Cool?
You can give the second bottle right before bed.
Again, it’s your own choice.
Later on, when the feeding gap starts increasing, you can slowly quit formula bottles.
10- Don’t give up
Last but not the least, have patience and stay positive.
Don’t give up, Just DO NOT GIVE UP, until unless there is some huge problem.
The first few months of breastfeeding are harder, things will start settling down with time and breastfeeding will also become easier.
Having patience and being strong-willed is crucial.
Have you read my struggles of starting to breastfeed in the beginning?
If I can do it, you can do it too.
Now my daughter is 3, and I can’t believe that it’s been one year of “No Breastfeeding”.
Now I have done my job and my daughter is enjoying the benefits.
I hope you found the article helpful! If you have any tips to share or any questions to ask, the comment section is right there for you.
I wish you the best of luck for your motherhood journey!
Why Choosing Not To Breastfeed Is Okay