Of course you can breastfeed your baby after a c-section delivery!!
But you will probably start of slower start depending on your choice of anesthetic. General anesthetic will make you unconscious for the birth and drowsy afterwards, and your baby may be sleepy also. A spinal or epidural allows you to be conscious so you can hold and feed baby very soon after they are born.
It is really important to breastfeed your baby very soon after delivery, and have initial skin-to-skin contact. Breastfeeding helps the uterus to contract and return to normal size more quickly. Plus the early feeding helps with bonding and recognition.
It can be difficult to breastfeed your baby while you are in the recovery room, as your body may still be numb and you may not be able to move or position yourself. Ask your midwife and specialist for assistance in positioning, and ensure that baby is well support. It is very easy to get nipple damage during these first feeds, so do make sure you are persistent in asking for the correct latching position.
It will be easier to breastfeed while lying down for the first day or so, as you may still find it difficult to move your body due to the anesthetic.
With the bed in flat position, raise the side rails of your bed and place extra pillows behind your back for support. Carefully roll to one side while grasping the rail and relax your tummy muscles!! Place the baby on their side facing you, so that you are positioned chest to chest. Baby’s head may need to rest in your arm to bring their mouth up to the level of your nipple.
The football hold is an excellent position to feed, especially while your caesarean wound is still sore. While sitting in an upright position, tuck a pillow or breastfeeding cushion under your arm. Place baby’s head close to your breast facing toward you, with his body tucked under your arm. Baby’s body should be bent at the hips, with their bottom against the back of the chair you are sitting on.
Feeding while sitting up: place the head of your bed upright. Prop a pillow or breastfeeding cushion under the arm that will support the baby’ s head, and place baby on a breastfeeding cushion over your wound. This raises baby to your nipple, and also protects your sore tummy. Hold baby close to you, with their whole body facing yours.
A c-section delivery can be a very stressful and worrying time, but it should not prevent you from having a great breastfeeding experience.