Wondering if breastfeeding will hurt? Or if it’s possible even after a C-section? Find simple and useful tips for a successful start at breastfeeding from day 1. No seriously. Come in. Read every word.
Read Time: 6 minutes
First, a Little Backstory
Being a sexual abuse survivor, I never thought my body be so noble, so useful to nourish my children with breast milk. I nursed my Baby #1 until 2 years old. Not like you think. She eats 3 full meals and two snacks each day, yet we nursed twice a day. It’s beautiful, and it’s called Tandem Nursing when you nurse a baby and a toddler together. We’ll talk about that later, though. I am in my third year of breastfeeding as I write this, and I didn’t even have any breasts, to begin with!
For breastfeeding, breasts size does Not matter
Isn’t God a genius?! He made nature with so much care, made it perfect.
Breastfeeding is natural, and it is the perfect food for your baby, for the first 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding means to give your baby only breast milk for the first 6 months – no water, honey, no nothing. Just the liquid gold that is the breast milk for first 6 months. If you can rest during the day, eat nourishing food, and surround yourself with people who support and help you, then that is all the reason you need to be successful at breastfeeding from Day 1.
Diet and supplements during pregnancy (and after childbirth)
Pregnancy diet affects your breast milk supply. This booklet by the World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for mothers on what to eat during pregnancy and lactation.
I followed the survival guide for a happy pregnancy, and I Loved being pregnant! Here are quick stats about my babies:
- My Baby #1 born 4.06kg, at 41 weeks. Emergency C-section after 8 hours of labor. We nursed within 45mins post surgery. Continued breastfeeding during pregnancy with Baby #2.
- My Baby #2 born 3.01kg, at 38 weeks. Planned C-section. We also breastfed within 45mins after surgery and she had doubled her weight within two months of birth!
You can credit my genes and I will credit God because he created my babies and gave them for me, and in between both, was Mother’s Horlicks. NOT Women’s Horlicks. Mother’s Horlicks
My OBGYN recommended I take Mothers Horlicks during pregnancy and continue it even after delivery. And MAN! This stuff is SO good.
Mothers Horlicks not only gives you the daily required an amount of vitamins and minerals during pregnancy, but it also helps increase the baby’s birth weight.
Aim for a good baby birth weight is ideal if you ask me. Taking care of my Baby #2 was so tricky, she was so tiny ~
Whenever my milk supply got low, I could pump up to 100 ml of breast milk after consuming just 2 tablespoons of Mother’s Horlicks in warm or cold milk. The vanilla flavor is tasty.
Breastfeeding after C-section surgery
It wasn’t easy, breastfeeding after C-section on Day 1 is hard work, but the results are all worth it.
You can breastfeed within the hour of surgery!
According to La Leche League International (which is only the world’s biggest NGO that supports Breastfeeding) confirm for successful breastfeeding from Day 1, the golden window of opportunity is right within the hour of delivery. Your baby is alert and will latch on right after birth, under ideal circumstances.
Results of my breastfeeding survey interviews
When I meet new mothers, I am always curious to know the exact time when they started breastfeeding. Turns out, mothers who had trouble with breastfeeding always gave the same answer. They were not close to their child immediately after delivery or started breastfeeding a day or two later. Some did ok, but most did not report a successful breastfeeding story when there was a long gap between delivery and childbirth.
So, unless the baby requires external support for carrying out important bodily functions, you are good to breastfeed within the hour of delivery. When you are partially anesthetized for C-sections, you are was and alert to get this job done right after delivery.
You can breastfeed even after long hours of labor.
I was in labor for 8 hours with my first child.
They don’t allow any food during labor. With C-sections, fluids pumping into my veins nourished me, even though the “solid” food came after later. Breastfeeding on Day 1 was yet successful.
Babies need time to practice the “perfect” “latch”. You need to let them practice more by letting them breastfeed more. The perfect “latch” or you know when breastfeeding is going well is when you felt nothing. So start as soon as they hand you the baby!
Horror Story of Fighting Nurses for Day 1 breastfeeding
I was prepared to fight these deviant nurses from the hospital. I like to call them deviant because these are the ones who like to coax or even bully new mothers into giving formula milk to newborns.
Formula milk takes a long time to digest and so, bottle babies sleep for a longer time than breastfed babies. With formula, the nurses don’t have to come into the room every 45 minutes to help the new mothers breastfeed.
New mothers can breastfeed perfectly, BUT nurses rob the precious window of opportunity times by forcing you to give you the baby formula.
Did you know? The colostrum from your breast needs to go to your baby. In 4 hours (while the baby sleeps with formula) 2-3 breastfeeding sessions with colostrum are MISSED! It’s time you appreciated the great value your colostrum can bring to your baby.
“Colostrum is so valuable that even the tiniest bit you can give to your baby will be a priceless gift to him. It truly will be worth any effort you can make to give your baby colostrum.” ~ Le Leche League International.
Don’t be alarmed if you don’t “see” colostrum after delivery!
Colostrum is produced in tiny quantities and is swallowed by the baby. It’s so transparent that it may be confused with the baby’s saliva. It does not mean you don’t have breast milk.
Fight the People who suggest Formula
~When you can breastfeed and when your baby is well hydrated.
Be firm that nurses have no business offering formula to a newborn when colostrum is oozing out of your nipples or when your baby had changed 5-6 diapers! The multiple dirty diapers is a sure sign that your baby is well hydrated with just the colostrum.
You don’t have to give your baby formula so you can rest. Gosh, don’t make that excuse for yourself. You have your whole life to rest. As you grow older that’s probably the only thing you will do. Rest.
Say NO to formula.
Babies have tiny stomachs and since the breast milk is digested fast, you need to feed more often. Ideally, babies breastfeed every 2-3 hours or less! Yes, it’s true. It’s a hard day’s (and night’s) work.
Your body will be so pumped with hormones after childbirth that you may find it hard to stay still. All that adrenaline is there to help you care for your newborn – day in and day out. Nature is incredible and compensates you for staying up and being brave about breastfeeding your needy new baby.
You need not give the formula so you can get some “rest” through those first newborn nights.
Pro Tip: Don’t focus on how much sleep you are getting or not. Focus on how the trouble is all worth it for your baby instead.
Your breast milk gives your baby all the goodness to thrive!
Your selfless service to your child is the only thing that matters at this moment. You have the rest of your life to “rest”.
Do more research, discuss these matters with your OBGYN or the helpful mothers on social media communities such as Breastfeeding Support For Indian Mothers
Be encouraged that breastfeeding is nature at its best!