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Old 05-13-2012, 10:11 PM   #1
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I will need a planned CS but need advice.

I am currently 26 weeks pregnant with a DD. It is looking like she has a very rare brain and heart condition that is going to require some pretty specialized care. (we will likely have to take her to New York City to receive treatment) So due to her condition it is looking like I will need to have a CS. I may also have to deliver at a hospital in NY too so I wont have a lot of time to talk to drs and find out about policy etc.

The problem is I feel like i know NOTHING about CS. My first concern is breast feeding. How long after birth were you able to BF? Did you talk this over with your dr beforehand? If you were not able to see baby immediately did/would you pump? Depending on policy, her condition, my condition etc I don't know how long it will take to try to BF. What is the longest you would wait to at least insist on pumping to encourage milk production?

Is there anything you bought beforehand to help with recovery?

Is there anything I can do to help in recovery after?

Any other advice?

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Old 05-13-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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Re: I will need a planned CS but need advice.

I would ask ahead of time for a pump to be made available considering your circumstances. We were able to nurse pretty quickly after birth with all 3 of my sections. The children didn't have any health issues to interfere with early breastfeeding though. I would start pumping as soon as I felt up to it (This does take a bit of time. I doubt you will want to pump in the recovery room even if allowed. You can usually breastfeed in the recovery room.) and knew baby would not be able to nurse.

My sister had a baby 3 months ago that will never be able to breastfeed so she is pumping. She was able to tour ahead of time the hospital where she planned on giving birth. She lived about an hour and a half away so this meant traveling to see it. She didn't have a section but because of previously known issues with baby our local doctors referred her to the larger hospital for delivery. The local doctor did take care of prenatal care. You will be able to find out ahead of time what hospital policy is if you plan to give birth at a certain hospital due to already known problems with baby.

I highly recomend a c-section belt or something similar. When I had my 2nd section I used a prebaby swimsuit as I had never heard of a c-section belt. If I had I doubt I would have been able to afford it. The belt or in my case the swimsuit helps hold the stomach muscles tight. Which in turn makes EVERYTHING easier and a LOT less painful. Walking, laughing, coughing, sneezing, and even just rolling over.

I used a hand held hair dryer to dry the incision after showers to prevent infection. With my first I did get a small infection at the incision site before using the hair dryer. I used powdered goldenseal root and echinacea. Every time I showered it would wash out and start to seep blood. When I used a tincture instead and just droppered then hair dryer dried it healed really fast.

Last edited by qsefthuko; 05-13-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 05-13-2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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Re: I will need a planned CS but need advice.

I hear BF after c section hold is football to not have any issues for being sore around incision. The other stuff I don't know. I am lucky and had two normal vaginal births so far without a hitch. Hope all goes well for you. I feel for those of you having babies with conditions. Most live to be really normal just lots of Doc visits and stuff. Definitely ask hospital where you think you will deliver for information.
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:26 AM   #4
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Re: I will need a planned CS but need advice.

Hey mama!
I've given birth all 3 ways...DS1 was an unplanned emergency cesarian after trial of labor. Not what I planned, imagined, etc. Not fun but mainly because after going through labor, I was already so exhausted, etc. he was in nicu for only 4 days b/c of meconium (breathing in, swallowing-I can't remember anymore!) and thankfully had no breastfeeding issues. They did insist on bottle feeding (my milk) at first to make sure he was getting "enough." Once they saw he was , I was able to nurse. The football hold wasn't necessary-I was sore but nursing was manageable. DD2 was a vbac. Amazing experience, she ended up in nicu for 7 days for severe meconium aspiration. Just like with DS1 they gave her bottles of my pumped milk at first, but fortunately there were no breastfeeding issues. DS3 was going to be a vbac but at the last minute we changed our minds and decided on a cesarian. I was really scared-my memories of the emergency one were not pleasant however he was going to be big, my placenta was calcifying and although my doctors had always assured me it was a coincidence that my first 2 both had meconium issues I REALLY didn't want another nicu experience. There was no way of knowing, but I decided not to gamble. I really wanted to be able to hold my baby right after birth and room in with them in the hospital, nurse right away, etc., something I wasn't able to do with my first 2. So, I had the planned cesarian. Not scary, but certainly a somewhat surreal experience. It is over quickly. If all is well with your baby, you should be able to hold and nurse right away. My nurses encouraged skin to skin nursing while I was still in recovery with no feeling below the waist! You will be sore and tender at first, take whatever pain meds are right for you. I took percocet for a day or 2 and then ibuprofen. Get out of the hospital bed and walk around as much as you can. I had gas pains from the surgery as well as uncomfortable constipation. Drink a lot, take the stool softeners the nurses offer and I also drank a lot or prune juice right away to get things moving again. It's hard when you have older children and or a newborn who may not be able to room in with you, but try to rest as much as possible and not forget that you have had major surgery. Let others do as much as they can for you so you can rest. Since you have successfully breastfed your older children, you should be fine with this one. If you are too tender the first day or two post surgery you can lay down to nurse. But really, the cesarian shouldn't have too much of an impact on breastfeeding. If her condition at birth makes nursing immediately not an option, just start pumping. Your body will start making milk without pumping, but you'll need to pump to relieve the pressure and if she is in nicu they will hopefully be very supportive of feeding her your pumped collostrum and milk. Once you settle on a hospital, contact the lactation department and if she may have to stay in nicu try to contact their lactation department just to put your mind at ease about the procedures....Good luck...feel free to pm me with any questions...
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:30 AM   #5
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Re: I will need a planned CS but need advice.

I have had 3 C-sections, all delivered at the same hospital. I think it varies quite a bit by hospital/region, but for me, They brought me my baby right away in recovery and I was able to nurse. (They took the baby to the nursery to get checked/cleaned up while I was being stitched back up). It was somewhere around 20-30 minutes after delivery I'd say. At my local hospital, all you have to do is ask for a pump and they will bring one to your room. I did discuss everything with my ob ahead of time, but really it was a matter of him telling me hospital policy more so than my personal birth plan. On the flip side, a friend of mine had a C-section at a larger, city hospital and the baby never left her side. I wish that was policy or an option here as well as those few minutes of waiting feel like an eternity. As far as recovery, I have been fortunate that I've never had any complications at all. Keep the incision area dry, and the first few times you get out of bed or go for a walk, holding a pillow against your belly will help greatly. When nursing, the football hold was always terribly awkward for me. I never had a problem nursing in the cradle hold right away, but if I was tender (I gave up the pain meds asap), using a boppy helped as well so the baby wasn't laying against the incision directly. I wish you and your little one the best mama!
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #6
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Re: I will need a planned CS but need advice.

My oldest is special needs, was in the NICU at birth. It was 10 yrs ago so hopefully some of the policies and standards have changed though. If she needs to be in the NICU immediately you're most definitely going to want to have a pump on hand to use in order to stimulate production. I had to wait till I could get out of bed before I could go down there to see him, but they did wheel me down there in a wheel chair as soon as I could do that. I was able to nurse him right away but they had him on an iv and he wasn't really hungry. Don't let the nurses bully you into giving up and swapping to formula, mine kept insisting that if I couldn't get him to nurse at least 15 mins on each side at each feeding then we wouldn't be able to take him home. He didn't nurse 15 mins on each side every feeding the entire time he nursed lol, was a very efficient nurser.

If she needs a NICU stay: If she needs an iv/other tubes don't hesitate to ask the nurses for help in arranging everything around you when you nurse her. And take a water bottle with you, you'll probably be thirsty while nursing and the nurses there are taking care of the babies, in my experience they'd usually just get me set up with him and then leave to go take care of their other charges and just check on him periodically while I had him. It will be hard getting up and down in the chairs while holding her/dealing with your pain and her equipment so better to just have everything ready. I would nurse him, then go into a room they had set aside for pumping right in the NICU, pump, dump into a labeled bag and then store it in the fridge they had there. I had the option to have them feed him the milk in a bottle but I was too worried about the possibility of nipple confusion so I just went down there for all feedings. I ended up taking a lot of milk home for later. That's all I can think of for right now of my experience but if you have specific questions I might be able to help. Just remember it's been awhile for me so they might be a lot more breastfeeding friendly now.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:24 AM   #7
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Re: I will need a planned CS but need advice.

My son was in the NICU after his c-section birth and I was having my on complications. That said, my DH was still able (after a bit of a fight with the NICU Doctor) to bring my son to me while I was in recovery. My DH and a NICU nurse held my son up to me so that I could nurse. I have very fuzzy memories of that time but I am so glad that my DH fought for me and our son.

If we have another it will also be born via c-section. We will make our desires about nursing known before the birth so that there is less of a struggle for DH.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:10 AM   #8
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Re: I will need a planned CS but need advice.

I'm going to be the poster to say nursing after a c-section was actually pretty easy.

of course, baby is a bit sleepier and groggy, but they are still hungry Keep baby near you, make sure you have help the first few hours with someone handing you baby so you can nurse and not have to get up.

The more you nurse right away, the better your supply will be. And the less stressed out you are, the better it will go. Obviously I know nothing about a special needs baby so I don't know how that changes things.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:34 PM   #9
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My best advice for recovery, is to take your pain meds. With my first C/S the pain was still so bad on them that I thought they weren't working and stopped taking them. OH.WOW. they were at least taking the edge off. I was in so much pain I couldn't hold my baby. I'm usually not big on meds, but It was horrible trying to get back on top of the pain when I just wanted to be loving on my baby.

With both, my baby (and hubby) was waiting for me when I got to recovery. With my 2nd the drugs had made me way too shaky to feel Like I could hold my baby with out dropping him (constant vibrations), but I had an epi, and I think planned c/s are usually spinals. Even with a couple hour delay, my youngest breastfed like a champ for 18months. (didn't work out with ODS for a number of reasons, not necessarily because if the c/s).

No experience with NICU or anything. ((HUGS))
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:54 AM   #10
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Re: I will need a planned CS but need advice.

Talk with your doctor about what kind of care she will be receiving and your desire to breast feed. DS was born via emergency c/s due to an undiagnosed complete previa which caused me to have a massive bleed at 37 weeks. He was in the NICU for 9 days due to respiratory issues. For the first week or so, he was on oxygen and received all of his nutrients through a tube. He would gasp for breath normally, so they didn't want him to have to suck anything. I was able to successfully nurse after his NICU stay, but had to use a nipple shield. We were hoping I would be able to wean off of it, but I stopped nursing at 4 weeks due to PPD.

DD was a planned c/s. I first was able to nurse her about 20-30 minutes after birth while still in recovery. I was very up front with my doctor and all the nurses that I wanted her with me ASAP, and since she didn't need any interventions, it worked out well.
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