I didn’t think twice about breastfeeding after my last cesarean. I’d already successfully nursed four babies, including two immediately after cesareans. I assumed it would be no problem to nurse the fourth, but then I got a different kind of anesthesia than I’d had before. This one knocked the baby out, and he didn’t nurse until hours later.
When you’re expecting, your mind is likely consumed with finding ways to do all you can to ensure your baby is healthy. You likely also wonder what physical features your baby will have, how big they will be at birth, and how uncomfortable or painful the birth will be.
There is no way to truly predict how long you’ll be in labor or if you’ll be in labor at all. However, when you choose a birthing method that is ideal for your health and the baby’s position in utero, you should know whether these interventions will interfere with your ability to breastfeed your baby.
Many of these interventions may seem beneficial or harmless while you’re giving birth, some of them can lead to nursing challenges. If you want to breastfeed your baby, here is some important information about birth interventions you should be aware of.
If your doctor recommends that you induce your labor using synthetic hormones, this may be necessary for the health and safety of you and your baby. The hormones used in induction, including oxytocin, are used in induction, and this can affect your ability to breastfeed. However, your baby may be mildly premature if you have an induction.
Babies who are born from induced labor tend to have issues learning to latch and nurse effectively. If you want to avoid induction, you can stimulate your labor naturally if you’re past your baby’s due date. You may need to speak with a doula or birthing coach to learn about supplements or exercises that can make labor happen faster.
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t agree to induction unless you have medical proof that you or your baby will be at risk if you continue the pregnancy. Don’t panic if you’ve gone past your due date. This doesn’t mean that your baby is “late” being born.
Doctors normally give you a date that corresponds with your 40th week of pregnancy. The 40-week mark falls in the middle of the 37-42 week mark, which is the time it takes for a pregnancy to reach full term. So, if your baby comes a few weeks before or after the 40-week mark, your child is not automatically at risk of health issues and may be able to latch with no problem.
An assisted birth involves the help of a device like a vacuum extractor or forceps. If a doctor uses these instruments to deliver a baby, the infant could experience facial or bruising. Some babies may also experience paralysis of the facial nerves.
When your baby is delivered with devices that are used to extract the baby from the birth canal, it may be uncomfortable for the infant to latch or to be in the right position to nurse. Jaw movement may be difficult for babies who had an assisted birth. Certain vacuum devices can cause scalp swelling, and this could make it challenging for babies to master the suck/swallow/breathing pattern that is required for nursing.
You can avoid some of these issues by maintaining an upright position during labor, especially when you’re pushing. Doulas can also help lower your chances of having to have an assisted birth and give you helpful tips for breastfeeding.
According to research, women who have a c-section are not as likely to breastfeed as women who deliver their babies vaginally. This could be due to the fact that it takes a while for the mother to be able to snuggle with their baby since the mother is still in surgery after the baby is delivered.
Mothers may also be in pain after having a c-section and will likely feel groggy for a while, and this means they won’t be able to nurse their babies right away. Your baby might also be groggy from the anesthesia and unable to nurse right away, like what happened with my son.
If you have to have a c-section due to medical reasons, arrange to have skin-to-skin contact as soon as you can after your baby is born. Your partner can also practice skin-to-skin contact while you are recovering, and your healthcare provider can assist you in getting the baby to latch.
If your infant is hurt during the birthing process due to a birth intervention, you may need to file a birth injury claim. Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to learn whether you are eligible for a settlement and what type of charges you can file.