Is it possible to breastfeed a baby right after C-section?

If you are pro-breastfeeding, there is no reason why you should not feed your baby after a C-section.

It takes time to recover from a C-section. Most of the time after a C-section, the mother and child do not get enough skin-to-skin or the child is even deprived of the first feed as the mother cannot sit up on her own. It takes a couple of hours for a mother to regain consciousness of the lower part of her body which is numbed due to anaesthesia. It takes about a day or even more for a mother to be able to sit up and hold her baby. It is only after that she can breastfeed her child. During that time gap, the child is usually fed on a formula to satiate her. However, Dr Anjila Aneja Director, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Fortis La Femme is of the opinion that a newborn should breastfeed soon after the delivery, even if the mother had to undergo a C-section.

During the LactoClave 2016 organised by Medela, where experts came forward to discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, she said, There is no harm in initiating breastfeeding even on the C-section table since it is important to initiate breastfeeding as soon as possible. The first hour after the birth is very crucial for this, as early initiation leads to better lactation and latching at the breast. In fact, if the baby is put on the breast (to do a breast crawl) right after birth, it helps to work on the suckling reflex. In fact, there are various benefits of a breast crawl, like it helps in better bonding, calms the baby and regulates her heart beat too. In most cases a baby is taken away from the mother after a C-section, but if allowed to have maximum skin-to-skin post delivery, it can help in more ways than one.

However, if the mother is not able to breastfeed after a C-section due to medical reasons, then the next best option is to feed the baby breast milk from a milk bank. However, if it isn t possible for the mother to breastfeed, it is essential to keep the mother and baby in the same room, which also helps to initiate the process of breastfeeding once the baby is put on the breast later.

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