Caesarean Section, Tips for Mothers
Birth by caesarean affects you as well as your baby. A long labour preceding a caesarean, pain from the surgery, complications such as developing a temperature, your reaction to medications or just feeling very tired may make it difficult for you to be with your baby straight after birth. Holding, feeding and soothing your baby may be more painful than you anticipated. You and your baby will benefit from skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible and begin to breastfeed as soon as you can. However, we advise that you take the time you need to feel better and arrange for extra some help holding and passing you your baby.
Should you have a caesarean delivery, the following suggestions can help you and your baby get off to a more healthy and satisfying start together.
- In the operating theatre, after your baby has been born, if you are feeling well, ask if your baby could be placed belly-down on your chest as soon as it is safe. You can also ask that the baby be placed skin-to-skin with your partner as soon as it is safe. Your baby will be happy to be held and more ready to breastfeed when you are ready.
- Ask if a midwife or breastfeeding specialist could help you to recognize your baby’s hunger signs, to position your baby to latch on correctly at your breast, to support you to continue to breastfeed while you are in the hospital and to provide you with a list of community resources that you can access once you are home.
- Your health insurance may reimburse you for the services of a lactation consultant or private midwife once you are home.
- You will be in pain after the initial anaesthetic wears off. You will be offered the safest pain medication available for breastfeeding. Remember to take this regularly, even when you go home.
- Ask if your partner, relation, friend, or doula could stay with you to help you lift your baby, change positions in bed, change the baby’s nappies and help you get out of bed. Suzanne Smythe is Kensington Midwives’ doula. She is very happy to come to you for a few hours every day or overnight, if you would like someone to help through the night.
- Remember to eat well and drink plenty of water. Exercise gently and expect to recover slowly. There is no rush, enjoy your new baby and sleep when she or he sleeps.