18 answers

Does Milk Come in on Own When Scheduling a C Section?

I had my daughter almost 4 yrs ago went into labor then c section I already had milk the day after. This time I am scheduling a c section so will my body know to produce and have milk be ready when my baby is born via c section? Spinal or Edipudal? I heard a spinal is better for the baby? I had a epidual with my first but felt the survery. C section recovery anything that helped you?

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I had a scheduled C-section and my milk came in when it was supposed to. Everything worked out perfectly. Good luck and congratulations!

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Your milk supply has nothing to do with how early your baby is or if he/she is delivered vaginally or by C-section. Your milk production cycle is triggered when the placenta detaches from your body causing a severe drop in progesterone. This acts as a jumpstart to your brain to start the cycle.

I know you're having a C-section, but if you can breastfeed your baby within 30 minutes of his/her birth, that will stimulate your milk supply that much quicker. If you can't nurse within 30 minutes of delivery, it's not the end of the world. Breastfed as early and often as you are able and feel up to!! The more often you put your baby to the breast, the better your milk supply will be when it changes from colostrum (blood-based milk) to breastmilk (2-4 days after delivery).

The first couple of days of breastfeeding are really just practice for you and your baby while you're setting your milk supply. Babies are born water-logged and don't need a lot of fluids in the first 2 days. If you can picture it, your newborn's tummy will be the size of a marble (1 mL) on Day 1 and only a golf ball on Day 3. They don't need a lot, so know that you're making exactly what and how much your baby needs!

If you have questions or concerns in the days before or anytime after birth, feel free to call Nursing Mothers Counsel at (650) 327-MILK. If you'd like, the woman you talk to will assign you a one-on-one peer counselor. If you want to bypass the hotline, you can email me directly at ____@____.com luck, and congratulations on your new little one!

1 mom found this helpful

I had a C-section with no laboring due to complications three weeks before the due date. The lactation specialist came to see me two days after and said I should have been pumping every two hours from the moment my son was born in order to help my milk come in since I did not labor and was early. My milk came in on the 6th day. I had to supplement with formula a little bit using a finger feeder (no bottles).

I had a epidural first and then a spinal at Kaiser since I could still feel the surgery with the epidural. I was told that our baby might be a little extra sleepy due to anesthesia but to wake him for nursing every two hours. He nursed fine but the pumping really helped as well.

hey T.. i had my scheduled C-Sec in Oct with my second son & was also worried about that. i actually tried pumping the day before to see if i could make my body jump start! (didn't work & HURT)My milk came in on the second day. i was nervous the first couple of days thinking baby wasn't getting enough w/clostrum (sp?), but remember their stomach is only size of a marble when born. once my milk came in i thought "i shouldn't have worried". just nurse as often as baby will nurse to stimulate! My first son was also scheduled C-Sec & the second time is sooo much easier with both recovery and nursing! good luck & congrats!

Congratulations! I imagine everyone is different, but my milk did come in with in 1.5 days after a schedule C-section, in which my son was born 2 weeks before due date. The difference with me is that I had only stopped nursing my first son 9 months earlier. However, I did ask the nurse and she said that because I had been nursing less than a year before starting up again, my milk came in quickly. Generally, it will take 4 - 5 days for the milk to come in, once the baby starts to nurse. The scheduled c-section does not make a difference because it is scheduled relatively close to your due date.

If you are really worried about it,you could always request a hospital grade pump to be sent to your recovery room, immediately after delivering your baby, or suppliment with formula until it does come in.

Best wishes.

Your body is already primed to make milk, in fact you may be leaking colostrum already? Insist that the baby gets to stay with you after the surgery unless there is medical need for him to be taken away and put him on the breast. Write it into your birth plan that the baby is NOT to be given bottles or pacifiers and that you want to breast feed and that the baby is room in with you. Make sure that if the baby does have to leave that Dad goes with the baby and does skin to skin until the two of you can be brought back together.

Are you just having a c section becuase you have had one previously? If there is not medical reason other than that for your section you might want to see if you can find a Dr who will do a VBAC (vaginal birth after c section) they are hard to find but they are out there. If you labored and dilated with your first child then you should be a good candidate for a VBAC. My friend just had a beautiful baby girl at home after having twins by c-section first time around so it can be done!

Hi T.,
Good info from Julie C and Gretchen K. They're definitely in the know. Your body knows when the baby is delievered and where to go from there. Didn't God do an awesome job making us! But it's a legitimate question to ask, so don't be embarrassed about asking. The mamas on here are from all walks of life, so you'll get great information every time you ask a question. As far as C-section recovery, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, the more you move around, the faster your body will heal...I don't mean lifting and rearranging furniture and going out for jogs, either! I just mean, getting up and moving around the house several times a day. Second, and it might sound contradictory but it's not, take the time to take things easy on yourself for a little bit. A C-section is considered major abdominal surgery, and there is no hurry to do something crazy like start dieting or some bizarre Gene Simmons workout program! You have earned the right to relax when you need to. Take a mommy break when you feel like you need to. The laundry and dishes will be there tomorrow (boy, don't we all know that!) Sit and love on that baby as long as you want. They can't be spoiled as a newborn, and the bonding is such a beautiful thing. This time goes by so fast. Savor it, enjoy it, and don't let anybody make you feel bad for letting the house go for a while while you enjoy your baby. I know you didn't ask anything about that, but I always want to encourage moms to do that. Those babies can never get enough loving, and besides that, the more loving and bonding we do with our newborns, the more it helps our milk come in. So it's a wonderful circle. God bless, take care and enjoy motherhood to the fullest!

Hi T. ~ Yes your breastmilk comes in on it's own. The body is amazing! It knows exactly what and when it needs to do. I had a scheduled c-section with my daughter last April and my milk came in within 1 day. Just remember to not stress over it and allow your body to do what it's meant to do and you should have no troubles. Good luck and congratulations!

Hi T.
congratulations on your pregnancy. I too had a scheduled C section and my milk do NOT come in on it's own. The dr.s said often the pain medication you need to take after surgery can delay the process (they told me this AFTER). I had no idea has my baby was (is) so good natured she didn't cry, just slept a lot and lost almost a one pound in her first week! I had to pump like crazy, drink lots of mother's milk tea and take fenugreek to get my milk to come down. We had a lactation consultant come to the house as well, which helped a lot.
Good luck and don't be afraid of some formula. I was and I regret that now..I could have saved myself a lot of stress and worry.
kellymom.com is a great resource as well

I had an emergency c-section and was able to nurse just fine. How you deliver your baby and when does not affect your milk supply. Just nurse your baby as soon as possible and as much as baby wants. You'll both be fine! Good luck!


Hi T..

Your milk should come in as soon as your baby starts to suckle. If it doesn't, call for the lactation consultant or take Fenugreek to increase your supply. I had an epidural with my vaginal birth and with my C-section. Recovery depends on the person. For me, I was ready to go home just hours after my C-section and never had to take a pain pill. I felt better than after my vaginal birth. Others take longer and are in pain. I don't know why some people are different than others. The one thing that did help is to get up as soon as they say you can. It is hard to walk that first time after the surgery, but walk through it and it gets easier each time. Also, make sure your husband is ready to help a lot!

Hi. I'm an L & D rn. Yes, you should have colostrum right away- the first milk. Your milk usually takes a couple of days to come in after that. However, with a c/s it sometimes takes an extra day. When you're able, drink well, rest, and then for a better recovery, stay medicated around the clock and start getting up on occasion 8-10 hours after your section to get your bowels going and keep your lungs clear. Do you have to have a section? I do understand if you had trouble with a vaginal delivery the first time, sometimes it's just easier to reschedule a section. Usually it's fine but roughly about 30-40% of the time we'll see one of the following: bowel distention, uterine or wound infection, possible scar tissue adhesions down the road, difficulty nursing afterward due to pain and just being very groggy which takes away from the experience. Of course having a VBAC has some risks, but usually outcomes are good with the right care.

It doesn't matter if you have a spinal or an epidural. If it's scheduled they'll usuaslly give you a spinal. With a spinal it's just a different needle so they can safely go further past the epidural space without causing a puncture headache. Neither the spinal or epidural will affect the baby.

I'm interested to see what others have to say on this subject. My first was a C-section, but he was only 4 days early & I was contracting (he was breech). Now I'm scheduled for a section 9 days early & I'm sure I won't be contracting. I had a lot of problems nursing my first, but I don't think it had anything to do with milk supply.

I've scheduled a consult with a lactation consultant about 2 weeks prior to my scheduled surgery in hopes to alleviate any potential problems that may come with attempting to nurse after a scheduled section.

As for recovery, my first 2 days were miserable, but I did everything those nurses told me to do & by day 3 I couldn't believe the difference in how I felt. I was able to climb stairs just fine, get out of bed without assistance & never looked back. I plan to do the same this time around, only I do plan to start exercising as soon as I'm able rather than waiting as long as I did after the first one.

Also, I had a spinal & it was wonderful - I don't know if the recovery time is different - I had to wait a full hour in recovery, it may be shorter with an epidural? But I certainly didn't feel a thing & it was bliss since I wasn't in so much anymore. Good luck!

Hi T.,
If you really want to breast feed I wouldn't chance it. Why don't you let your body go into labor naturally. The baby - and your body will be ready. If you choose a date (b/c the Dr's urged you for their convenience) your baby may not be ready and your hormones may not work the way nature intended. There is no harm in waiting until your body says "it's time" Once you do you show up at the hospital you can proceed with the C-Section and your milk will have far better chances of coming in. Also, your baby's respiratory system may be more ready too. Good Luck in whatever you decide.

Yes your milk will come in as it should. I had my scheduled c-section and everything was as it should be. Hormone production controls your breast milk etc. it's still the childbirth process. Bind yourself immediately to A). get your self back into shape B). strengthen the c-section area. Ask your nurse for a wrap at the hospital or you could purchase ahead of time. CMPC did not even offer a spinal - epidural only. UCSF offered epidural and gas to help with pain. I don't know of any hospital that still offers a "spinal" in the old sense of procedure. Congratulations.

I had a scheduled C-section 2 1/2 weeks early (due to placenta previa) almost two years ago and my milk did come in, but took probably 2 or 3 days. Meanwhile I gave her my colostrum which I pumped and put into a syringe like thing and gave to her orally as well as tried to nurse her. She was just a bit small and had trouble sucking. Eventually we did become great nursers. Good luck.

I had a scheduled C-section and my milk came in when it was supposed to. Everything worked out perfectly. Good luck and congratulations!

Yep your milk comes in! Took a couple days but it came in! But please do your baby a favor and if it doesn't right away please don't hesitate to formula feed the 1st couple of days. Many parents call the 1st or 2nd night "hell night" after a baby is born because they are screaming and STARVING! So please don't hesitate to feed your baby formula if needed. I know from experience our nurse was so glad we did that - she said to us "you have no idea how many parents don't do that and they think they are doing the right thing - but really their baby is hungry!!"

For when you go home - stock up on Milk of Magnesia and prune juice - you may have some "issues" as I did and by day 6 let's just say I thought I was going to die :-) and I needed some help to loosen things up down there (sorry TMI)

And like everyone else said don't over do it - take it easy - have your spouse help as much as possible- especially lifting and feeding.

Good luck!! :-)

Dont worry, most people get the milk just fine. But if you don't, don't feel bad about that. Some babies don't latch, some mother's can't get their milk to come in. Everyone is different, and if you can't breast feed then you and your baby will still be fine.
My best friend tried everything for 3 months and the two just couldn't figure it out together. She felt guilty because everyone made such a big deal out of it, it is not failing if you don't nurse. Do what you can, but if you can't don't feel sad about it.
Best of luck, it will all work out the best for you in the end!

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