October 22, 2010,
S.Y. asks from Los Angeles, CA on October 21, 2010
Is Nursing Causing Post C-section Bleeding at 8 Weeks?
Hi everyone -
I've been struggling with breastfeeding since my son was born. I had a really really long labor with almost 4-5 hours of pushing and ended in an emergency c-section. So my milk was slow in coming in and nursing has been really painful until recently. For the most part I have been pumping and breastfeeding off and on when I can handle the pain. What I am noticing is that when I nurse more frequently I start to have vaginal bleeding. About a week or so ago it was like a period and now that I am using nipple shields and nursing much more often the bleeding is back again - 8 weeks after the surgery.
The last time this happened I called my ob/gyn and she said it could be a side effect of the birth control pill she put me on (camila - progestin only). But I am finding that the bleeding seems to be correlated to the amount of breastfeeding I am doing.
Has anyone else experienced this? Should I be concerned?
A.G. answers from Norfolk on October 21, 2010
Well the breast feeding is correlated to the blood actually coming out, but maybe not to the actual bleeding itself. Breastfeeding causes uterine contractions which are actually helpful in your uterus getting back to its normal size. However, they may break up some scabs causeing you to bleed more, and most certainly the contractions will cause blood pooled in your uterus to come out. You shouldn't be concerned about the breastfeeding link, but if the bleeding continues and or you are soaking through pads you should see your ob to check your c-section to make sure you are healing.
1 mom found this helpful
S.O. answers from San Diego on October 22, 2010
I also bled for about 3 months after my c-section and also after my previous miscarriage. The other information that has already been given to you is correct. Your body is trying to heal itself after the ordeal of pregnancy and delivery.
I also agree, you need to find a good Lactation Consultant to help with the breastfeeding issues. Check with your OBGYN or the hospital that you delivered at. Often times there are Lactation Support Groups at or near the hospital. The LC's can also come to your home for an hourly fee to assist you. I went to the both the Lactation Support Group for a couple of months at my hospital and had an LC come to my home once. They were a tremendous help to me.
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J.P. answers from Boise on October 21, 2010
I would say that it has to do with the uterus contracting. You birthing experience sounds a lot like my first. It didn't cause my milk to come in late, and I had damage to my nipples and pain during feeding for months for other reasons. No breastfeeding issues relating to the surgery. I also bleed for 14 weeks. Because you have been pumping off and on, the full contraction of the uterus may not have occurred yet. Give it a bit more time.
P.M. answers from Tampa on October 21, 2010
Breastfeeding should NEVER hurt... get yourself a professional and compassionate IBCLC or CLC to help you.
Oxytocin (the pure form of the synthetic pitocin) is released when the baby suckles. This normal body reaction is what allows your uterus to quickly return to it's original shape, size and placement. Oxytocin also aids in the halting of a hemorrhage (which is why some Drs will artificially give you pitocin after a birth if you are showing signs of a hemorrhage from the placenta).
Keep-a-Nursing away Momma!! It's beneficial to both Mommy and Baby!
L.L. answers from Topeka on October 21, 2010
Periods can be off from BC use & breastfeeding I would continue to breastfeed your periods will soon even out on it's own my last baby I nursed for 14 months I had no period for a long time then had a period then none for months usually regained back to normal cycles after 6 weeks no I wasn't on BC either but now 6 months later my periods are still off by 2 weeks give or take.Must add that all mine were natural deliveries but have heard it effects those with c-sections as well...Hang in there it'll get better
C.C. answers from Los Angeles on October 22, 2010
Breast feeding encourages vaginal contractions which is why you are bleeding. I did the same for about 9 weeks.
M.H. answers from Los Angeles on October 22, 2010
I am sorry to hear what you have to go through. Since your own OB-GYN had told you that this could be a side effect of the birth control pill, which is a fair response to your concern.
During breast feeding, especially after a c-section, the uterus contracts. The baby sucking on the breast stimulates this contraction, which could be very painful esp. after a c-section. Any surgical intervention would heal completely in 8 to 12 weeks, but leaving some scarring which could also cause some pain, esp. now that we are going into the winter months.
Just make sure there's no foul odor and no fever, otherwise go see your OB-GYN.
One advantage of breastfeeding is birth control. As long as there is uterine contraction it will be almost impossible for you to get pregnant.
I hope my response helped. I am a RN, and have worked in an OB-GYN clinic.
Take care and congratulations on your baby.
L.C. answers from Los Angeles on October 22, 2010
Please contact your local LeLeche league! They have so much great information!