Many studies have noticed the comparative difficulties in breastfeeding between those who experienced surgical and natural births.
One study found that “women who had a cesarean section experienced a significant delay in initiating breastfeeding compared with women giving birth vaginally, with or without instrumental assistance.”
Another paper concluded that “the inability of women who have undergone a cesarean section to breastfeed comfortably in the delivery room and in the immediate postpartum period seems to be the most likely explanation” for decreased rates of exclusive breastfeeding among surgical births.
The key to a sustained future with breastfeeding might be getting through the recovery period, which is usually more grueling and physically limiting for those who have undergone major surgery. That said, those wishing to breastfeed can feel encouraged that an emergency or elective surgical delivery mustn’t necessarily and negatively interfere with their plans.
In fact, Dr. William Sears believes a cesarean section should not dramatically impact breastfeeding, and those who birthed surgically can be as successful as vaginal birthers “as long as their commitment to breastfeeding remains high” (see these other Dr. Sears tips). In other words, breastfeeding people need to be thoroughly informed about what they can expect. Read More