Breastfeeding After C-Section: What You Need to Know

breastfeeding after c sectionAn estimated 30 percent of women in the US deliver through Cesarean section (C-section), most of which are usually unexpected. Whichever way you deliver, you have a new, snuggly, and hungry human being who needs feeding and taking care of. That said, having an operative birth as compared to a vaginal one can affect the breastfeeding experience in a number of ways, according to Tarzana OBGYN, Dr Torbati.

Breastfeeding After C-Section: What You Need to Know

● In some instances, a mother who has been eagerly waiting for the natural birth process may feel somewhat disappointed and dissatisfied because her expectations were not met. This can be problematic if the mother considers the C-section a “failure” at giving birth, causing her to feel like she may “fail” at breastfeeding as well. You should keep in mind that every mother is capable of nursing after birth, regardless of the process. In fact, breastfeeding can help to neutralize the c-section experience.

● There may be delays as to how soon you can breastfeed your newborn following the procedure, because you need a little time to recover before you can be able to hold and nurse your baby. Also, mothers who had general anesthesia generally take longer to regain their strength compared to those who had epidural, and may also not be able to nurse for long periods of time at first. But as soon as you’re well conscious and able to hold your baby, you can start nursing him/her.

● The benefits of breastfeeding as soon as possible after delivery apply to both mothers who have delivered vaginally and through c-section. Nursing promotes affection, stimulates the release of milk, provides the baby with early nourishment through colostrums, initiates the release of hormone oxytocin that helps with the contraction of your uterus, and allows you to experience the suction urge of your newborn at its peak, in the first 2-3 hours after birth.

● When you breastfeed before the anesthetic completely wears off, you may actually have an advantage over a mother who gave birth naturally since the experience will be pain-free and more comfortable.

● Babies born through Cesarean tend to be slightly lethargic and drowsy for a short-time after birth, especially if the mother received anesthetics for a longer duration during labor. So, you may need to encourage and stimulate the baby to breastfeed for the colostrums to flow.

● Also, you will be prescribed some medication and antibiotics following delivery to ease pain. While some of the medicine may pass into the milk, the amount is usually very small compared to the volume of milk produced during the first few days of giving birth, so your baby is perfectly safe.

Final Note
As a final note, you should discuss with your medical team about the best position to hold your baby during breastfeeding to reduce the pressure applied to the incision. Also, the antibiotics may make you susceptible to yeast infection that may also affect your baby, so ask your medical team for precautionary measures and how to spot early symptoms for prompt management.

Let’s Talk Menopause: Sexual Function & Desire

menopause-loss-sex-driveAs a woman ages, there will come a point in their life where reproduction is no longer possible because menstruation periods come to a halt. For many women, this is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because menstruation stops and you no longer have to bear through the inevitable pains that occur or worry about becoming pregnant. A curse because there are often many undesired effects or symptoms as a result of menopause.

Loss of Sex Drive from Menopause

First off, let’s establish exactly what symptoms women experience during menopause:

• Night sweats
• Hot flashes
• Unexplained weight gain
• Moodiness
• Fatigue

Just those symptoms alone may result in a decreased drive to have sex. Now, what if the vagina wasn’t being properly lubricated, or suffers atrophy, or the vaginal wall thins or becomes inflamed? These symptoms occur is up to 45% of women post menopause, or after menopause.

You guessed it; the desire for sex will now be even lower. This is because libido is all about energy. The symptoms above all lead to one thing: less energy. This physical and emotional toll that occurs depletes a woman of her energy and inevitably sex will be the last thing on her mind.

Lower Estrogen Levels Are to Blame

What happens during menopause is the estrogen that is naturally produced in the body is no longer being produced as much. This hormone change results in all the symptoms listed above. The symptoms above unfortunately lead to a huge decrease in sex drive. A decreased sex drive could result in tension between you and your spouse or partner.

Managing Your Decreased Sex Drive

Focus on Intimacy

Spend more time cuddling with each other or enjoying each other’s company without engaging in sexual activity. You will appreciate each other more and this could boost your sex drive.

Seek Out Professional Help

If you and your partner feels affected by your newly decreased libido, then you should consult your OBGYN who will work with you to resolve the issue. And often times all that is needed is lubrication. But other options such as hormone therapy involving restoring estrogen levels may be the solution.

Dr. Torbati offers treatment for postmenopausal loss of sex drive at his OB-GYN private practice located in Tarzana, CA.

New Report Finds Eating Light Meal During Labor is Beneficial

eating light meal during laborIt had traditionally been believed that fasting was necessary while a woman was in labor. The reason being to avoid aspiration that could lead to pneumonia. However, a new report has found that this actually may not be the case. The report, presented during the Anesthesiology 2015 annual meeting found that eating a light meal is beneficial for the labor process.

What The Researchers Found…

Researchers visited hundreds of cases on women who have had birth in a hospital. They found that the energy demands of a woman undergoing labor is similar to a marathon runner, whose body will use fat as an energy source if it cannot be found elsewhere (i.e. through adequate nutrition).

For laboring women, this phenomenon would lead to reduced uterine contractions, leading to longer, more strenuous labor and lower health scores for newborns.

Aspiration is a Very Rare Phenomenon

To re-emphasize, the main concern eating during labor was because of aspiration troubles.

Advancements in anesthesia have made the pain involved during labor a lot more manageable and safer, which reduces risks related to eating. Aside from this, the researchers also noted that aspiration is very rare citing only one case that had occurred between 2005 and 2013 of a woman suffering from obesity and pre-clampsia.

Benefits of a Light Meal During Labor

Provided you are in good health standing, which is to be determined by your doctor, a light meal during labor could provide benefits. Researchers note that light meals would “give expectant mothers more choices in their birthing experience and prevent them from being calorie deficient, helping to provide energy during labor”.

Always Follow Your Doctor’s Advice

Regardless of the findings, you should always follow the advice of your obstetrician or doctor. They will direct any laboring women as to whether a light meal would benefit them or not.

Dr. Torbati is a board-certified OB/GYN in Tarzana. He specializes in obstetrics, family planning, and other related services. He has been practicing for over 20 years, having delivered several newborns to happy Mothers. For more information, please contact our office @ (818) 575-6021.