Alternative breastfeeding positions after a caesarean

Breastfeeding can be difficult to establish however you give birth. Women that have had the most straightforward vaginal birth also experience problems. Whether your birth is ‘natural’ or not is only one of several factors which may affect your chances of success.

Some women experience difficulties because their scar is uncomfortable. Learning alternative breastfeeding positions can make feeding equally possible and just as rewarding as the more conventional positions.

While the cradle position works perfectly well for many women following a caesarean, side-lying puts you and your baby on your sides next to each other and your incision is less easily kicked. Bed-sharing makes it easier to get into position and respond more quickly to the feeding needs of your baby. In the football hold you sit up holding your baby to one side rather than across your body again protecting your incision. Lots of pillows can make this position very comfortable. It is easier for managing your baby’s latch as you have both arms free.

If you are experiencing difficulties talk to your health visitor, find out about local breastfeeding support groups and talk to other mums. Just one new idea from any one of these might be the thing that makes all the difference for you and your baby. Remember too, if breastfeeding is not working for you don’t beating yourself up, acknowledge that you have tried and switch to a bottle. It is far better that your baby has a confident, happy mum than one that is stressed out from pain or feelings of inadequacy.