Breastfeeding

Some techniques may be helpful when you start breast-feeding after a Caesarean birth. You may want to try the football hold, in which you hold your baby much the way a running back tucks a football under his arm. This breast-feeding position is just as effective as any other, but it keeps your baby from putting pressure on your still-sore abdomen.

To do the football hold, hold your baby at your side on your arm, with your elbow bent and your open hand firmly supporting your baby's head, near the level of your breast. Your baby's torso should be resting on your forearm. Put a pillow at your side to support your arm. In the first weeks after you're home from the hospital, a chair with broad, low arms typically works best.

With your free hand, get your breast into the proper position, gently squeezing it so that the nipple is aligned horizontally. Move your baby to your breast until your baby's mouth opens. Then pull your baby in close to latch on snugly. Repeat on the other side.

You may also want to try nursing your baby while lying down, especially in the first few days after surgery. To do this, lie on your side and place your baby on his or her side facing you. Make sure your baby's mouth is close to the nipple of your lower breast. Use the hand of your lower arm to help keep your baby's head in the proper position at your breast.

With your upper arm and hand, reach across your body and grasp your breast, touching your nipple to your baby's lips. Once your baby has latched on firmly, you can use your lower arm to support your own head and your upper hand and arm to help support your baby.

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