Breastfeeding after a c-section: this is possible!
My pregnancy was wonderful: I never had nausea, was feeling great all the times, was exercising until my last month (mostly swimming)... but baby didn't cooperate and I went into labor at 36w4d with a breech baby. I was devastated that night at the hospital when I realized I would have to get a c-section. All my wishes of having a great natural birth vanished. I never stopped crying all through the preparation for the surgery. Everything went very fast then. My baby went to the nursery for one day for observation. Despite the pain and my restricted mobility, my husband rolled me to the nursery where I tried the first time to put my baby on my breast. It was not easy because of the positioning but I realized that my baby was actually sucking! Even if my milk had not come, I pumped the rich milk to give to him (while he was actually given formula at the nursery). Because of the morphine, I was feeling groggy and was vomiting all the times, but less than 24h later my baby was in the room and I could enjoy him. My first encounter with a lactation nurse at the hospital had been pretty traumatic: she had literally grabbed the head of my baby and stuck it onto my breast without explaining the positions with my c-section or giving me hints to facilitate the feeding. The second and last day at the hospital (we decided to leave because the hospital personnel was horrible and I would have felt better at home), I saw a English lactation nurse that was a wonderful person. Explaining how to use my Boppy and the positions I should use with my c-section, the latching, the cracks in my nipples... what a relief. Once home, my milk started coming pretty quickly but baby was not a big drinker. We didnt wait to introduce the bottle and I dont regret. I went back to work pretty fast after 8 weeks. During these weeks, my husband was doing the morning shift, feeding the baby with my milk the morning and I was taking over the rest of the day. I was pumping each time I was waking up so baby would have enough milk for the next day. Then I went back to work and baby went to daycare. I never stopped breastfeeding. I was pumping twice a day at work, bringing the milk home or at the daycare for baby. Doing so, I fed my baby 8 months! Then he took much more interest in solid foods and weaning was actually pretty gradually and without any trouble. Breastfeeding never stopped my activities like sports or shopping. I was breastfeeding in public if necessary, asking for a room sometimes. Having special breastfeeding shirts and bras helped a lot. I never bought those breastfeeding blankies thinking that my baby will suffocate underneath and anyway, I was discreet enough so you could not see my breast while I was feeding my baby.
Despite having a c-section and a terrible memory of it, breastfeeding my baby was the happiest and proudest time I had with my baby. I enjoyed breastfeeding a lot. My baby and I developed a very strong bond. I am also petite, had a small breasts, had cracks in my nipples, sometimes pain and leaks and introduced the bottle the first week but I breastfed my baby!
Formula is convenient but I believe that if Mother Nature makes other female mammals feed their babies, well our boobs must fulfill the same purpose. A good organization and especially a strong will to breastfeed, no argument comes to excuse not being able to breastfeed. Other advantages? It saved me a lot of money, offered me a strong lean baby and I lost all of my baby weight within the first month! Breastfeeding is great and I will redo it with my next little one. Hope this can inspire you.