I remember lying in my bed after my second delivery in severe pain. With my first delivery, I had already endured a C-section. Four years later, I wanted to experience a “natural” delivery. I opted for a vaginal delivery after C-section (VBAC).

The VBAC quickly turned into an emergency where the maternal-fetal medicine (MFM) physician gave me two options: Get this baby out now or emergent C-section.

My mind flashed back to the arduous recovery of the C-section. I really wanted to avoid that path.

With the help of forceps and a couple of pushes, my baby was born. Drugged up on happiness and medications, I did not realize that the forceps had literally torn me up below, and I had sustained a grade-3 and -4 vaginal tears.

Now, back home, the pain came in waves. Trying to balance breastfeeding, pain medications, treating a uterine infection, and just to use the bathroom without feeling every stitch, I just lay there overwhelmed.

My favorite position to breastfeed with my C-section was side-lying. A position in which mom and baby lie down and face each other. I quickly taught my second son this position as well. Though my third and fourth sons’ delivery was easier, I employed this method of nursing. Side-lying allowed me to rest, recover, and heal in my postpartum period. Nestled with my baby, I would fall asleep and bed share.

I am a board-certified pediatrician further trained in neonatology, and a breastfeeding specialist as a certified lactation educator (CLE).

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