Breastfeeding with a stoma

Hear from Kate, a community stoma care nurse.

From A Bigger Life

Having a stoma won’t prevent you from breastfeeding your baby if you want to; a stoma doesn’t affect milk production.

If you are on medication you will need to check with your Doctor or Pharamcist if it is safe to breastfeed, as the medication can pass through to the baby in the milk.

When possible, try to empty or drain your pouch before feeding. That’s not always an option if your baby doesn’t want to wait, but it will help reduce the chance of the baby pulling the pouch away, causing leaks.  If you wear a support belt that will also help to keep your appliance secure, and you might find a feeding pillow gives you extra support.

You should be able to hold your baby in the “normal” breastfeeding position on your non stoma side.

Here are some other positions you can try:

Lying on your side.

Football hold – Where you prop the baby on a feeding pillow on the side you are feeding from.

Back lying – Where you recline on your bed or sofa so the baby can lie on top of you.

The Australian hold – probably more for older babies, this is when the baby straddles your leg to feed in a sitting position.

Your midwife, health visitor or doctor will be able to recommend local breast-feeding support groups to help you.

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