At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

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Re: At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

Postby tracym » Wed Oct 05, 2011 06:03 pm

I'd say it varies from baby to baby.

My 37 weeker was slow to feed, he could do it but only for a few minutes at a time. We'd have to strip him naked, wake him with wet washcloths (it was summer), tickle his feet..anything we could to keep him awake so he'd get a full feed.

My 33 weeker was first put to the breast at a few days old (the week after delivery is still quite hazy so I'm not exactly sure how many days old) and she took to it like a pro. She was only allowed to feed from the breast once a day to start with as not to expend more calories than she was getting, so she received the rest of her feeds via gavage with fortified breast milk. It took until a week after her due date before she was receiving all of her feeds at the breast, one day she ripped out the NG tube and the nurse wasn't due back until late the day after (I declined to learn how to insert it myself) and she did great at the breast for over a full day and we never looked back.

Jack - 37 weeks Feb '01 (mild PE dx 33 weeks)
Kate - 33 weeks Feb '05 (severe PE dx 31 weeks)

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Re: At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

Postby amandaoasis » Wed Oct 05, 2011 03:29 pm

Bennett developed the suck/swallow ability between 33 and 34 weeks. However, breastfeeding at that gestation was quite difficult for us, so I continued to pump. He never got the hang of actually breastfeeding...I pumped for 8 months before giving it up.
Amanda, mom to:
Bennett, born 11/24/08 at 31 weeks 2 days due to HELLP. 3 lbs. 7 oz. 16 inches
Vivian, born 10/28/10 at 39 weeks 1 day. Induced due to mildly creeping BP's. 7 lbs. 10oz. 20 inches.

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Re: At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

Postby aajatwins » Wed Oct 05, 2011 03:00 pm

I have no idea what the technical/medical answer is for this. but my boys did fine at 36 weeks. It may vary from baby to baby, too.
Anna (28) - endometriosis
Hubby (27)
Aidan & Jordan - 7.2.09 at 36 weeks. Induction turned emergency c-section due to eclampsia. big healthy toddlers today!
Asa - 10.23.11 at 39 weeks. NO hypertensive issues!! successful VBAC :)

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At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

Postby jean » Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:56 am

At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed? At 28/29 wks with our first I had to pump b/c he couldn't coordinate sucking/swallowing yet. I was wondering at what gestation they are able to do that..
Our first son was born and passed in Feb of 2010. Born at 29 weeks due to HELLP and passed due to NEC. We miss him every day. :~(

Our second son was born at 39 weeks gestation in Nov of 2011. No HELLP or pre-e! Took LDA starting at week 12 and went off of it at week 38!

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