At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

So, the baby's born, what comes next? Discuss your postpartum and parenting concerns here.

Re: At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

Postby jean » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:07 am

Do they keep up that pace/schedule for the entire first year or so, or does it kind of taper off a bit and end up being longer spans of time between feedings at some point?
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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Re: At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

Postby aajatwins » Tue Oct 11, 2011 02:14 pm

Oh, goodness, no! It definitely stretches out in time spans as baby gets older. It is different for every baby, but they will mostly be staying awake longer (and sleeping longer) by 6 weeks, even. And as they get older and get better and more efficient (and so do you!) at nursing, it won't take as long either. Just be very patient with yourself and your baby in the beginning. It's a challenge, but such a rewarding experience. Your local La Leche League can come in really handy (google them), in case your lactation consultants aren't the greatest. Either way, finding someone who can come over and help you out - seriously, you might have to let someone physically help you out - can go a LONG way in how well you and baby do.
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Re: At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

Postby heather j » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:11 pm

In my experience, the first six weeks are the hardest because you're recovering, baby is eating a lot and eating slowly, and you'll be logging very few consecutive hours of sleep. That said, it gets SO much better after that. Oliver is nine months now, and he nurses (both sides) in 8-10 minutes a session five times a day. It's really soooo easy once you and your baby get the hang of it and establish a good nursing relationship.
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Nicolas Edison (6/2004) 36 weeks, PE, HELLP, and placental abruption
Ella Amelia (3/2007) 37 weeks, lovenox, PE-free
Oliver Lyon (1/2011) 37 weeks, lovenox, PE-free
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Re: At what gestation are babies able to breastfeed?

Postby caryn » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:28 pm

They're also the hardest because the baby is often premature and just isn't developmentally coordinated enough to manage to sleep *and* eat when their curve expects the umbillical cord do be doing all that food stuff for them, and for it to be dark and for them to be in a little crowded watery space. Oscar didn't really wake up and look around until right around the point at which he would have been due.

He nursed for years and years, and I would never have kept it up if the going had continued to be quite so rugged!
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