A few days ago, a friend on facebook, asked what people thought about colostrum products for infants. My reply: "Hmm...other than colostrum from breastfeeding, I have never given it much thought. Interesting." She asked what I meant- "colostrum from breastfeeding? If you breastfeed a baby gets colostrum?" WHAT A GREAT TEACHING MOMENT. I told her yes, it as the first substance a baby gets, while waiting for the milk to come in, and it is packed full of antibodies and nutrients. I linked a few sites for her. I believe this mom breastfed, but she didn't realize that colostrum was given to her children the first few days after birth!
It got me thinking- often times, a mother feels if she can't keep breastfeeding past X amount of time- then there are no benefits. EVEN LATCHING YOUR INFANT ON ONE TIME GIVES HIM/HER SOME OF TE BENEFITS OF BREASTFEEDING.
Here is a great article regarding the benefits given for the different lengths of time.
So, if you wee not able to breastfeed as long as you hoped, remember you still gave your baby a great gift. This is important for me. I had planned on nursing Lil Man until h self weaned- hopefully at least 18 months. That goal later became a year. Unfortunately, this last week, my son has fully weaned. I was still nursing at night, and he started mostly sleeping through the night. After five nights of not waking, he woke, needing something to eat. When I tried to get him to latch, he looked at me with an utterly confused face as to why I was sticking my breast in face.
I wish I had known when our last nursing session would have been. Maybe I would have cherished a little more instead of grumbling about how he was waking at 2 am, yet again.
I am proud of making it to 9 1/2 months. I am trying to not have regrets. I did the best I could with the knowledge I had. I am better prepared for my next child and hope that I will be able to breastfeed my next child as long as he or she wants.