I have a friend whose body has a hard time getting to full term. She just had twins at 30 weeks and is breastfeeding them- yay! She even gets to bring them home from the hospital during the day, which is really neat.
Her experiences made me think about breastfeeding premies. At first I thought, "Well, I don't know if I really need to research that; going by my medical history, I don't think I'm particularly prone to preterm labor."
And then I thought, "Well, it's not like anyone plans to go into labor early. Wouldn't it be better to know something ahead of time instead of cramming all that info in once it happens? That would be a stressful time without having to figure out the best way to breastfeed!"
So I looked it up and read what I had on my shelf about breastfeeding premies. I started with The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding because I've found it to be a good starting place on many topics. I found something interesting:
Milk from mothers who deliver prematurely contains greater amounts of antibodies and of some important nutrients than does the milk of mothers delivering at term. It has been found that some of these differences are evident for as long as six months. (page 281 of the 7th edition)
Well, that's curious! Then I wondered, "Does that mean when my body starts making colostrum around 5 or 6 months, Margaret will be getting an extra boost of antibodies she wouldn't normally be getting?"
Anyone know? At the back of the book they give the references for that statement. Maybe I'll have to run down to the University and see if they have those periodicals on hand...