My role is give information, to educate, to expose parents to what there is to know about breastfeeding, to help when I can.
Every mother defines success for herself. In fact, she may end up revising and redefining her breastfeeding success again and again. Perhaps this is part of the nature of parenting: you visualize how you will be a mom, or a dad; craft it based on your experience as a child and how you have seen others parent. Perhaps you admired some example you saw and vowed you were going to be like that too. But reality sets in, life happens; in the end we accomplish some of the things we dreamed of, and some just don’t seem that important any more.
Breastfeeding is one of the countless facets of parenting you will encounter. You’ve listened to the guidelines (“breastmilk should be the primary food for the first year of life…”). Listen, read, practice. Over and over. Make your own best informed decisions, but believe it is your success you are defining.
For a mother to give her colostrum to her baby for the first week of that baby’s life is a gift. That gift is not less if she decides the next week to do something different. By saying it was “only” a week, we diminish the value of what was given.
I guess I have two points:
*don’t look at recommendations as “rules” you are bound and limited by.
*don’t lock yourself into a rigid definition of success; look for your successes in what you do accomplish, for they are many.
P.S. Stephanie Casemore at Best for Babes recently touched on this from a slightly different angle. Enjoy her blog at bestforbabes.org