Colostrum is the first milk that is formed in your breasts during pregnancy. Most mothers are not aware of it until it leaks slightly during pregnancy. Your body starts making colostrum around the third to fourth month of pregnancy. Colostrum can be a transparent liquid in some women and a dark yellow, thick creamy liquid in other women.
Colostrum is undoubtedly small in quantity, but it has a lot of power. Some people also call colostrum “liquid gold”. Colostrum is full of antibiotics. It also contains high amounts of protein, but carbohydrates and fats are present in small amounts. It helps in developing the immunity power of your newborn. It also has a softening effect, which helps the baby to flush out the early black stool (myconeum).
Your body makes colostrum in the first few days after birth. It is suitable for your baby’s relatively low milk requirements. On average, women produce 50 milliliter in the first 48 to 72 hours of childbirth.
This volume is ideal for your newborn, because the size of his stomach is hardly as large as a glass. As your baby’s appetite increases, colostrum replaces copious supplies of mature breast milk.
Colostrum Uses And Benefits
- Colostrum is the best food for your baby’s earliest diet, because his stomach digests it easily.
- Colostrum prepares your baby’s digestive system for mature milk, which he will receive in the next few days.
- Colostrum also contains high levels of leukocytes (protecting white blood cells), which can help protect the baby from many bacterial and viral infections.
- The antibiotics in colostrum protect your baby from respiratory infections such as pneumonia, flu, bronchitis, as well as stomach and ear infections. Gradually your baby starts making its own antibodies.
- Colostrum helps remove bilirubin from your baby’s body and reduces the chance of jaundice.
- Colostrum is rich in nutrients such as zinc, calcium and vitamins such as A, B6, B12.
- All these are necessary for the overall growth and development of your baby.
- Colostrum contains high levels of cholesterol, which is essential for the development of your baby’s nervous system at this stage.
- The sugars in colostrum meet the energy needs of your baby’s growing body.
- Some studies have suggested that the protein in colostrum gives your baby a feeling of full satiety, which helps him sleep longer.