Colostrum is baby’s first milk. It has been called “Liquid Gold”. It called this not only for it’s yellow color but the value that colostrum is for the newborn baby.
Benefits of Colostrum:
- Colostrum contains the IgA antibodies needed to fight infections that attack the mucous membranes in the throat, lung, and intestines.
- Colostrum acts as a natural laxative for baby to pass stools and reduce bilirubin levels and prevent jaundice.
- Colostrum coats the lining of the intestines which protects baby’s intestinal tract from foreign substances.
- Colostrum is high in leukocytes, white cells which destroy disease causing bacteria and viruses.
- Colostrum is low in fat, high in carbohydrates, proteins, and antibodies which are easy for baby to digest.
- Colostrum contains developmental factors necessary for growth.
Do I have enough colostrum?
All women have colostrum. Your body starts making it during your second trimester. Even if you did not leak during pregnancy, colostrum is still there. Once the placenta is delivered the hormones release the colostrum in your breasts for the baby. Colostrum is measured in teaspoons rather than ounces. Which is all baby needs.
Day 1: Stomach holds 5-7 ml ( 1-2 teaspoons)
Day 3: Stomach hold 3/4- 1 ounce
Day 7: Stomach holds 1.5- 2.0 ounces
One month: Stomach holds 2.5-5.0 ounces
Babies born premature or a baby that is sleepy and will not latch well can still benefit from colostrum. Mom can express and the colostrum can be given to baby via syringe. Colostrum is a living fluid that changes with time. It contains over 60 ingredients, 30 of which are unique to human milk. The secretory IgA of colostrum coats the intestine of the premature baby and helps prevent necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). (Source: http://www.lalecheleague.org)
Encouraging words for mom: