A common part of pregnancy is the discharge of colostrum or nipple. By the end of the first trimester or the start of the second trimester, an expecting mother experiences this leak. When they hear a baby cry, some women also experience a discharge. Colostrum is extremely helpful for babies who are newborn. Scroll down to know the benefits of colostrum and its role in an infant’s healthy development.
What is Colostrum?
Your breast begins to prepare a milk-like fluid called colostrum when you are 3 or 4 months into pregnancy. In fact, you can call it the first milk produced by your breast during pregnancy. It begins to leak by the end of the first trimester of pregnancy.
What Does Colostrum Look Like?
Colostrum appears thick, creamy and yellowish at the beginning of your pregnancy. This same fluid is white as you reach childbirth. Many women experience colostrum leakage in the first weeks of the second quarter. As your body prepares for delivery the discharge is increased towards the end of your pregnancy.
How long does colostrum last?
Your organ generally generates colostrum for a few days after your baby is born before the early milk becomes regular breast milk.
After the first colostrum development two to five days, your breasts will start to grow in size and feel stronger. This shows that your milk supply is increasing and the transition from colostrum to regular breast milk is beginning–a process that takes place within a few weeks.
How much does a newborn baby need Colostrum?
New mothers will produce 10 to 100 ml colostrum every day. But, it’s usually about 30 milliliters, or about an ounce a day, which is about the amount your baby needs. But don’t worry if you make less than that amount— any amount is good for your baby. As your breasts move to produce more milk than colostrum, the stomach of your baby will also expand to accept more milk.
Benefits Of Colostrum
Colostrum is a special type of milk that has many benefits for newborns. Some of the benefits of colostrum are:
- It’s the first milk after conception to be fed to the infant.
- Colostrum provides important nutrients in a concentrated form and is enough to fill the tiny belly of a newborn baby.
- It has laxative effects that aid in a baby’s first bowel movement and also prevents jaundice from being removed from the body of your child.
- Colostrum is also referred to as’ white blood,’ because it provides large amounts of living cells such as lymphocytes and macrophages that strengthen the baby’s immune system.
- It has a very high antibody quantity called immunoglobulin A secretory. It is therefore considered the first immunization of your baby against infections.
- Colostrum should also have neuroprotective effects that can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
- Because colostrum is high in cholesterol, it helps to grow the nervous system of your baby.
- It also contributes to your baby’s overall growth and development by supplying your baby with nutrients such as zinc, calcium, vitamins A, B6, B12, and K.
The above benefits of colostrum reflect the overwhelming value of colostrum for a baby’s healthy development.
What if you can’t feed your newborn colostrum?
Well, you should be able to feed your newborn colostrum unless it has been kept away from you for countless reasons. Regardless of the case, talk to your doctor and share your plan to feed your newborn. He/she will help you feed your baby right after birth if the doctor deems it right. You may also be helped by the doctor with breastfeeding positions that work well in your scenario.
You’re sure to want to give your baby the best as a mother. Remember that childcare begins right after birth with the colostrum feeding of your infant.
Also Read: Why Breast Feeding Is Important