Colostrum is the thick deep yellowish fluid that comes out of the breasts of a pregnant woman or a woman who has just had a baby. It is rich in proteins and vitamins. In addition, it contains substances that make babies grow as well as fight diseases. It comes out in very small amounts until about 2-5 days after baby’s birth, when mature milk comes in.

Colostrum has many benefits. In the initial days before breastfeeding is established, it will nourish your baby and keep him full. Even though colostrum is usually in small amounts, the baby’s stomach at birth is just about the size of an almond, so it wouldn’t be able to take much breastmilk anyway.

Colostrum prevents newborn jaundice by aiding in the passage of the dark green poop that babies have after delivery, called meconium. Meconium gets rid of some of the yellow colour that causes jaundice.

Colostrum has immunoglobulin A. This lines the intestines of babies and protects them from diarrhoea. Similar protection is offered in the respiratory tract as well, to keep babies from getting colds, coughs and pneumonia. Additionally, lactoferrin and white blood cells in colostrum offer protection against diseases.

If you give your baby colostrum, it hastens the establishment of breastfeeding. This is because as he sucks on your breast, the brain’s response is to release breastmilk quickly. Therefore, the foundation for successful breastfeeding starts with offering colostrum to your baby. Your baby should be put to breast as soon as he is born, within the first 30 minutes of life.

Should you throw colostrum away?

Many cultures express colostrum and throw away instead of feeding it to their newborn babies. This could be due to lack of awareness of the many benefits of colostrum. Do not throw colostrum away. It is the perfect starter pack for your baby. It is nature’s welcome gift.

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