The first breast milk produced by mammary glands after the delivery is called colostrum. It is filled with nutrients and rich in antioxidants and antibodies that help in the development of the immune system of the newborn baby. Two or three days after giving birth, colostrum will become breast milk. The difference between normal breast milk is that it will have a more yellowish color and will be thicker.
Mothers trying to breastfeed their babies will be given colostrum as the first milk from their breasts. Colostrum can also be hand-expressed. Colostrum is rich in immunoglobulins, minerals, vitamins, and proteins that are essential to build a strong immune system for the baby. The golden color and the value of the advantages it provides give it the name “liquid gold”. Colostrum is rich in proteins and has low sugar and fat content. It is full of white blood cells to release antibodies required to strengthen the immune system of the baby. Thus, the baby will be protected from various infections. Even the tiny doses of colostrum are dense in nutrients and are extremely concentrated. So the baby does not need it in huge amounts to get its benefits.
As mentioned above, colostrum is filled with nutrients that nourish and protect the baby. Some of the nutrients contained in colostrum are
● Lactoferrin, which is a protein to prevent infections.
● Immunoglobulin A is an essential antibody.
● Epidermal growth factor, which is a protein to stimulate the growth of cells.
● Leukocytes, which are white blood cells.
The antioxidants present in colostrum, which are called carotenoids and Vitamin A, give it a yellow color. Vitamin A is very important for the vision of the baby, his immune system, and his skin. Colostrum also has magnesium to support the bones and heart of the baby. The zinc and copper in the colostrum develop the immune system.
About three to four days after the birth of the baby, colostrum will change into normal breast milk. It is called the “coming in” of milk. It will make your breasts full, tender, and firm. It also gives the sign that the supply of milk has progressed. During this phase, the stomach of your baby will also expand, allowing them to drink more milk while feeding. After the establishment of the milk supply, your body will feel stabilized changing transitional milk to mature milk.
Here are some major health benefits of colostrum.
● Strengthens the immune system of the baby.
● Coats the intestines to create a healthy gut. Thus, harmful bacteria will not be absorbed.
● Provides the ideal nutrients necessary for a newborn.
● The laxative effect helps to clear the first poop of the baby (meconium), reducing the chances of jaundice.
● Easy to digest
● Avoids low blood sugar in babies.
Colostrum is the ideal food every newborn will need in their initial days. It has all the vitamins and nutrients required to build the immune system of the baby. It also helps the baby to learn to breastfeed. The practice of breastfeeding will help him to suck along with breathing.