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Breast Pump Use Tips

A simple guide to colostrum harvesting while you are pregnant.

by Bella Bairn 09 Dec 2022 0 Comments

Colostrum

The mammary glands release Colostrum as the first type of breastmilk after giving birth. It is rich in nutrients, antibodies, and antioxidants that help a newborn's immune system develop. After your baby is born, it transforms into breast milk within two to four days. Compared to regular breast milk, Colostrum is thicker and more yellow.

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum is the term for the first milk that a pregnant woman's body makes (kuh-loss-trum). It grows in your breasts' mammary glands and is essential for boosting your child's immune system. It is the first milk your kid will receive from your breasts if you decide to breastfeed (nurse or feed your child on your chest). You can hand express Colostrum if you don't want to breastfeed or if your infant is having difficulty doing so. It has a lot of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antibodies called immunoglobulins that support the development of your baby's immune system. Considering its tremendous advantages and rich, golden color, it is frequently referred to as "liquid gold."

A new mother is feeding colostrum to her newborn baby

Which nutrients are present in Colostrum?

Colostrum is full of nutrients that, unlike anything else, nourish and protect your infant. It consists of elements such as:

  • Immunoglobulin A (an antibody).
  • -Lactoferrin (a protein that helps prevent infection) (a protein that helps prevent infection).
  • -Leukocytes (white blood cells) (white blood cells).
  • Dermatologic growth factor (a protein that stimulates cell growth).

Carotenoids, an antioxidant, and vitamin A give it its color. Your infant's vision, skin, and immune systems depend heavily on vitamin A. Magnesium; Colostrum is rich in iron, which supports your baby's heart and bones, and copper and zinc, both of which boost immunity.

What distinguishes Colostrum from breast milk?

A nutrient-rich initial milk produced by your breasts during pregnancy is called Colostrum. Few days after your baby is born, the breast milk transitions to transitional breast milk. However, very little Colostrum is still present in your breast milk for a few weeks.

Colostrum and breast milk differ greatly in several important ways:

  • Immunoglobins, abundant in Colostrum, help your baby's immune system function better and keep it healthy.
  • The protein content in Colostrum is two times higher.
  • Zinc content in Colostrum is four times higher.
  • Colostrum is simpler to digest because it contains less sugar and fat.
  • The colostrum is golden and thicker.

A new mother is feeding to her newborn baby

At what phases does breast milk go through?

Colostrum, transitional milk, and mature milk are the three stages of breast milk.

Colostrum is the first milk you produce after giving birth and lasts two to four days.

Beginning four days after birth and lasting roughly two weeks, transitional milk.

Mature milk: Milk that lasts for around 14 days after birth or until you run out of milk to produce.

Colostrum turns into milk at what point?

Colostrum will change to transitional milk in three to four days. A common phrase used to describe this is "someone's milk coming in." You'll experience firm, sensitive, and full breasts. It indicates that your milk supply has increased. Your baby's stomach should have grown by now, allowing them to consume more milk at each meal. Transitional milk turns into mature milk once your body has stabilized and your milk production has been established.

A new mother is feeding to her newborn baby

What advantages does Colostrum have?

Your baby's immune system is strengthened by Colostrum, which also offers concentrated nourishment. The following are some advantages of Colostrum:

  • Strengthens the immunological system of your infant.
  • Protecting the intestines aids in creating a healthy gut. By doing this, dangerous germs are prevented from being absorbed.
  • provides a newborn with the best nutrients.
  • a laxative action that lowers the risk of jaundice and aids in eliminating meconium, the baby's first stool.
  • simple to digest
  • helps protect full-term babies from low blood sugar.

Why is Colostrum beneficial for infants?

All the nutrients a newborn requires in the first few days of life are in Colostrum. Additionally, it is nutrient- and vitamin-rich to support your baby's immune system.

Colostrum from your nipples flows gradually to help your infant learn to breastfeed (nurse). It takes experience to learn how to nurse, and your baby must also learn to breathe while sucking and swallowing.

A mother is kissing her baby

Does colostrum leakage indicate impending labor?

Your breasts leaking Colostrum does not indicate that labor is about to start. Colostrum leakage is common; some become aware of it as early as the second trimester. Some people don't detect any colostrum leakage, but others notice dry Colostrum on their nipples. You can wear reusable or washable breast pads if you are leaking Colostrum.

How does Colostrum appear?

Colostrum frequently has a rich, bright yellow or orange hue resembling an egg's yolk. This is due to the substantial amounts of beta-carotene present. It can occasionally seem creamy, clear, or white. The thickness varies from person to person, but it is thicker than breast milk (or cow's milk). Colostrum is frequently sticky and may have minute blood traces in it (this is normal).

What occurs if Colostrum is not produced?

Colostrum is often produced in small amounts; failure to do so is unusual. It's common to feel as though your breasts aren't producing any milk and to worry that your baby isn't getting enough. To fill their tiny tummy, your infant requires a few teaspoons of Colostrum.

How should pumped Colostrum be stored?

There are certain guidelines to follow if you and your healthcare physician believe it is safe to express and keep Colostrum. The Colostrum must first be kept in a sterile container or syringe. It lasts around two to three days in the refrigerator. After three days, it needs to be transferred to a freezer. Colostrum can be frozen for a minimum of three months.

How much Colostrum is required for a newborn?

The size of your newborn's stomach is comparable to marble. Only approximately one ounce of Colostrum is required each day. That's around a teaspoon every meal (you can expect to feed your newborn eight to 10 times in the first few days). As your baby's stomach expands daily, more Colostrum (and later, transitional milk) will be needed. Your milk supply will rise to fulfill their demands as your body adjusts to generating regular breast milk.

Should I take supplements?

You shouldn't need to supplement, in other words. An infant needs only a small amount of colostrum to be completely stuffed. Talk to your doctor about monitoring your child's weight gain. If your child is wetting the diapers and acting content, it is unlikely they need a supplement.

 

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