What Precisely Is Colostrum?
Whether she is aware of it or not, when a mom begins to breastfeed her baby within the first few days, she is helping to guard her baby stave off an infection. But how precisely does early breastfeeding shield a baby against germs? The answer is colostrum.
Frequent feedings in the course of the first few days ensures that your baby will get something known as colostrum. This is most frequently known as the ‘first milk’. Colostrum is a concentrated type of breast milk. In contrast to breast milk within the weeks, months and years to follow, it is yellowish in coloration and has the consistency of liquid honey. Colostrum contains immune active cells that neutralize and kill most germs that might hurt your baby. This is very important as essentially the most beneficial of the anti-bodies present in colostrum, known as IgA, cannot be made by the baby itself.
In addition to fending off an infection, colostrum can also be extremely nutritious. It contains an excessive degree of fatty acids that your baby needs. It additionally contains an enzyme known as lipase, which retains the fat globules small and simple to digest; lactose, the sugar present in breast milk; vitamin D, iron and potassium. And we mustn’t overlook your hormones and enzymes that you pass on to your child via your breast milk.
Colostrum additionally does so much more. It lines your baby’s intestine with micro-organisms (intestinal flora) thus making digestion easier of later breast milk. Frequent feeding of concentrated colostrum can even gently expand your baby’s abdomen; when your baby is first born, its stomach is the size of a walnut! Lastly, colostrum additionally stimulates the bowel into motion, which helps to clear the meconium (your baby’s first stools) out of your baby’s bowel. After just a few days your baby’s little bowel will probably be in good condition to receive your follow-on milk.
If you happen to plan to breastfeed it’s best to plan to breastfeed from the moment your baby is born. Colostrum is produced within the first 2 to 3 days after delivery and this can be very vital that your baby gets your colostrum. Most hospitals now permit mom and baby to stay together so mom can feed her baby often. This wasn’t always so and generally, even today, moms and babies are separated to ‘allow mom to rest’. Do not permit yourself to be parted from your baby if at all possible.
Your milk should be available around day 2 or 3 and could also be an uncomfortable time for mom. You could really feel emotional, vulnerable and susceptible to crying. This is natural. You might also experience some aches as your breast might turn out to be very swollen, hot or hard. Your nipples might become distended and your baby might find it difficult to latch on.
All these issues could be overcome with persistence and help from professional health care employees, your family and friends. Do not delay breastfeeding if you can help it. Colostrum is the absolute best start in life anyone can have.