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Colostrum

Colostrum

Posted on  August 3, 2022
Colostrum

Colostrum

Colostrum is a thick and yellow liquid also known as liquid gold or ‘ran kiri’. This is the first milk produced when you start your breastfeeding journey as a mother.

Leaking Colostrum

Colostrum is produced by the breasts as early as 20 weeks of pregnancy (for some women) until the first few days after birth. Some pregnant mothers notice it as early as the 2nd trimester, while others only see dried colostrum around their nipples.

Post birth, it is only produced for a short time – exclusively for about 2-5 days after birth. It is known to maintain the same composition until about 30 hours post birth. So even a little goes a long way.

Colostrum Harvesting

If you are struggling with breastfeeding due to latching, hand express the colostrum so it can be fed to your baby. Therefore, speak to your midwife and gynecologist to learn how to collect and freeze your colostrum during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. This is also known as colostrum harvesting. 

Please note, it is important to discuss and oblige to your gynecologist and midwife prior to collecting colostrum – as some pregnant mothers are advised NOT to collect colostrum given their medical histories.

How much Colostrum 

Having said all this, please remember that it is normal to make only 1 – 4 teaspoons of colostrum per day. After all, your baby’s stomach is the size of a marble. So don’t feel low or lose heart if you feel like you haven’t collected much colostrum. This does not mean you will not have enough milk to feed your baby when he or she is born or that breastfeeding will be difficult.

Storing Colostrum

Begin the process by washing your hands prior to expressing. Colostrum maybe as little as a couple of drops to be drawn into a syringe. Ensure to label the syringe or container with your name, and the date and time you have expressed colostrum. Speak to the midwife or gynecologist on the storing temperatures in the refrigerator.

Colostrum Benefits

  • Have a look at some of the benefits of colostrum to your baby’s development:
  • Highly concentrated and nutrient dense, colostrum is packed with proteins and minerals. Magnesium supports baby’s heart and bones, and copper and zinc help immunity development.
  • It is low in fat and lactose (sugar in milk) hence it is easy to digest.
  • It also contains carotenoids and vitamin A, which gives its distinct yellow colour. Not to forget that vitamin A is important for baby’s vision.
  • Encourages your baby to open the bowels to pass meconium (baby’s first poo) which reduces the risk of jaundice.
  • Around two thirds of colostrum are white blood cells that fight against infections. These antibodies help neutralize bacteria and viruses and are quite effective with tummy upsets and diarrhea.

Share your experience with us. Did you experience colostrum after your delivery?

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