First of all, what is Colostrum? Colostrum is your baby’s first milk which is produced as early as midway through your pregnancy, and continues to be produced for a few days after your baby is born. It is thick and sticky and made up of many immune factors as well as high in protein, fats and sugar. It is often a deep yellow colour and you may have heard it referred to as ‘liquid gold’. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Colostrum Harvesting is basically hand expressing in late pregnancy and freezing this sticky liquid to give to your baby following birth in small syringes. You can start this from 37 weeks. Do not use a breast pump to harvest colostrum. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
After your baby is born you will be able to enjoy skin to skin and establish breastfeeding if that’s what you wish to do. However, things don't always go to plan and there are many factors which can impact your breastfeeding journey. If you have some stored colostrum you can offer this to your baby rather than formula and hopefully this will tickle their tastebuds and alleviate some stress for you. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, are expecting twins or multiples, or are planning a Caesarean, your midwife may have already spoke to you about 'colostrum harvesting'.
Or.....you may never need it but at least it’s there as a backup especially if you have your heart set on breastfeeding, it can be really handy to have a stash. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy, especially at the start but I promise it will get easier.