What is colostrum?

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

Newborn pictures get me every time 💙💖Let’s talk for a minute about colostrum and colostrum harvesting. I admit I didn’t know anything about the latter before I had my second baby. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ What is colostrum?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ✨ Colostrum is the thick, yellow, pre-milk goodness that you start producing midway through pregnancy & will produce for the first few days postpartum. It’s packed with antibodies, acts as a laxative (for baby), & is considered the baby “superfood”. Colostrum is highly concentrated, full of protein and nutrient-dense – so a little goes a long way in your baby’s tiny tummy. It’s also low in fat, easy to digest and plays a crucial role in building your little one’s immune system. Colostrum looks thicker and more yellow than mature milk. Its composition is different too, because it’s tailored to your newborn’s specific needs. Your baby will be drinking colostrum for the first few days after it’s birth until your ‘milk comes in’. Baby’s don’t drink much early on, around 2-7mls per feed so colostrum is perrrrrfect!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ How do you harvest colostrum?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ✨ Hand expression! Use a medicine cup or something of similar size since you won’t usually be able to express more than a milliliter or two at a time. Store in small syringes in the freezer, marked with the date & time.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Why is harvesting colostrum beneficial?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ✨ While there are many reasons you won’t need your stored colostrum, there are some benefits to having some back up for a “just in case” situation. Some instances where you might need your previously stored colostrum are: 💛 jaundice, ⬇️ low blood sugar, 👄 oral ties/difficulty latching, ↔️NICU s⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ If this is something that is of interest to you please do speak to your midwife about this specific to your pregnancy and your baby. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 📷 by @lactationlinkof @laylao⠀⠀


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