But perhaps you aren’t aware of a special milk that comes into play early in your breastfeeding.
Throughout your pregnancy, your body has been busy creating a human and also getting your breasts ready to nourish your little one. In turn, this process will allow for a sort of ‘liquid gold’ to be fed to your little one should you choose to breastfeed. This early milk is known as colostrum.
It is made throughout your pregnancy while your child is still in utero and it continues to be made and makes itself available for the first few days while you’re breastfeeding. It’s color will be that of a yellowish-orange and it will be on the thicker side and sticky.
Colostrum contains high contents of carbs, proteins, and antibodies to help keep your newborn at their healthiest and it’s also super easy for your baby’s tummy to digest – thus making it one of the greatest first meals for your infant.
Colostrum only lasts for the first few days of breastfeeding but its benefits are enormous. It acts as a natural laxative for your baby, helping him to pass his stools which contain excesses of bilirubin. Expelling bilirubin early helps aid in preventing jaundice.
Colostrum also hosts the ability to work as an organic and totally natural vaccine for your baby. While your baby was developing, he received an antibody called IgG through your placenta. Of all the antibodies, it’s IgG that is able to cross over into the baby’s placenta to help protect him. But now that you have welcomed your child into the world, should you choose to breastfeed, your milk will contain an antibody called IgA. It’s this new substance that will help to ward off sickness for your newborn. Your baby will receive this new antibody through your breastmilk.
Your colostrum will also help with your infant’s gastrointestinal tract. A newborn’s intestines are extremely porous, and colostrum helps to cork the passageways of the digestive track with a barrier of sorts which aids in preventing foreign substances from upsetting that tiny tummy.
Lastly, colostrum contains high concentrations of protective white blood cells known as leukocytes. It is these leukocytes that protect the body from microorganisms that can cause diseases and bacteria.
Colostrum will gradually change to mature milk during the first couple of weeks following the birth of your baby. However, as long as you continue to breastfeed, your child will receive an exceptional concoction of nourishment.
If you wish to learn more about the benefits of breastmilk and colostrum, you can check out Le Leche League International. Also, take your questions to your doctor or midwife and listen to their suggestions and information. The more informed you are, the better start you will give your baby.
About the author: Danielle is a freelance blogger and editor specializing in parenting, family, pregnancy, social media, and entrepreneurial topics. To learn more about Danielle, please visit her website at www.PenPointEditorial.com.