Colostrum: Nature’s Superfood!
Colostrum is the breastmilk that is available right after birth. Often times, people think they have to wait a few days for their milk to "come in", but the truth is, it is already there! The sticky golden liquid that comes in TINY amounts is packed full of nutrition.
Early administration of colostrum and the amazing immunological building blocks it provides for your newborn is so important! In fact, we encourage parents to celebrate the few days awaiting their transitional milk because the more colostrum the better!
We have said a million times in our practice that if the ONLY breastfeeding you have done with your precious babe is in the first three to five days when colostrum is most present you have provided them with an amazing foundation for a strong immune system!
Colostrum is rich in Vitamin K and nutrients containing tons of antibodies, minerals, and proteins that assist the immune system in fighting infection and bacteria. Proteins found in colostrum binds viruses and infection in the gut, allowing them to pass through and be eliminated along with meconium and other things the baby doesn’t need. It also acts as a laxative to push out meconium to support jaundice levels.
Lactoferrin is also richly present in colostrum. Lactoferrin is a protein that aids in your baby’s immune response to viruses and bacteria. This protein is always present in breastmilk, but with colostrum you’re getting the highest lactoferrin content and those building blocks are stacked on a super solid foundation.
High concentration of IgA helps the immune system develop. positive growth and development. This is why frequent placement at the breast for as much colostrum-rich breastfeeding in the hours following birth is so important! All babies lose some weight after delivery due to no longer being attached to the placenta which provides nourishment around the clock. When you provide your baby with as much colostrum immediately following delivery, you are providing them with a ton of opportunities to gain back that weight they need to be released from the hospital and get moving on to a successful breastfeeding journey!
Colostrum ain’t called “liquid gold” for nothing! It also may be beneficial for older babies and even adults! Colostrum from cow's milk has been turned into powder form used as a supplement. If you are able to provide colostrum to your newborn let us just say…you are killing this parenting game!