The Importance of Colostrum for the Newborn

Colostrum is a liquid thicker than milk, with a yellow hue, that the mother will produce during the first three or four days after giving birth. Do you know why it is important?

The breast milk is a valuable asset since it contains everything the baby needs:

  • Grease
  • Lactose
  • Vitamins
  • Iron
  • Minerals
  • Water
  • Growth factors
  • Proteins…

All of this is necessary for their development during their first months of life. In addition, antibodies from the mother pass through breast milk that help the baby to be protected while creating its own defenses.
In addition, breast milk changes its composition depending on the needs of the baby . For all this, from the World Health Organization the message is clear: “breastfeeding is an unparalleled way of providing an ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants.”

What is colostrum?

Colostrum is a liquid thicker than milk and yellow in color that the mother will produce during the first 3 or 4 days after giving birth. It is the best food for a newborn super adapted to the baby’s needs.

  • Colostrum contains less fat, lactose and water-soluble vitamins than mature milk, that is, milk that appears from day 4 to 5 after delivery.
  • But at the same time, colostrum contains more proteins, fat-soluble vitamins, carotenes and minerals.
    In addition, it provides protective substances for the baby such as immunoglobulin A and lactoferrin, lymphocytes, macrophages…) which is very important due to the immaturity of the baby’s immune system. However, if you have any questions, your gynecologist will be able to answer your questions.

Colostrum functions

  • Covers your nutritional needs.
  • The volume of colostrum comes in small quantities so that the baby can adapt, in this way the baby learns to coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing.
  • It helps in intestinal mobilization, which facilitates the elimination of meconium.
  • It facilitates proper digestion, as it is adapted.
  • Facilitates proper intestinal colonization.
  • Facilitates kidney function, still immature.
  • It helps to release the substances that produce jaundice, therefore helping to reduce it.

Colostrum myths

There are many myths around colostrum, some of them, although they seem incredible, still remain in some cultures or areas. The most common are:

  • Colostrum does not feed and is of poor quality: FALSE
    Due to its low quantity and lower caloric intake, it is said that it does not feed. Nothing is further from reality, colostrum contains the necessary and suitable nutrients for the newborn.
  • Do not breastfeed until after colostrum: FALSE
    Some cultures consider that you should not breastfeed while the milk is not light in color, so they discard the colostrum. It is important to raise awareness that breastfeeding is more successful if the baby breastfeeds from birth, in addition to explaining the benefits of colostrum.
  • If the milk comes out yellow it is bad: FALSE
    Colostrum is yellowish in color because it has an antioxidant substance that gives it this property (beta-carotene), it should never be discarded.

What you should know…

  • Colostrum is a liquid thicker than milk, yellow in color, which the mother will produce during the first three or four days after delivery.
  • It is the best food a newborn can eat, as it is perfectly adapted to the baby’s needs.
  • It is yellowish in color because it has an antioxidant substance that gives it this property (beta-carotene), it should never be discarded.

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