What is Colostrum? The Importance of Colostrum Milk for New-Born

The first milk that comes out immediately after the birth of a new-born is known as colostrum. All lactating mammals including humans produce this, as it is highly nutritious for new-born. It is responsible for allowing the baby to fight harmful bacteria and parasites and achieve a healthy weight.

Colostrum contains carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, proteins, antibodies and minerals that help babies fight the disease cussing agents. The antibody levels found in colostrum is more than hundred times higher than the is found in regular mother’s milk. Though colostrums lacks in volume, it still helps a new-born to expel the tarry fist stools known as meconium due to its laxative effect. The high amounts of protective factors are the reasons for this thickness and color. The fist vaccination that your baby can get is colostrum as this actually works as a natural vaccine that is 100 per cent safe without any side effects.

Colostrums have great quantities of secretary immunoglobulin a (igA), an antibody, which in a new-born is a new substance. When the foetus is still in the placenta, another antibody, called igG works in it. The main work of IgA is to protect the baby from specific germs that attack the mucous membranes in the lungs, throat and intestines.

Babies are born with a few instincts and suckling is one of them. It is advisable to introduce the baby to the breast within a few hours after the birth as this will stimulate the breasts to produce more milk, building a reliable milk supply. This action also sends signals to the mother’s uterus to contract and this decreases the chances of over bleeding after delivery.

What is Colostrum

Colostrum is considered as the perfect food for new-born as it is very easy to digest and is low in volume, measurable in teaspoons and high in concentrated nutrition. Colostrum also eliminate the excess bilirubin by helping the baby to pass early stools, freely. This in turn, protects the new-born from getting affected by jaundice.

The mother starts producing mature milk by the third or fourth day after birth, when the baby is breastfed often and early. The volume of milk increases and is whiter in color and thinner in consistency. It is recommended to breastfeed the new-born at least eight to twelve times every day and if possible more often.

The digestive system of new-born is very small and the colostrum provide nutrients to the baby in lesser volume but which is concentrated. Three to four days after the birth, the milk produced is thinner, sweet and watery. This meets the baby’s needs as it nourishes with sugar, proteins and minerals.

Also Read: How to Breastfeed Newborn
Also Read: Home Remedies to Heal Sore Nipples Fast

Colostrums provide both; nutrition custom-made to meet the needs of the new-born and large quantity of living cells, which protect the baby against foreign agents. The immune factors present in colostrums are much higher than in mature milk. Colostrums also plays an important role in the protection of a new-born’s gastrointestinal tract. The intestines of a new-born are very leaky and colostrum covers the holes by painting the tract with a barrier which blocks alien substance from penetrating foods the mother has eaten.

It has high content of white blood cells also known as leukocytes that help in destroying disease causing virus and bacteria. The conversion from colostrum to mature milk happens within the first two weeks after the delivery. During the shift, the concentrations of the antibodies in the milk decease, but the volume of milk increases.

Premature babies respond better to human colostrums than the infant formulas available in the market. This is due to the presence of special components called growth modulators, in human milk that help the digestive system of a premature baby’s to adjust to oral feedings.

Bovine colostrum, produced by the mammary glands of cow and goat sources, are a universal donor of colostrums to humans. Historically, colostrums have been used for various illnesses and until the development of penicillin and other artificial antibiotics, which are commonly used for fighting bacterial infections.

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