Colostrum – the Superfood for Your Newborn
Within minutes after your baby is born, breastfeeding can begin.
The first food your breasts make is colostrum – a sticky, yellow fluid that contains everything your baby needs to transition to life outside your body.
Colostrum has many benefits for your newborn:
- Helps your baby build a strong immune system.
- Creates a tough coating on your baby’s stomach to keep germs from causing illness.
- Acts as a laxative to help your baby pass meconium (the dark first poop).
- Helps prevent jaundice and gets rid of harmful waste products. Learn more about breastfeeding and jaundice.
- Gives your baby’s brain, eyes and heart the right blend of nutrients to grow.
- Contains high levels of protein, fat and vitamins for complete nutrition.
- Complete nutrition that your baby’s stomach can easily digest. It’s the perfect food for your newborn.
How Much is Enough?
It is normal to make only 1-4 teaspoons of colostrum per day. Your baby’s stomach may only be the size of a marble, although it increases in size each day.
The amount of colostrum you are making is just right for your baby. Be sure to breastfeed your baby as often as he or she desires to help your milk supply start strong.
Compiled from the following References:
Hanson, L., Korotkonva, M., The Importance of Colostrum, Breastfeeding May Boost baby’s Own Immune System. (2002). Pediatric Infectious Disease Jour; 21:816-821
Dionna. (2010). The Composition on Human Milk Part 1. Attachment Parenting. Retrieved from http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/2010/01/12/the-composition-of-breastmilk-part-1/
O’Conner, M.,(1998). Anatomy and Physiology: Milk Composition. Retrieved from http://breastfeedingbasics.org/cgi-bin/deliver.cgi/content/Anatomy/composition.html
Spangler, A., Randenberg, A., Brenner, M., Howette, M., (2008). Belly Models as Teaching Tools: What is Their Utility? Journal Of Human Lactation. May 2008, vol 24; no 2