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Wednesday, 18 September 2019 Posted under Breast Feeding

5 Interesting Facts about Colostrum

5 Interesting Facts about Colostrum

Colostrum is a thick yellowish liquid which is secreted by the mother's breast before mature milk comes in. It is considered to be a superfood. The term 'liquid gold' actually comes from it's yellowish golden colour and also the invaluable attributes that this elixir contains. Do read on to know more about it and it's importance.

1) The mother starts producing Colostrum right from the 2nd trimester of pregnancy and the 'colostrum phase' lasts right upto the 3rd to 5th day of the baby's birth. Sometimes it leaks from the mommy to be's breasts during pregnancy. This is perfectly normal, as it is a sign that the mother's body is preparing itself to feed the baby to come. Initially post birth, the mother's breasts secrete colostrum, and slowly by about day 3, the milk let down takes place, which indicates that transitional milk is starting to coming in. Transitional milk is a mix of mature milk and colostrum. Even though the colostrum phase is over by this time, traces of it can be found in the mother's milk even 6 weeks postpartum.

2) It comes in very small quantities. Colostrum is produced and secreted in very small quantities. This is the only food that a newborn baby needs. The newborn's tummy is tiny, therefore the quantity produced is enough to satiate it's hunger. On the first day after birth, the mother barely produces about 2 table spoons, which doubles up by the following day. Generally by day 3 transitional milk starts coming in, which is much higher in volume. 

3)  It is very nutrient rich. Colostrum is known as liquid gold not just for it's rich golden colour, but because of the high nutritive value it has. It is the only food that a new born needs.Its very high on protein and low on sugar and fats. It is easily digested by the newborn's delicate digestive tract.

4) It acts as a natural laxative. Meconium is the fecal matter which is present in a newborn's bowels. It is black in colour with a sticky tar like consistency, which needs to be excreted. The laxative property present in colostrum helps the baby to expel the meconium from it's body without harming it's delicate passage. Meconium contains bilirubin, therefore expelling it helps to prevent and control newborn jaundice.

5) Colostrum acts as your baby's first immunization. Colostrum is not merely nutrient rich, but also full of anti-bodies and white blood cells which help to fight infections, viruses and bacteria. It contains high levels of secretory Immunoglobulin A which helps to protect the baby's GI tract.