Colostrum, also called Liquid Gold, is the first milk your body makes. You start producing it during pregnancy and up through the first few days of breastfeeding (about 3-4 days). This milk is basically the everything you baby needs wrapped up in into a few teaspoons.
Colostrum is different than mature milk because it is high in proteins, carbohydrates, and antibodies, while being low in fat. It is easy for your baby to breakdown and digest, and has a laxative effect; which is beneficial because it helps your baby pass the stools high in bilirubin to avoid jaundice.
Some more benefits of giving your baby Colostrum:
- Vaccine effect: there is a huge amount of antibodies in Colostrum, even more than in mature milk, specifically IGA.
- Leukocytes: white blood cells which destroy viruses and bacteria that cause illness.
- Gastrointestinal Health: Colostrum helps your baby’s intestine become less permeable to substances, which can help prevent sensitivities to food.
- Build your milk supply: If you are interested in breastfeeding, feeding your baby your colostrum can lead to building and maintaining your mature milk supply. It’s a time where you can ensure you have a good latch before your mature milk comes in.
If you are not interested in breastfeeding long term, but interested in your baby receiving these benefits, you can still offer your baby your colostrum and then wean when the mature milk comes in.