Colostrum and Important Breastfeeding Health Benefits for Your Baby

Colostrum and Important Breastfeeding Health Benefits for Your BabyDid you know that your breasts start producing liquid gold in the final weeks of your pregnancy? No, not the real kind of gold you’d find in Fort Knox, but a substance more precious to your newborn’s health. Colostrum, nicknamed “liquid gold” by nursing moms and lactation consultants, is the nutrient-rich breast milk a woman produces just before birth.

Why the nickname? Colostrum is not only precious for your infant, but typically carries a yellowish hue when discharged. This special breast milk comes in before your normal breast milk supply and is very important for your newborn’s immune system. While is rich in proteins, vitamin a, and antibodies, colostrum is also low in fat. Its natural composition makes it the best first food for your newborn. Also, colostrum has been shown to stimulate a baby’s digestive system without fuss. Packed with white blood cells, colostrum keeps infections at bay while your baby happily nurses and gets stronger.

After the first few days nursing, the colostrum will be replaced with regular breast milk. This natural transition is nothing to worry about—your baby will still get essential nutrients and vitamins without colostrum. With a proper feeding schedule and enough breast milk, your baby will continue to gain weight at a healthy pace. Colostrum jump starts the entire process and creates lasting immunity that’s crucial to protecting your baby against disease. Experts agree that babies fed colostrum have better immune systems long-term and are less likely to struggle with diabetes or obesity. Breastfeeding sets the tone for your baby’s health and lifestyle, so take steps to try nursing your little one, especially in the days just after delivery.

Worried about breastfeeding? Make an appointment with a lactation consultant to get all of the information you need. You can also turn to a female family member or friend who has nursed before for practical advice and support. You’re not alone in this, so reach out to others for emotional support while you get the hang of nursing!