Why is colostrum so important?
If you have been following our blog, you must have previously seen us mention the importance of colostrum. Here are the reasons why colostrum is such a precious first food for your breastfeeding newborn.
The first milk you produce
Colostrum is a highly concentrated liquid (it looks thicker and more yellow than mature milk) that is full of protein and highly nourishing for a newborn. It is easy to digest and allows your baby to start his development in the best possible way - such as building a strong immune system.
Two-thirds of the cells in colostrum are white blood cells that guard against infections and helps your baby to fight infections for himself. White blood cells provide protection in the body and produce antibodies that neutralise bacteria and viruses. They are particularly effective to fight against tummy upsets and diarrhoea.
Supports the immune system and gut function
Colostrum is rich in antibodies and other growth factors that stimulate the growth of protective mucus membranes in your baby's intestines. The prebiotics in colostrum also feeds and build up the good bacteria in your baby's gut.
Prevents jaundiceColostrum acts as a laxative that allows your newborn baby to poo frequently. By emptying his bowels of everything he ingested while in the womb, this reduces your baby's risk of newborn jaundice.
Babies are born with a high level of red blood cells, and the liver helps to process these cells when the cells break down - creating bilirubin. If your baby's liver isn't developed enough to process the bilirubin, it will build up in his system that leads to jaundice. The laxative properties of colostrum will help your baby to flush out bilirubin in his poo.