Colostrum: what is it and what is it for?

Colostrum is a substance that is present in one of the stages of breastfeeding. Likewise, thanks to its important properties, it is one of the reasons for insisting on the importance of mothers feeding their children naturally, especially in their first months of life.

More specifically, we can point out that Colostrum is the precursor of breast milk. The mammary glands are responsible for secreting it. It is present during pregnancy and also in the first days after delivery.

This natural food contains everything the newborn needs to protect his health in the early stages of life. Therefore, the colostrum has been called the líquido liquid gold ’and is one of the great gifts a mother gives to her child at birth.

What is colostrum?

Colostrum is a thick secretion that often has a yellowish color, but it can also be transparent. This begins to occur more or less in the third month of pregnancy and, under normal conditions, is the first food the baby consumes at birth.

The amount of colostrum is increased if the child breastfeeds frequently. During the first three days after delivery, it reaches 20 milliliters per blowjob, which is sufficient for the baby's needs. This fluid is not exclusive to humans, as it is also present in cows and other mammals.

It can also be defined as the first milk excreted by the mother during postpartum. It is a fabulous nutrient that gives the baby immune protection. For many, this substance is practically the first vaccine that a new being receives.

The properties of colostrum

Colostrum has a pale color at the beginning and then it becomes increasingly yellowish. After three or four days, breast milk is cleared until the characteristic light yellow color is taken. This is the transition milk. It is not the same as other animals, as it contains more nutrients.

The mother is able to produce between 7 and 120 milliliters of colostrum in one day. This substance has the same taste of amniotic fluid.. It gives the baby a feeling of security, as it is accustomed to its taste from the fetal stage. That line of continuity helps you adapt to your new life.

Breast milk itself, also contains powerful nutrients and anti-infective components. But nevertheless, Colostrum has a higher concentration of protective proteins, of vitamins, carotenes and minerals.

Read also: What is the indicated diet for breastfeeding

The main benefits

The first contribution of colostrum to the baby's life is that it completely satisfies his energy needs. It also helps you prepare your body to organize subsequent feeding, promote bowel development and help your kidneys function properly.

One of the most relevant benefits is that this substance contains a high concentration of immunoglobulins.. These allow the newborn to defend against bacterial and viral infections. It also contains beta carotene. This is the element that gives the yellowish color to milk and acts as a precursor to vitamin A.

Vitamin A is also essential for protection against infections and also helps the child's retina to develop adequately. Likewise, colostrum provides an important dose of white blood cells, which also contribute to repel infectious processes.

You may be interested: Foods rich in vitamin A, where to find them?

Other data of interest

Some women feel insecure during the first days of breastfeeding because they notice that their breasts are hard, but they do not see the milk coming out of them. Sometimes, they interpret this as a sign that they are not feeding your baby. This is wrong, because Colostrum comes out in small amounts and is sometimes imperceptible, but it fully meets the baby's needs.

Some adults consume colostrum of bovine origin, as it operates as a potent nutritional supplement for those who do great physical activity, such as athletes. Also, this substance is of great help to combat Crohn's disease, oxidative stress and ulcerative colitis. It also strengthens the immune system.

All health professionals insist on the importance of the mother breastfeeding the baby, especially in those first days of life. This is because colostrum is essential for the development of the child during the first year and, even, throughout his life.