What is the right time to harvest your colostrum, and how can it benefit your baby?2 min read
To know that you are at the end of pregnancy, you will start to produce a clear, golden-like colour in your breasts. You will know it as colostrum; people call it their first milk or liquid gold. Colostrum has lots of nutrients and antibodies that can protect and make your baby healthy in the first few days. Your baby will survive on colostrum until you produce milk around three days after birth. When your body makes colostrum before your baby is born, it can still be helpful for you and your baby. You can collect it using the Colostrum Collection Kit to make it easier and more comfortable. You will know why you need to harvest it before your baby arrives.
It helps to produce milk
When you have breast surgery or have a history of having a low milk supply, you will know during prenatal. It can boost the milk ducts and gets colostrum moving through them. Doctors or midwives will encourage you to gather colostrum when you have diabetes or history during pregnancy. It is because people with diabetes can give a little more time for their milk to come in. Those babies born to people with diabetes can have hypoglycemia after birth. They need extra colostrum to keep their blood sugar levels stable.
It is beneficial when you cannot breastfeed them after birth
Some people take medications after birth that can make their breastfeeding work out. When you harvest your colostrum, your baby can still get the benefits in a limited time to increase its immunity. You know babies don’t have a robust immune system when they are born; that is why colostrum is helpful. It has antibodies, immunity boosting, and white blood cells to keep the body from any infection or disease.
It will teach you to hand express
When you have to breastfeed or chest feed your baby, it will help you to learn how to hand express your milk. This motion will help to increase your milk supply when your milk comes in and avoids any pool when your baby has a problem with how to latch. It can be handy when you don’t engorge and don’t have a pump available on your side.
It will help to lessen jaundice.
You know that colostrum is a natural laxative that helps your baby to avoid meconium. It is a tar-like poop in their digestive tract. It contains bilirubin, and when you breastfeed them with harvested colostrum, it can prevent or treat jaundice. Remember that those full-term healthy babies born to healthy parents don’t need supplementation.
What is the best time to harvest your colostrum?
Before you go to 37 weeks, it will be hard to harvest colostrum because you are not producing enough of it to collect. It is not recommended that you start gathering before it. But when you have plans to have a cesarean delivery, your healthcare professionals can tell you to begin harvesting.