After birth the only other thing that can soothe a baby is breastfeeding. But many mothers wrongly feel that breastfeeding means only a let down of milk. Sure it is what breastfeeding is supposed to be. But the first feed that your baby receives from you is not a clear white milk as you thought of it, but a clear yellowish liquid called colostrum. Many mums refrain from breastfeeding thinking that its not what the baby is suppose to have. But colostrum is the first milk that your body produces and essential for your baby. In fact the production of colostrum starts to takes place in the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy.
After the birth your baby’s systems are not developed enough to digest food other than breast milk. Your body produces enough food for your baby and exactly what would suit your baby’s taste and systems. Colostrum is produced in the first few days after the birth which is a powerhouse of nutrients for your baby.
Breastfeeding has a lot of benefits for both the mother and baby. The first breast milk – colostrum – too has its claim of share for its benefits. It helps the baby’s system to mature to digest breast milk when the mother has a let down. It is also high in leukocytes or white blood cells that help to protect the baby against several bacterial and viral infections. The antibodies in colostrum also helps the baby’s system to fight respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis till the baby develops antibodies of its own. Infantile jaundice that is very common in babies can be treated with continuous feeds of colostrum. It helps to expel bilirubin from the baby’s body reducing chances of getting jaundice.
Continuous suckling at the breast with colostrum feeds also increases the chances of early milk production and helps to start breastfeeding soon.