Colostrum – Facts and Advice
Colostrum is the very first milk that your breasts make in preparation for nursing. In this post, we address six of the most commonly asked questions about colostrum, your breasts, and your baby. Read on for more information.
1. What is the Definition of Colostrum?
The first creamy milk that female mammals (including humans!) make to feed their newborn.
2. When Does Colostrum Come in During Pregnancy?
Many women find that their colostrum ‘comes in’ towards the end of the third trimester. The timing is different for every woman but you can expect your breasts to start leaking anytime between week 32 of pregnancy and the time of your delivery. However, some women start noticing colostrum at week 26 or even earlier in their pregnancy.
3. What Color is Colostrum?
Your colostrum should be a pale yellow or slightly orange color and will feel thick and sticky to the touch.
4. What are the Benefits of Colostrum for my Baby?
There are countless benefits in this magic substance which simply can’t be duplicated by commercial formula milk. Firstly, it provides your baby with essential antibodies to start building his or her immune system. It also has a laxative effect to help loosen your baby’s first stool. It is rich in protein and vitamins and gives your baby’s development a kickstart before the regular milk comes in.
5. How Long Does Colostrum Last?
Again, this is different for every woman. But the colostrum should change into your mature milk within the first two weeks of breastfeeding. You will notice the change because your milk will begin to flow more freely and your baby will probably feed more because the mature milk is not as concentrated as the colostrum.
6. How Much Colostrum Does a Newborn Need?
As much as he or she can get! Your body is smarter that you give it credit for and, unless your baby has complications with latching on, will produce the amount of colostrum that he or she needs before transitioning to producing mature milk.
Do you have a question we haven’t addressed? Feel free to contact us
If you have a question about colostrum (or any other pregnancy matter!) that we haven’t addressed, it’s likely that other women are wondering the same thing. Remember – the only silly question is the one you didn’t ask! Feel free to ask your question in the comments section below (we always respond!) or to send it privately through our contact us page. We look forward to hearing from you!
More Articles and Advice for Late Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period:
Leaking breasts is just one of the common symptoms of the final trimester of pregnancy. What are some of the others? Find out more about what to expect in your third trimester here.
There are lots of good reasons to express breast milk – it gives your partner a chance to feed and bond with your baby, it allows you some time out, and it helps to balance your milk production. But how can you safely express and store your milk? Find out the details here.
Breastfeeding gives your baby the very best start in life. But there are medical conditions specific to the breastfed baby. Breast milk jaundice is the most common. Find out more here.
Late pregnancy is the best time to start thinking about comfortable nursing clothes for after Baby arrives. Luckily, there are lots of great nursing clothes which allow you easy access to your breasts while still looking stylish and affording a little privacy while you feed your baby. Check out our guide to the latest nursing styles here.