First of all… wow! It has already been six weeks! My sweet baby girl, Georgia, was born six weeks ago on May 26th. Time has flown by so quickly! While I was in labor for a while, the birth was quick and easy and the recovery this time around was much faster! We are all doing great!
I wanted to write this to share with everyone my firsthand experience with how powerful colostrum is and why it is so important that your baby receives it. Colostrum is the first milk from the mother that is made by the mammary glands at the end of the pregnancy and in the days after giving birth. The La Leche League explains that colostrum “contains large quantities of an antibody called secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA) which is a new substance to the newborn. Before your baby was born, he received the benefit of another antibody, called IgG, through your placenta. IgG worked through the baby’s circulatory system, but IgA protects the baby in the places most likely to come under attack from germs, namely the mucous membranes in the throat, lungs, and intestines. Colostrum also contains high concentrations of leukocytes, protective white cells which can destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses.” (http://www.llli.org/faq/colostrum.html)
About the third day after DD was born, my milk started to come in and I was in pain! I had to pump in between feedings to relieve the pressure in my chest. Some of what I pumped was colostrum so I stashed it away in the freezer. I am sure glad that I did! Last weekend, DD starting sneezing and coughing and had a very stuffy nose. Poor thing came down with a cold. Usually colds take forever to clear up and last at least a week, usually longer. Its even worse for babies because there isn’t much you can do for them besides keep them propped up and use the saline drops and bulb on their little noses. Well, that first day that I noticed she was getting sick, I pulled out the colostrum from the freezer and thawed it out and gave a bottle of it to DD. Amazingly, four days later, she is almost completely better! It was exactly the immunity booster she needed and kicked that cold right in the butt!
Colostrum has been shown to aid in a variety of disorders such as:
- allergies and asthma
- sinus problems, colds & flu
- irritable bowel syndrome/leaky gut syndrome/ulcers
- auto-immune disorders
- chronic fatigue
- arthritis/rheumatoid arthritis
I highly recommend every mother-to-be not only to breastfeed your baby, especially in the first crucial days, but if possible, pump and save some of that colostrum for when your baby may need it!