Colostrum Benefits: Why Is It Best for Babies?
In all three stages of breast milk, the colostrum is definitely the most important of all. This is because colostrum gives the most nutrients to infants, which aids their overall growth and development.
Colostrum milk is composed of different essential nutrients and properties that a baby needs to thrive.
Here are some colostrum benefits you should know about, especially if you are a first-time mom:
Stronger Gut Health
Colostrum promotes good digestion in infants since it is high in protein and significantly low in sugar and fat. It also has high levels of lactoferrin, which is a prebiotic. Lactoferrin is responsible for the stimulation and growth of good bacteria in the gut.
Packed with Antibodies to Boost Immunity
The key factor why breastmilk, specifically the colostrum, is called “liquid gold” is because of its antibody and immune cell properties. These antibodies and immune cells help fight off bacteria and viruses that try to invade the body.
There are five secretory immunoglobulins (antibodies) in human breastmilk, namely: IgG, IgA, IgM, IgD, and IgE. However, the most potent antibody that is found in colostrum milk is IgA. The immunoglobulin A (IgA/SIgA) found in the mucous membrane, inhibits disease-causing bacteria and viruses from attaching to different organs, such as the intestines, throat, and lungs.
Loaded with Nutrients and Other Essential Properties
One of the most common colostrum benefits is its nutrient-dense features. Colostrum contains high levels of beta carotene, which gives off its yellowish or golden-yellow color. Beta carotene is a precursor of Vitamin A, which boosts immunity and improves eye health. Vitamin A also helps maintain the overall health of other organs in the body.
Colostrum is also rich in key nutrients such as B vitamins, Vitamins C and E, and other minerals and macronutrients. All these special properties make colostrum the “superfood of all superfoods.”
Acts as a Natural Laxative
Aside from helping and keeping the digestive system in its best shape, colostrum also acts as a natural laxative, which helps infants get rid of meconium. Meconium, or the first stool of an infant, contains bilirubin, a yellow-orange substance, which in abnormal levels may cause jaundice.
Perfect for Premature Babies
Since colostrum benefits include the overall health of the digestive system as well as provide immunization, then it is the perfect aid for the growth and development of premature infants. Colostrum will help in building a healthy digestive system for preemies. At the same time, it can provide immunity against bacteria and viruses since premature babies are more susceptible to infection.
Even if mothers can only produce 2 to 4 tablespoons of colostrum a day, it is still the perfect serving size for an infant.
Since infants only need an ample amount of colostrum in the first few days after birth. It is completely normal if a mother’s initial breastmilk supply isn’t as much as the breastmilk she will produce in the future.
Even though the colostrum phase only lasts for a few weeks after delivery, it will still serve its purpose by giving all the nourishment that every baby needs to survive and thrive. Improving gut health and strengthening a newborn’s immunity are just a few of the many colostrum benefits.
Breastfeeding your baby may be hard work, but it is fulfilling to see your child grow healthy and strong every step of the way.
Learn more about Baby and Breastfeeding here.