Women will produce colostrum through pregnancy and in the early days of breastfeeding, and this “pre-milk” provides many benefits for newborns.
Some of the key benefits of colostrum for babies include:
1. Instant Source of Essential Nutrients
Colostrum sometimes is referred to as “high-octane” milk, but it is not actually “milk”. It is its own unique first food for all newborn mammals. And with the high volume of essential nutrients it provides a baby, perhaps it’s easy to understand why.
La Leche League International points out colostrum is “low in fat and high in carbohydrates, protein, and antibodies to help keep your baby healthy.”
Colostrum also provides zinc, calcium, and other nutrients that can aid in baby’s overall growth and development. Ultimately, this “pre-milk” is highly concentrated and ensures a baby can receive plenty of nutrients quickly and easily.
2. Colostrum Serves as a Valuable Laxative
“Colostrum has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice,” La Leche League International points out.
In addition, colostrum can help prepare a baby’s digestive system for the mature milk that he or she will receive in the days to follow.
3. Added Protection Against Infection
A mother wants the best for her son or daughter, and with colostrum, she will be able to better protect her baby against infection.
The American Academy of Pediatrics points out colostrum typically boasts a distinct color and thickness – clear indicators that this milk can deliver advanced infection protection. Colostrum also includes many vital substances to further reduce the risk of infection, making it exceedingly valuable for babies.
“Colostrum is high in leukocytes (protective white blood cells) that can help to protect your baby against several bacterial and viral infections,” BabyCenter notes. “The antibodies in colostrum protect your baby against respiratory infections such as pneumonia, flu, and bronchitis, as well as stomach and ear infections.”
4.Colostrum Provides Protection Against Jaundice
Jaundice is a common problem in newborns. This condition causes a newborn’s skin and the whites of the eyes to appear yellow. It occurs when there is an excess amount of bilirubin, an orange-yellow substance that is produced during the breakdown of red blood cells, in a newborn’s blood.
Doctors often recommend a newborn be evaluated for jaundice in the first few days after birth. Jaundice may become visible in babies between the ages of 2 and 4 days old. Generally, jaundice disappears on its own within about one to two weeks following birth. If jaundice goes untreated, it may cause a baby to experience deafness, cerebral palsy, or other types of brain damage. In rare instances, jaundice has been linked to infections and thyroid problems.
Because colostrum helps a newborn get rid of harmful waste products in the body, it helps lower a baby’s risk of jaundice. For babies who are already dealing with jaundice, colostrum may be used in conjunction with phototherapy, a treatment that uses a special light to help the body eliminate excess bilirubin.
5. Helps Prevent Low Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia, i.e. low blood sugar, is a potential concern for some newborns. Hypoglycemia occurs when the amount of glucose (sugar) in a newborn’s blood is less than 50 mg/dL. Babies who may be susceptible to hypoglycemia include those who are born to diabetic mothers, have a low birthweight, are born under significant stress, or experience temperature instability.
Hypoglycemia in newborns is linked to many conditions, such as:
- Excess insulin production in the baby of a diabetic mother
- Cold stress (when conditions are too cold for a newborn)
- Congenital metabolic diseases and birth defects
- Liver disease
Fearing that her newborn has low blood sugar, a new mom may give her baby formula in the hours or days after birth. Yet doing so may interfere with the delivery of colostrum and breastfeeding in general, which provides an unprecedented bonding experience for mother and child.
Although some moms believe breastfeeding and baby formula are equal, there are notable differences between the two. Breastfeeding enables a mom to provide her child with a rich mix of protein, vitamins, fats, and other nutritional factors to help her child grow. Plus, breastmilk contains “living” antibodies that are vital to baby’s developing immune system. Antibodies help a baby combat harmful bacteria and viruses in his/her new environment.
Comparatively, baby formula is a convenient alternative to breastmilk and it can be useful if mom is not producing enough breast milk or her infant is not putting on weight. But unlike breastmilk, formula does not contain immune system modulators such as antibodies, immunoglobulins, and lactoferrin and none of the growth factors. These immune system modulators are crucial to a newborn, as they help a baby fight off disease-causing microbes and support the development of a well-functioning immune system. Growth factors help stimulate the growth of nearly every tissue in the human body.
For moms who are worried about hypoglycemia and choose baby formula, bovine colostrum supplementation may be ideal. Colostrum contains key immune system modulators typically not found in baby formula, as well as a plethora of growth factors. Therefore, the combination of colostrum and baby formula could help a mom lower her newborn’s risk of hypoglycemia while promoting optimal growth and development. Remember, breast milk is best, but if that isn’t feasible, bovine colostrum supplementation is a viable addition to baby’s feeding regimen.
How Can Colostrum Help Adults?
It is apparent that colostrum offers a number of benefits for babies, but did you know that adults can reap the benefits of colostrum at any time during their lives?
Today, many colostrum supplements are available that empower adults to fight off viruses, balance immune responses, and stimulate bone, brain, and nervous tissue regeneration. They even can help adults boost muscle strength and stamina and better combat the effects of aging, too.
Sovereign Laboratories, for instance, now offers Colostrum LD® that is designed to bypass digestion, travel directly through the bowel wall, and circulate throughout the body. Thus, this product will reach the organs and cells quickly and remain bioavailable at the cellular level.
Furthermore, Colostrum LD® is non-allergenic and has no side effects or negative interactions with other medications. The supplement is safe and simple to use, and it may make a world of difference in the life of any adult.
Check out the selection of colostrum supplements available from Sovereign Laboratories today. To learn more about our assortment of colostrum offerings, please visit our website.