What Does Colostrum Do for Babies?
What if I told you there’s an immune system-promoting, nutrient-dense superfood that may help your baby flourish … and it doesn’t cost a cent. A mother’s body produces this super-charged substance on its own. It isn’t magic… it is colostrum!
Human colostrum, or breast milk, sometimes called “liquid gold,” is the first gift you give your baby! Colostrum contains all the nutrients and fluids that an infant needs in the early days as well as several substances that help safeguard your baby from infections.
Colostrum is the first type of milk produced by a mother’s breasts in all mammals. It is yellow because it contains a lot of carotenes, which is a kind of vitamin A. Colostrum is low in fat and abundant in protein and growth factors. It is also easy for a newborn to digest. A mother’s breasts naturally start producing this super milk as early as the second trimester of pregnancy.
How is Colostrum Different from Breast Milk
Colostrum is different from breast milk. In fact, it precedes the production of breast milk and as mentioned earlier, is packed with vitamins, nutrients, proteins and growth factors that are essential in the first few days of a newborn’s life.
Your body produces colostrum before transitional milk (the second stage of breast milk and a blend of colostrum and mature milk) and mature breast milk (the final stage of breast milk). The first drops of colostrum are what a baby receives when placed to the breast to nurse. Colostrum looks different than breast milk, being yellowish in color and is stickier in substance.
How Much Colostrum Should You Feed Your Newborn
In the first 24 hours after a human baby is born, a mother typically makes a bit more than 2 tablespoons (or 1 ounce or 30 milliliters) of colostrum. She creates around 2 ounces (60 milliliters) of colostrum on the second and third days. A mother’s transitional breast milk begins to arrive during the third day, at which point she starts producing much more breast milk.
Your infant has a suckling instinct from birth, though it is greater in some newborns than others. Because this urge is most potent right after birth, it is advisable to introduce your baby to the breast during the first hour or two of life. A baby’s sucking at your breast encourages your breasts to produce more milk, so initiating the creation of a consistent milk supply. It also signals your uterus to contract, which helps reduce the possibility of heavy bleeding after delivery.
This initial feeding also assists the baby in learning how to breastfeed. Placing the newborn skin to skin on your chest enables them to smell the colostrum and latch on, allowing the baby to start first feeding.
Because your breasts aren’t yet full of breast milk, the baby may learn to suck and swallow more easily. It is more beneficial for newborns to feed regularly than to breastfeed for an extended time in the first few days. It’s exhausting but nursing your infant at least 8–12 times each day will provide them with all the advantages of colostrum, encourage the production of your mature milk, and get lactation started on the right foot.
Newborns have tiny stomachs ideal for tiny meals; colostrum provides concentrated nourishment. Most healthy newborns start with 1/2 to 2 teaspoons of colostrum each feeding on the first day, increasing to 1–2 ounces per meal by the end of the third day. Colostrum production will decrease between days 2 and 5 following delivery, giving way to a more significant amount of transitional milk, with mature milk arriving in 1–2 weeks.
Why Bovine Colostrum Powder Is Good for Baby
As natural as breastfeeding may come to some mothers, not everyone has a smooth experience getting a newborn to properly feed. There are many factors that can come into play such as low breast milk supply, the inability for the newborn to latch onto the breast, necessary medications that newborns should not get from the colostrum or released breast milk, or medical issues that you would not want to pass on to your baby.
If this is the case, then a bovine colostrum supplement for baby might be a good option to ensure that your baby is not missing out on the nutritional benefits of colostrum.
One of the more popular forms of colostrum used today is cow or bovine colostrum powder. Available in supplement or powder formula, powdered colostrum can easily be added to your newborn’s diet. Dairy farmers collect bovine colostrum from a mother cow after her calf has received all the colostrum it needs. It is then dried and made into a powder or pill supplement that is safe for human consumption.
How Does Bovine Colostrum Powder Nourish Your Newborn?
The colostrum benefits for baby are numerous and bovine colostrum powder is no exception. Bovine colostrum powder contains plenty of beneficial nutrients that can offer numerous health benefits. Bovine colostrum is rich in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, growth hormones and digestive enzymes. One standout protein present in bovine colostrum powder is lactoferrin, which is considered a natural antioxidant and helps regulate iron supply in our bodies.
Colostrum powder also contains natural growth factors which are responsible for stimulating growth in babies. Colostrum contains two growth factors (1 and 2), and both play an important role in building muscle and cartilage.
Like human colostrum, colostrum powder is packed with beneficial bacteria that can help support our guts or intestinal system.
When Should You Use a Bovine Colostrum Supplement?
As we mentioned earlier, there are many reasons that a mother may not be able to breastfeed their baby and provide those valuable nutrients that their newborn needs from human colostrum. If this is the case, then you may want to consider introducing a bovine colostrum powder supplement into your baby’s daily diet after consulting with your health care professional.
It’s important to make sure that you are ordering a superior colostrum LD powder that is formulated for infants and toddlers. One of the highest quality formulas available is Sovereign Laboratories Colostrum Superfood for Infants and Toddlers, which uses a liposomal delivery system that helps your baby better absorb the colostrum into their digestive systems. This supplement also has recommended usage and dosage information.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Colostrum Supplements for Baby
What are the side effects of bovine colostrum supplements?
Bovine colostrum is considered safe for human consumption, but those with dairy allergies are cautioned to avoid taking bovine colostrum. There are no known side effects, but it is recommended to consult with your pediatrician before adding a colostrum supplement to your baby’s diet.
Are bovine colostrum supplements good for kids?
Numerous studies have pointed to the many health benefits of colostrum for humans of all ages, including infants, to help promote growth, and support gut and immune health.
How long does it take for colostrum to start working?
In adults, colostrum supplements have been known to take up to four weeks before you can start seeing the many health benefits of this powerful superfood.