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Disclaimer: The information in this post is for educational purposes only. I am not a doctor. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.

Breast Milk Colostrum: A Baby’s First Defense

Breast Milk Colostrum - A Baby's First Food and DefenseA woman’s body begins to produce a version of breast milk, colostrum, during late pregnancy which prepares her breasts for milk production.

Colostrum is a baby’s first defense against infection and helps keep his or her immune system strong and healthy. Although it is produced is small amounts, the benefits are beyond comparison.

Why is Colostrum  Special?

Colostrum is a sticky, yellow fluid that is very high in nutrients and is the perfect superfood for babies. It is made in just the right amount to fill a newborn’s marble-sized stomach.

It also helps with a newborn baby’s first bowel movement. It acts as a natural laxative and clears meconium (first stool) from the digestive tract. Since it contains a large quantity of antibodies, it protects the vulnerable digestive tract by acting as a barrier to keep dangerous bacteria away.

Incredible Benefits

Colostrum has everything a newborn needs before mother’s milk transitions into the thinner and then mature milk.

  • It contains growth factors that help nurture a baby’s digestive system which is especially important for premature newborns.
  • It helps to reduce jaundice.
  • It is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
  • It’s low in fat (making it easier for babies to digest).
  • It is high in protein.
  • And it has high amount of nutrients.

The immunoglobulins in colostrum also help to protect against disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

Making the Transition

Most women produce colostrum for about a week (give or take a few days) before it turns into transitional milk. This milk is thinner and larger in volume which causes your breasts to feel full. Transitional milk still contains colostrum and gradually turns into mature milk after a couple weeks.

The antibodies are still very present in the milk but are not as concentrated as they are in colostrum. These reasons are why it is often referred to as nature’s vaccination!

Did you learn something new about the benefits of this form of breast milk, colostrum?

Kelly is a stay-at-home mom and takes pride in being a Navy wife. She is a first time mom living in California and has over a year's worth of breastfeeding experience. When she's not out exploring the new place she's in, thanks to the military life, she is keeping up with her blog Hiccups and Sunshine. You can also follow Kelly on Facebook.


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