To all the new mothers out there - Hats off to you!! We know how eagerly you have been waiting to see the little one you carried for nine months and your baby’s finally right in front of your eyes. Your happiness knows no bounds. But now you are worried about your baby’s health and want to see them healthy and happy. Believe it or not, you have the power to bless them with that through colostrum which your body has prepared for your baby.
What is Colostrum?
Colostrum is a rich, sticky, yellow or slightly faint yellow substance which is produced by a mother’s breast as a precursor for breast milk. It is also commonly known as “Liquid Gold”. It is produced by the body during pregnancy but only released after delivery so that the baby can be fed immediately after birth. It’s amazing how a mother’s body carefully takes care of all that the baby requires.
Image Source- Practical Parenting
How does it benefit the baby?
Listed below are some important factors that make colostrum the building block for infants health and immunity:
1# Best meal option: It is full of proteins, antioxidants and minerals required. It also helps the baby in getting used to the outer environment by regulating its body temperature, metabolism and vascular functions.
2# Stronger Immunity: It contains antibodies that protects the body against any foreign harmful substances and microorganisms, keeps the baby healthy and free from easily harming viruses.
3# Saviour to Premature babies: It promotes healthy growth in premature babies, hence helps in their development.
4# Cleanses: Colostrum is easily digestible: It helps the baby’s body get rid of meconium which would be the baby’s first poop.
Image Source- Milkology
5# Builds an empire for the gut: It helps in forming a protective layer in the gut which protects the body from future infections and diseases.
Colostrum comes in small amounts, and you might feel like it’s not enough. But each drop counts, and it is completely sufficient for the baby. Your milk will soon change to transitional milk and the quantity will keep increasing according to the baby’s requirements.
Nutritional Guide for Lactating Mommies
It is very important to eat healthy for a mother who is exclusively breastfeeding to stay healthy and provide her baby with the right nutrients.
- Eat small and frequent meals. Try these lactation boosting recipes.
- Drink at least 3-4 liters of liquids in a day to keep yourself hydrated. Sources- water, fresh fruit juices, soups, dal water.
- Try consuming three major meals followed by two wholesome snacks between them.
- Have two servings of fruits daily; one vitamin C rich fruit is a must
- You can have masoor /black gram/moong dal, lean cuts of meat and fish.
- Include whole grain flours in your preparations.
- Include moderate portions of ghee and fats.
- Late night snacks should be light, yet filling
With inputs from Falak Hanif, Executive-Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Bangalore (Old Airport Road)
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Main Image Credits- Firstcry Parenting