Colostrum: The First Breast Milk

Definition of colostrum

Colostrum is a pale yellow secretion from women’s breasts. Its consistency is thicker than normal breast milk. It is secreted during pregnancy and lasts for 3 days after delivery means at the later stage of pregnancy and early days after delivery. It is not only from the human breast, but it is also seen in other mammals during pregnancy and some days after delivery. It is very beneficial to the newborn child for the sake of good and protected health as it is rich in antibodies. 

What does colostrum squint like?

Colostrum is yellowish in color normally. Sometimes it can be pale or have a strong orange color. Beta carotene is accountable for its yellowish or orange color. Some colostrums seem more thick and sticky than others. In contrast, it can be thin, too, sometimes. Cows or other animals’ colostrum looks different from human colostrum.

Medico-legal importance of colostrum :

It is a presumptive sign of pregnancy. 

Composition of colostrum :

  1. Colostrum contains low fat but high carbohydrates. There are proteins and antibodies which help to keep the baby healthy.
  2. It also has a rich amount of leukocytes and protective white cells, killing viruses and bacteria and preventing many diseases. 

colostrum works like a natural superfood

You may already have heard that colostrum is known as “human superfood “or “golden superfood .”It is compared with gold due not to its color but to its quality. It is rich in nutrients, antibodies, and growth factors that help the newborn fasten its growth and immunology system. Besides, it is the best food the newborn can have first after being born. So, it is called a superfood.

Function of colostrum

  • It helps to strengthen the gastrointestinal system of the newborn.
  • It has a large number of phagocytic cells that help in the immunology system. 
  • It gives the first nutrition to the newborn to survive. 
  • The transformation of antibodies from the mother also transfers the secondary or passive immune system to the baby.

Nutrients supply of colostrum

According to many studies, nutrient supply and description of colostrum are described below:

  • Water -86 %
  • Carbohydrate -2.3 %
  • Protein -8.6 %
  • Fat-2.3 %
  • Trypsin inhibitor – present
  • Consistency -thin and yellowish 
  • Phagocytic cell – present.
  • Secretion – It is secreted within 10 days after delivery normally.

What does it taste like?

The taste of colostrum is a bit different from normal breast milk. It is less sweet than breast milk and tastes a little salty. Breast milk contains lactose, the form of sugar, which adds a sweet taste. Colostrum can taste sour or bitter, too, due to metastasis in the breast. Some people also say that it tastes like sweet almond milk, condensed milk, or Cantaloupe. 

Can colostrum be stored?

Colostrum can be stored in the refrigerator for further use. Storing in the fridge gives it long shelf life. Colostrum can be stored for 6 months. Leukocytes, a structural element of colostrum can be destroyed due to long preservation, but antibodies remain undestroyed in this time.

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