After the miracle of childbirth, there is the miracle of breast milk to marvel at; the fact that nature made for baby something that is so precisely right in terms of composition, nutrition, temperature, you name it!
And mother’s first milk known as colostrum, beestings or first milk or even immune milk is part of that miracle.
This first milk seems thinner and more watery looking than regular milk and indeed it is of a different composition than mother’s milk otherwise is. It is vitally important to a baby for many reasons:
- A new born infant is not able to take a large feed to begin with and so colostrums deliver a higher concentration of requisite nutrition in a lower volume of breast milk.
- Colostrum is said to have a slightly laxative effect, which helps the baby in passing the all important first stool or stools called meconium.
- The first milk also helps in reducing the infant’s bilirubin which is what causes the yellowish tinge to appear on an infant’s skin; thereby also preventing the baby developing jaundice which is common in newborns.
- Colostrum is well known for the amount of antibodies and the immunoglobulin that it contains, which help a child resist infection and develop resistance. Mother’s immunity is passed on to the baby.