Colostrum - Magic Milk
So you have made a decision to give your baby the best possible start in life and you are going to try breastfeeding, the very first milk your baby will get is your colostrum.
After delivery you will find your breasts produce small amounts of a creamy looking liquid for a few days after your baby is born. This wonderful fluid contains such high amounts of immunoglobulin (which protects your baby against illnesses), it has been described as a baby’s first inoculation! From it your baby will develop immunity to a number of illnesses, colostrum contains very high levels of protein, vitamins and minerals which satisfy the newborn baby’s appetite. You may feel that you aren’t producing much milk or that your baby hasn’t taken a lot, relax, because that’s just how it is supposed to be. You will see that in a few days time you will produce much larger volumes of milk, which contains higher volumes of fats and lower volumes of protein, which are more suitable for the baby’s stomach now that it has grown a little.
Immediately after delivery the baby should lie, undressed, on your abdomen or on your chest. Some babies feed immediately; others show less interest at first and might just lick at the nipple and nuzzle into you and feed a little later. The hospital staff will assist you.
It is also really important at this time that nobody persuades you that you need to supplement your breast milk with formula "until the milk comes in”. After you have you baby you may notice that almost everybody you know is an expert on infant feeding and will want to share their wisdom with you. You may hear that your milk isn’t enough, or that it isn’t strong enough or that the baby needs water.
This well meaning advice can result in the end of breastfeeding as even one bottle of formula at this crucial time can upset the delicate supply and demand system that exists between mother and baby to ensure a good milk supply.
If you feel your baby wants to feed all the time after birth, don’t worry, he just knows instinctively what is good for him.
Once breastfeeding is fully established, after about 6 weeks, you might like to consider donating some of your milk to The South African Breast milk Reserve otherwise known as the breast milk bank. Our donated milk is used to feed premature babies in the public hospitals so you can rest assured that your precious milk is used for a good cause.
Liz 07652 40772