A child is born with a sterile digestive tract and reduced immunity. Nature has provided an opportunity to quickly and painlessly adapt it to the environment: after childbirth, a unique substance is produced in the breast - colostrum, which allows this to be done.
What is colostrum
Colostrum, a special nutrient fluid that resembles very thick milk, can appear in the breast even before the baby is born. This will mean that hormonal changes are taking place in the body and the breast is preparing for the upcoming feeding of the baby. A woman at these moments may experience tingling and itching in her breasts, and yellow discharge may appear from the nipples. In such cases, you need to use cotton swabs so as not to stain your clothes, and wash your chest with warm water to avoid the growth of bacteria. The same procedures must be carried out before feeding after the birth of the baby.
The first days after birth, the baby should only eat colostrum. Gradually, its composition changes: 3-4 days after childbirth, transitional breast milk is produced in the breast, after a week, ordinary breast milk. With the arrival of "real" milk, its amount increases sharply, so in some cases it may be necessary to use expression. In contrast, colostrum is found in the breast in small quantities, but it has a very high nutritional value. In addition, this is the most suitable food for a newborn, provided by nature.
Composition and amount of colostrum
Colostrum contains large amounts of white blood cells and substances that contribute to the development of the child's natural immune system. This nourishing liquid has a mild laxative effect, helps the newborn's feces pass out, bilirubin is removed from the body, and also promotes the growth of beneficial intestinal bacteria in the sterile intestines of the infant.
Sometimes women are alarmed in the chest by the lack of colostrum. For the most part, these fears turn out to be unfounded, since the process of its development may be imperceptible. In addition, the volume of the stomach of a newborn baby is very small and the amount of colostrum that is present is quite sufficient for the child, even if the mother is convinced of the opposite. In such cases, you need to apply the baby to the breast as often as possible, even if the impression is created that it is completely "empty", and in the intervals between feedings, massage it. Gradually, the amount of colostrum will increase, in addition, such procedures contribute to the contraction of the uterus after childbirth and the appearance of high-grade breast milk.
To make it comfortable for the baby to suckle, you need to immediately apply it correctly: hold the breast with your hand from above and below, and insert the nipple into the mouth, including the areola. In this case, the woman will experience less painful sensations, and the baby will suck more easily. After birth, all babies lose weight. If this loss is within the physiological norm (5-7%), there is no need to worry and feed the child; with a loss of 8-10%, we can talk about ineffective feeding, by the decision of the pediatrician, supplementary feeding is possible.