only getting 1 ml of Colostrum

Sick and Tired of only getting 1 ml of Colostrum? 5 things that can help you

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Breast milk is typically divided into three stages i.e. colostrum, transitional breast milk, and mature breast milk.

Colostrum: Colostrum is the yellow-colored thick milk that is produced from the second trimester of pregnancy. It is rich in antibodies and is known to be a powerful immunity booster, which is why it has often been called ‘baby’s first immunization’.  Colostrum helps to activate early immunological responses in your baby’s gut, promoting the development of normal gut bacteria and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria. It is also known to help the newborn pass meconium which results in a reduction of the reabsorption of bilirubin and the potential to develop jaundice which occurs due to an increased level of bilirubin.

Transitional Breast Milk: It is the combination of mature milk and colostrum. When your breast milk comes in at approximately 3 to 5 days after delivery, it mixes with colostrum and gradually transitions towards the mature stage.

Mature Breast Milk: Your breast milk matures when your baby is about 2 weeks old. Mature breast milk is a combination of foremilk and hindmilk. Foremilk is the first milk to flow out from your breast and is thin and watery in consistency. It is lower in calories and fat content. As your baby continues to breastfeed, hindmilk will flow. It is rich in fat content and calories.

 Colostrum is known to be the most beneficial diet for your newborn baby and feed your baby as soon as they are born to provide them with the immunization that colostrum offers. If you think you are only getting 1 ml of colostrum, here are 5 things you can try to increase it.

1)           Start expressing milk from the third trimester of your pregnancy. Some babies may need more colostrum straight away after birth. This can be the case if the baby is born prematurely, or the mother is a high risk. For example, gestational diabetes can cause a baby to be born with low blood sugar. Where the mother finds it difficult to supply enough, it’s handy to have a backup supply of colostrum available. Some babies may have problems latching on and therefore nursing them directly can be difficult in this case you can also use your expressed milk to feed the baby through a bottle or syringe.

2)           Breasts can produce between 10 ml to 100 ml of colostrum every day, so use hand expression to express it. If you are only getting 1 ml of Colostrum, you can hand express your milk by following these simple steps:

  • Hold your breast with your fingers and thumb cupped around your breast in a C shape, near but not touching your areola. Then press your fingers and thumb back towards your chest.
  • After that, compress your breast between your fingers and thumb, adjusting them to your nipple without lifting them from your breast.
  • Then release without moving your hand from your breast.

For most moms, it’s a process of learning and experimenting to find what works best for them. For example, when you get a spray of milk from at least one nipple pore (instead of drops or a dribble), you’ve found what works for you. Allow time at first: the whole process may take 20 or 30 minutes, you can always stop and start again later if you need to. Frequent short sessions are usually more effective than infrequent, longer expressing sessions. Remember that hand expression should feel comfortable. If it’s not, then change what you’re doing until it feels right.

3)           Beforehand expressing colostrum, wash your hands. For collecting your expressed milk, you can use any clean container. Colostrum can be expressed into a small (5ml) container or even onto a teaspoon if you want to feed it to your baby immediately. Your milk will flow more easily if you are warm and comfortable. So, don’t stress about the amount of milk you will be able to express. Try the breathing exercises you learned for use during labor and see your flowing milk. Massage your breasts before trying to express milk.

4)           Your body produces colostrum from the 16th week of your pregnancy. Colostrum should arrive drop by drop. Initially, it may just be a glisten on the end of your nipple, and it may take a few days of practice before drops appear. After expressing the milk, collect the colostrum into a clean container, like a syringe, and keep them in a freezer until they’re needed. You can bring your expressed colostrum with you to the hospital in a cooler and let your doctor know about your plan to use it after delivering your baby.

5)           Even if after expressing for ages you’re only able to get a little amount of colostrum it’s okay. Even if you only get a small amount of colostrum, you should still breastfeed your baby as often as possible during this stage of your breast milk. Your newborn’s stomach is tiny, and a little of colostrum is all they will need for the first few days. You do not have to wait until your breast milk comes in to breastfeed your baby because colostrum is jam-packed with lots of proteins and immunity.

There you have! Five things you can do if you are only getting 1 ml of Colostrum. Sometimes, mothers are worried and concerned over the amount of colostrum they produce and doubt whether their baby is getting enough nourishment or not. This also makes them think about supplementing with formula. You shouldn’t give up that easily.

Keep in mind that your baby needs no more than what you’re making. If your baby is healthy and full-term, there is no reason to supplement with an infant formula during the colostrum stage. However, if your baby is premature, or you experience a delay in the production of breast milk because of some reason, or if your child is having a health issue, then your baby’s doctor will advise you whether or not a supplement is necessary. If that’s not the case then let your baby reap the benefits of that liquid gold even if you are only getting 1 ml of colostrum until your milk comes in.

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