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Saw some pregnant mums sharing that their bodies have produced colostrum and they are using syringes to draw the milk out. Why does this happen? I thought breastmilk only comes after bb is delivered? Any method to get colostrum to come earlier? Worried about not having enough supply, or that milk comes late....... :(

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Great questions. What these women are doing are called antenatal expression. Basically colostrum is a fluid which is produced by the breast from about the twentieth week of pregnancy and during the first few days after the birth of your baby. Colostrum is easily digested and; therefore, the ideal first food for your baby. Its appearance may vary from dark yellow to clear and can be quite thick and sticky. Colostrum provides perfect nutrition specifically for your newborn baby. It has a much higher proportion of proteins than mature milk; many of these are immunoglobulins which help boost your baby’s immunity. There are also fat-soluble vitamins and some minerals as well as a relatively high salt content which assists in protecting your baby from dehydration in the early days. Colostrum is low in volume but high in energy and helps with the early passage of meconium (the baby’s first bowel motion) which in turn assists in preventing jaundice. Why do some people practice antenatal expression of colostrum? 1. Expressing and storing colostrum before birth, may decrease the risk of your baby requiring or being given infant formula after birth. 2. Expressing can assist in the promotion of successful, exclusive breastfeeding for you and your baby. When can you start expressing colostrum? Please discuss this with your midwife, lactation consultant or doctor prior to commencing expressing for individual advice. Generally, you: - can commence expressing at 36 weeks gestation - can begin with three to five minutes of expressing on each breast; two to three times a day - should stop expressing immediately if you are having contractions at any time. Do not express if: - you have a history of, or are currently experiencing, threatened or actual preterm labour - you have a history of, or are currently experiencing, cervical incompetence - you have had a suture put in your cervix to prevent preterm labour.
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I wouldn't intefere with the body's natural evolution. Colostrum is very high in carbohydrates, protein and antibodies and low in fat allowing it to be digested by newborns easily. It has everything a baby needs in the first few days so I wouldn't worry about milk not coming. After a few days, your transitional milk followed by mature milk will come naturally.
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Hi yes, some mummies start producing colostrum even before giving birth. But do be careful if you wanna extract colostrum this way as it may trigger labour.
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