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A Quick Guide to Colostrum Harvesting

Colostrum harvesting has become popular in recent years. It can kickstart the milk supply and can come in handy if baby doesn’t take to the breast immediately. However, please note, colostrum harvesting is not something you must do! Most babies will feed at the breast after birth without needing harvested colostrum and as I always say; a stress-free pregnancy is the best pregnancy.

Here's a brief guide to colostrum harvesting: -

Colostrum Harvesting: A Guide for New Mums

Colostrum is the first milk that your body produces after giving birth. It is packed with nutrients and antibodies that are essential for your newborn's health. Colostrum is also very small in volume, so it can be helpful to harvest it in advance if you want to have a stash on hand for your baby.

When to start harvesting colostrum

You can start harvesting colostrum as early as 16 weeks pregnant. However, most women will not be able to express colostrum until they are closer to their due date. If you are planning to harvest colostrum, it is a good idea to start practicing hand expression a few weeks before your due date.

How to harvest colostrum

There are a few different ways to harvest colostrum. You can use a breast pump, hand express, or use a colostrum collector. If you are using a breast pump, start with a low suction setting and gradually increase the suction as you become more comfortable. If you are hand expressing, use your fingers to gently massage your breasts and express the colostrum into a clean container. Colostrum collectors are small, disposable cups that you can place over your nipples to collect the colostrum.

How much colostrum should you harvest

The amount of colostrum you will be able to harvest will vary from woman to woman. However, most women will be able to express about a teaspoon of colostrum per day. If you are able to harvest more, that is great! But don't worry if you don't get a lot. Every drop is valuable.

How to store colostrum

Colostrum can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you are storing colostrum, make sure to label the container with your name, the date, and the time you expressed it.

How to feed your baby colostrum

If your baby is born prematurely or has difficulty latching, you can feed them your colostrum with a spoon or syringe. You can also express colostrum directly into your baby's mouth.

Colostrum harvesting: A valuable tool for new mums

Colostrum harvesting is a valuable tool for new mums. It can help to ensure that your baby gets the nutrients and antibodies they need in the early days of life. If you are planning to harvest colostrum, be sure to start practicing early and talk to your midwife about the best way to store and feed your baby.

Here are some additional tips for colostrum harvesting:

● Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling your breasts or colostrum.

● Use a clean, sterilized container to collect your colostrum.

● Label the container with your name, the date, and the time you expressed it.

● Store your colostrum in the refrigerator or freezer.

● Thaw your colostrum in the refrigerator overnight or under warm running water.

● Do not microwave your colostrum.

● Feed your baby your colostrum as soon as possible after thawing.

Colostrum harvesting can be a great way to give your baby a healthy start in life. With a little planning and practice, you can easily harvest colostrum and store it for later use.

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