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Colostrum

Colostrum is a sticky, thick, yellowish liquid produced by a woman's breasts toward the end of pregnancy and during the first few days after delivery of her baby. Colostrum contains protein, minerals, and vitamins as well as valuable antibodies, which help protect the baby against disease.

Women who breast-feed transfer these important nutrients to their newborns. Colostrum is particularly suited to a newborn's needs and provides the ideal nutrition. Its yellow tint comes from higher levels of carotene, a form of vitamin A. Colostrum also may act as a laxative to help the infant pass the first few bowel movements, which are a dark green substance called meconium.

After a few days, a woman's breasts start supplying the baby with transitional milk as breast-feeding becomes established, followed by mature milk at about 10 to 15 days after delivery.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Current as of April 12, 2013

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 12, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.