In the first hour after birth I often hear new mummies say, when asked about putting their baby to the breast for their first feed, that there is no milk there.
In fact, it truly is there and is ‘on tap’ as the perfect first food for your baby. Their little tummy only holds about a teaspoon full at a time, so feeds are often frequent initially. The first milk from the breasts, colostrum, ‘primes’ the gut, protecting it from harmful pathogens passing through into the baby’s system. It contains stem cells and many protective factors, such as antibodies and viral fragments.
The more your baby sucks, the more milk you produce, hence supply=demand – a perfect balance as your baby grows.
Breast milk provides numerous short, medium and long term health benefits for mum and baby. Every drop counts and makes a difference, whether you manage just a feed or two, or continue exclusively breastfeeding until your baby is six months old, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.