There are major hormonal changes during pregnancy. It implies significant physical changes to the female body.
Are you a new mum and are wondering, Is It Bad To Squeeze Your Breast During Pregnancy?
You might have seen yellow, thick, and sticky downpour from your breast; that’s colostrum.
It is a milk-like fluid that one produces (and all mammals, by the way) before making real breast milk.
Think of it as the first stage of the production of milk. It usually starts when one is pregnant and can continue some days after you deliver.
Keep in mind that it is different from breast milk. Colostrum is thicker, with more proteins, immunoglobulins, vitamins, and minerals.
When colostrum starts, many new mothers never know what to do. The first question is whether they can squeeze it.
We are here to answer all your questions on colostrum.
What Is Colostrum?
In a nutshell, colostrum is the precursor to breast milk.
You’ll know what colostrum is since it is yellow, thick, and sticky.
While the amount of colostrum you produce may vary, it does not signify how much breast milk your body will produce after you give birth.
But if you are producing too much, you may need to use nursing pads to control the leakage.
You can also extract colostrum to feed your baby once he is born.
1. What Does Colostrum Contain?
So what does colostrum contain? Your body produces colostrum in minimal amounts.
However, it’s very nutritious for the baby. In fact, it’s referred to as liquid gold because of its bright color and abundant nutrients.
It contains vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin K. It’s also filled with good cholesterol, sugar, and minerals like calcium and zinc.
Most importantly, it has a high presence of antibodies that help in building the immune system. It also contains non-nutrient factors like hormones.
2. When Does Colostrum Come?
For some women, colostrum starts being produced in the breast during the second trimester.
But this is not always the case. There are some women who do not produce colostrum until the baby comes.
And some women even never produce colostrum at all.
3. Consequences Of Denying Your Child Colostrum
Have you thought of what could happen to your baby if you did not breastfeed them after delivery or after the first year of their life?
As seen above, colostrum is packed with nutrients and antibodies that give your baby a better immune system.
They will get more health benefits than they would with formula milk.
Without it, your baby is at risk of contracting jaundice, dehydration, excessive weight loss, and low blood sugar.
Also, if you substitute colostrum with formula milk, your child is at risk of getting obesity and diabetes.
What Are The Benefits Of Colostrum To Your Baby?
What Are The Benefits Of Colostrum To Your Baby?
As your baby grows bigger and stronger every day, he will need help from your breastmilk.
If you decide to breastfeed your baby, he will likely consume an average of one teaspoon of colostrum per day.
And this quantity is enough to fuel his little body to hit his developmental milestones.
Here are the benefits of colostrum to your baby:
1. Longer, Fuller Sleep
Your baby will need little amounts of colostrum, making them full and sleep longer. With adequate sleep, the baby grows healthier both physically and mentally.
2. Provides Vitamin A
Vitamin A maintains healthy eyesight and organs.
3. Reduces Risk Of Jaundice
Keeping organs healthy like the liver prevents your baby’s from the risk of jaundice which is the yellowing of the skin.
4. Strengthens Immune System
The presence of antibodies in the colostrum helps build a strong immune system, so you are sure you won’t be frequent at the doctor’s office.
5. High Protein
Colostrum is very high in protein content despite its small amount. This helps in tissue building and repair.
6. Natural Laxative
Colostrum is also an excellent laxative. As such, it ensures your baby’s digestive tract works well, reducing constipation.
Is It Bad To Squeeze Your Breast During Pregnancy?
It’s a bit confusing, especially for new mothers, because it’s different from regular milk.
Once you get to your second trimester, your body initiates the production of breast milk for your baby. And sometimes, it begins discharging from the nipples.
Most moms will tend to express the milk because it might be wetting their clothes, but using breast pads could come in handy in this situation.
1. How To Expel Colostrum Safely?
But what would it be like expressing colostrum before delivery? First, it’s important to be cautious.
Why? Because if your due dates are close, you might end up initiating labor. You certainly don’t want this without negotiating with your health professional.
Also, if you have to express after delivery, ensure your hands are clean.
Then, store the expressed colostrum in a tight and dry container. Finally, ensure that you keep the milk in favorable conditions.
You can feed your baby this nutritious substance with a syringe. It’s equally efficient when you choose to use a breast pump.
Wondering, Does Breast Milk Stain Clothes? Read more about it here.
2. Feed Your Baby Right Away
If you decide to exclusively breastfeed your newborn baby, you should do it within the six hours after birth.
Remember that breastfeeding is a learning process. You have to be patient, especially if you are doing it for the first time.
Keep in mind that it is also your child’s first time breastfeeding and he is learning from the experience as well.
If you were able to collect colostrum before giving birth, you can feed it to your baby using a syringe.
Otherwise, you can let your baby latch directly to your breast to stimulate milk to flow.
There is no simple answer to is it bad to squeeze out colostrum. Sometimes, yes, you can squeeze colostrum.
If you have not delivered or cannot breastfeed during the first few days after delivery, you can try squeezing it in small amounts.
However, squeezing could induce labor if you are close to your delivery date. We recommend talking to your doctor if you are not sure of what to do.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. When can you squeeze out breast milk while pregnant?
If you decide to exclusively breastfeed your baby, you can start squeezing out breast milk while you’re still pregnant.
You can generally do this around 35-36 weeks of pregnancy.
But you have to be careful since this can induce labor.
2. Can I breastfeed my husband during pregnancy?
There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding your partner or husband while you are pregnancy.
While you certainly can breastfeed your spouse, you have to be careful since this can induce labor.
3. Is it bad to squeeze breast?
Studies have shown that squeezing breasts can actually prevent cancer.
Research has discovered that this force from squeezing breasts can actually hinder the rapid growth of cancer cells.
It also guides them to return to a normal, healthy growth pattern.
Nazeli Gevorgyan studied at Yerevan State Medical University and is an Obstetrics/Gynecology resident