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Colostrum Harvesting

(30 Posts)
Ksmalls Tue 14-Jan-20 09:52:06

Hi ladies,

I am 37 weeks pregnant and have been harvesting colostrum daily for just over a week. As expected the first day was a tiny amount but now I am managing up to 6ml per session. As I don’t have a huge supply of syringes with caps I’ve started to hand express once every other day.
I just wanted to ask anyone who might know... should I continue like this until due date and keep storing and freezing or is there a point when to stop or could be too much?
Thanks in advance smile

OP’s posts: |
BorissGiantJohnson Tue 14-Jan-20 09:57:51

Just keep going. I did this too. Never got more than 3ml a session though, well done!

Ksmalls Tue 14-Jan-20 10:07:12

Ok great ! Thanks so much BGJ smile

OP’s posts: |
avocadoincident Tue 14-Jan-20 10:11:13

Can I ask what you do with it when you defrost it?

Horehound Tue 14-Jan-20 10:23:08

I'm not sure what the point is? You're baby would get it by breastfeeding?

MrBobLobLaw Tue 14-Jan-20 10:29:41

Sounds like you're doing a great job OP. You probably have enough now though. I froze lots when pregnant with DS1, took some to the hospital in case I couldn't bf straight away. The rest I planned to use if DS got poorly. In reality it only lasts 6mos frozen and I probably only defrosted and fed DS about 3 or 4 syringes in that time.

AfterSchoolWorry Tue 14-Jan-20 10:56:22

Horehound

I don't get it either. The point of colostrum is to set the microbiome of the baby. Freezing is surely going to kill any live good bacteria?

Fresh and natural has to be better than frozen.

AfterSchoolWorry Tue 14-Jan-20 10:56:52

*seed the microbiome of the baby..

Thistledew Tue 14-Jan-20 11:08:11

I found it useful with DS1 - we had problems with him latching and feeding for the first 3 days as he was very sleepy and it was very useful to be able to give him a syringe full a few times to keep him going.

Horehound Tue 14-Jan-20 11:12:43

Yes I agree @AfterSchoolWorry
The whole thing is a natural process designed for the baby to access. It seems strange to express it before the baby arrives confused

Horehound Tue 14-Jan-20 11:13:28

@Thistledew oh the same happened to me. But I expressed onto a teaspoon and he picked it up. Fresh from the boob. No need for reserves

Besidesthepoint Tue 14-Jan-20 11:16:45

I'm not sure what the point is? You're baby would get it by breastfeeding?

Not always. If for instance a type 1 diabetic has a baby, most hospitals will feed the baby formula the first time, regardless of any breadtfeeding plans. By having harvested colostrum beforehand you can make sure that they feed the baby colostrum.

FoxtrotSkarloey Tue 14-Jan-20 11:21:37

Definitely keep going. I ended up with a c section and DS wouldn't latch, so having the colostrum for him was amazing.

PPopsicle Tue 14-Jan-20 11:25:48

@Horehound

It works for people like me, who never got any milk/colostrum for 4 weeks after I had my baby!

Next time around I will definitely harvest whilst pregnant

DesLynamsMoustache Tue 14-Jan-20 11:29:19

That's an amazing amount! I did some but wished I'd done more as DD wouldn't latch and we had to cup feed. Having a bigger supply at home would have taken some pressure off. The midwives in the hospital were delighted I'd been doing it as it I had a good supply to express from Day 1.

DesLynamsMoustache Tue 14-Jan-20 11:31:19

This has good information, including the benefits.

https://www.uhs.nhs.uk/Media/Controlleddocuments/Patientinformation/Pregnancyandbirth/Harvesting-colostrum-for-your-baby-maternity-information.pdf

DesLynamsMoustache Tue 14-Jan-20 11:36:02

Also to PP, you do realise not every baby latches on and feeds perfectly from birth, right? hmm Of course you breastfeed and hopefully it works out that baby is getting enough. But fairly often baby can't latch, doesn't feed efficiently, drops weight very heavily, is jaundiced and too sleepy to feed well, so they require top-ups. My DD physically could not feed from the breast so we had to syringe and then cup feed.

If you already have a supply of colostrum then you aren't under as much pressure when trying to pump in those early days or don't have to top-up with formula.

Pinkflipflop85 Tue 14-Jan-20 11:42:38

If you have more syringes then keep expressing and storing it. I took mine to hospital in an insulated cool bag.

I was so glad that I managed to harvest plenty of colostrum. I had an emergency c section and my dd was extremely unwell so went to scbu immediately whilst I was sent to HDU. I didn't see her for a long time but the nurses were able to give her colostrum thanks to all that I had harvested. It also meant that I was able to express more quite easily in the HDU because I was so used to doing it.

Pinkflipflop85 Tue 14-Jan-20 11:43:50

Ignore the comments from ignorant posters.

Ksmalls Tue 14-Jan-20 11:46:50

Thank you for all the comments. I agree the topic can have a mix of opinion. I went to a feeding workshop because I'm a first time mum and this was suggested to me as a good idea incase of complications with feeding immediately after birth. I decided that having some with me incase of such a situation would only be a positive.

Since I have already gathered enough to last the first days I'm just wondering weather to carry on to keep my body in the same routine and perhaps make breastfeeding a bit more natural. My concern was, if I stopped now would it be counter productive for my body. My concern wasn't really about collecting lots and lots of colostrum.

Thanks for the ladies who have given positive feedback smile

OP’s posts: |
PPopsicle Tue 14-Jan-20 11:52:07

Maybe speak to midwife or contact La Leche?
I’m in the rarity where my milk didn’t come in for a month, so it would’ve been great to have a huge supply as back up

INeedNewShoes Tue 14-Jan-20 11:55:18

I think you may as well keep it up just to keep things ticking over.

How I wish I'd done this! My milk was slow to come in and DD was sleepy. If I'd had enough colostrum to give her we could have avoided the formula top-ups I felt forced into giving her by the midwives.

Ratbagratty Tue 14-Jan-20 11:59:14

Keep going smile if you don't use it all straight after birth you may like to give some later (of still viable) to give yourself a rest. If you are running out of syringes, ring go and or midwife and find out if you can get more.

I tried expressing before mine but never got anything confused

Ksmalls Tue 14-Jan-20 14:28:31

I'm So thankful for your comments. It's assured me to keep going as there is no real right or wrong and if it gets my body used to handling my boobies then it's just good practice I guess ;)

OP’s posts: |
Brysonette Tue 14-Jan-20 14:42:20

I did this and it was great. I got about 5ml a day. We had latch issues at the beginning and it really reduced my stress levels knowing ds was still getting some food. He also lost very little weight and was back to his birth weight at 5 days old by which point he was breastfeeding feeding fine.

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