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...a human right for ALL Infants
Colostrum is considered the “Newborn Superfood” because of its nutritional value towards newborns. Colostrum is a thicker milk, which can present yellow in color, produced by the mammary glands for nourishing a newborn infant. Also considered a mothers first milk, colostrum is produced from as early as during pregnancy to a few days after birth.
Colostrum for Neonatal Infants
Since neonatal infants will require higher levels of minerals to assist with growth and development, formula may not be able to provide all the requirements for them. Unlike breast milk, formula is generally made nonspecific, whereas a mothers breast milk will adjust to provide the required nutrients to assist with the baby’s needs. The breast milk of mothers who birth premature infants is composed of higher levels of protein, fat, sodium and free amino acids, for the first few weeks, to assist with the infant’s development.
Colostrum for LGBTQ Families
When concerned about discrimination in health care settings, patients frequently do not self-disclose their LGBTQ+ identities. Transgender patients, in particular, have a history of experiencing discrimination and even violence in health care settings. LGBTQ community have families and infants, their infants have a right to human breast milk.
Although there are some barriers to breastfeeding which may be experienced by some mothers and caregivers from effectively providing breast milk to their infant, there are crucial benefits for marginalized families. Some of these include:
Food Costs: Since in most instances breast milk is free, in situations of financial challenges, a breastfeeding mother is able to reduce costs not requiring formula.
Reduces waste: does not waste resources nor contributes to pollution
Optimum child spacing: breastfeeding full time can help to prevent pregnancy
Improved Vaccine Effectiveness: breastfed infants showed a better serum and secretory responses to peroral and parenteral vaccines than the formula-fed
Medical Costs: Breast-fed babies are less likely to need excessive medical attention as they grow.
Reduced absenteeism in the workplace due to children's illnesses. Breastfeeding reduces the number of sick days that families must use to care for their sick children.
Electricity or fuel are consumed in the preparation of infant formula. Breastfeeding requires no packaging, and its production does not harm the environment.
Development: Colostrum provides nutrients required for the baby’s development.
Immunity Development: It nourishes a newborn baby to assist with building their immune system. Colostrum contains antibodies, white blood cells, probiotics, and many other necessary nutrients which are beneficial to growth.
Infections: Decreased rates of infections including UTI’s, Diabetes, ear infections and many other chronic illnesses including cancers and obesity.
While the COVID-19 virus is still relatively new, studies have found antibodies which target the virus to be present in human milk. This does not mean that a breastfed baby will be protected from the virus, however they may be less likely to experience severe respiratory symptoms if they do become infected with COVID-19.
According to the vast amount of science-based research conducted by Center for Disease Control, U.S. Surgeon General, and American Academy of Pediatrics, it is definitely recommended that mothers continue to breastfeed their infants for at least six (6) months, however this does not mean the health benefits and nutrients do not continue beyond then.
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