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...an infant's human right
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. Also considered a mothers first milk, colostrum is produced from as early as during pregnancy to a few days after birth.
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.
Adoptive & Foster Parents
There are many reasons an infant may be placed in a foster system or given up for adoption. This will most likely be an adjustment for both the infant and the family, one of which will include infant nutrition. This can include breastfeeding or bottle feeding breast milk. In order to feed an adopted or fostered infant breast milk, some parents may do so through bottle feeding, induced lactation or at-breast supplementing. These methods can help to create and increase the bond between the adopted/foster mother and infant. It also passes on antigens to help build the infant’s immunity and essential nutrients for growth and development. As with all infants, the benefits of breast milk and colostrum are so vast. However those benefits may be more advantageous to adopted and fostered infants, who would have experienced some form of loss.
Colostrum and LBGTQ+ Families
The benefits of colostrum and breast milk for LGBTQ+ families vs formula are the same as all other family types. 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.
Colostrum and Marginalized Families
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:
Since in most instances breast milk is free, in situations of financial challenges, a breastfeeding mother is able to reduce costs not requiring formula.
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 preoral and parenteral vaccines than the formula-fed
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.
ELECTRICTY OR FUEL
Are consumed in the preparation of infant formula. Breastfeeding requires no packaging, and its production does not harm the environment.
Colostrum provides nutrients required for the baby’s 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.
Decreased rates of infections including UTI’s, Diabetes, ear infections and many other chronic illnesses including cancers and obesity.
Colostrum & Covid
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 recommended that mothers continue to breastfeed their infants for at least six (6) months. The health benefits for mother and child continue throughout their lifetime.
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