For the first few days after birth, your breasts secrete colostrum. This sticky, thick, densely packed fluid has been produced in the breasts since the latter part of your pregnancy. This amazing milk has the colour and consistency of condensed milk. It is rich in proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. As your baby is born into a world of microbes,colostrum is in fact your baby’s first immunisation against harmful bacteria. Colostrum is produced in very small amounts for the first four days and then replaced with a lighter thinner liquid (breastmilk.) A newborn baby has a very small stomach, which can only take small amounts. Five millilitres of colostrum is equal to 30 millilitres of mature human milk. Colostrum is the only food healthy, full-term babies need. It’s easy to digest and rich in disease fighting antibodies. It has nearly three times the amount of protein as mature human milk. The main function of colostrum seems to be to protect the newborn against infection, but it also supplies many nutrients. It is low in volume but high in concentrated nutrition for your newborn. Colostrum also has a laxative effect on the baby, helping him pass his early stools, which aids in the excretion of excess bilirubin and helps prevent jaundice. Colostrum contains high concentrations of leukocytes, which are protective white cells that destroy disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Colostrum also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Even if you have decided not to breastfeed, perhaps consider breastfeeding your baby for the first four days of his life so that he can benefit from the properties in colostrum. It is worth more than gold.