colostrum vs. formula

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
colostrum vs. formula
3
Tue, 05-27-2003 - 11:04pm
Colostrum, or the first milk excreted, is excreted in very small amounts, but is yellow and rich in nutrients, antibodies and protein for the newborn baby.

People always say how formula is not as good as breastmilk, and some people also say that it's still pretty far from being what breastmilk is. But if it's far from breastmilk, from mature milk...just how much further is it from colostrum? Why has no formula company come up with a formula for the first 3-5 days only, to "replicate" colostrum? They could sell it more expensively as "liquid gold", ha ha ha (TIC).

But all joking aside...a newborn has to take in approximately 2 times the amount of formula as colostrum in order to get the same amount of protein, even though the protein content in formula is a bit higher than that of mature milk. This distends the baby's stomach and makes him feel hunger more sharply, afterwards...and he needs to eat more therefore. I assume this is why babies drink more formula in general than breastmilk fed babies...their tummies are used to being distended early on.

Some figures:

"Colostrum on day 1 has 0.96 g/ounce of protein (32 g/L or 1000 ml). On day

2, it has 0.51 g/ounce, and on day 3 it has 0.36 g/ounce.

Similac has 2.07 g of protein/148 ml which comes out to 0.42 g/ounce. So on

day one, colostrum has a bit over twice the amount of protein

that formula does; 1.3 times as much on day 2, and a bit lower than formula

on day 3."

Just wondering whether others have thought of this, and how formula, even if it WERE somewhat close to human milk...is still even further from colostrum...?

Fio.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 7:49am
Yep, colostrum is very important. I don't think anyone here would disagree with that...I expressed my colostrum and dripped it in my DD's mouth, so she would get some.

It might be helpful for some new moms (who want to FF, but don't have a medical reason not to BF) to know that they can give their babies the rich colostrum for a few days, then FF- it's not all or nothing. They can even pump or express if they are uncomfortable with the idea of bringing the baby to the breast.


-Erin

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 10:38am
I think this is already happening - to some extent. An article I read yesterday (Washington Post, May 27, 2003 - about extended breast feeding) said that 70% of women leaving the hospital were breastfeeding. If that is the case, than most babies are getting the colostrum. More education on this may of course help increase that rate. If you tell women who plan on ff to breast feed for the first week, who knows, maybe a few will continue past that.

Janet

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-28-2003 - 11:43pm
I agree some babies are at least getting colostrum at a minimum...though some of the 70% who start out bfing aren't actually getting any milk transfer going on and the babies will be readmitted for: dehydration, low weight gain, jaundice (etc.). Therefore, some of that 70% won't actually get colostrum. :-( We still need more *help* for bfing moms...

Fio.