I have started harvesting my colostrum in preparation for baby boy arriving.
My reason for doing so is down to having gestational diabetes.
Having prepared colostrum on hand to feed to baby along with his first feeds will help regulate his blood sugars.
My daughter was born with low blood sugar and taken to scbu and put on a drip. She was also given formula to help although this was something I didn’t want to happen. But as a first time mum, we took everything as gospel and trusted that’s what was best.
I’m so happy to be full of information and experience this time round for baby two!
We ended up having a brilliant breastfeeding journey though once she stopped needing the formula top ups. I did have supply issues though, so I was on medication and had lots of natural remedies that I used. I also pumped regularly to help supply and to store milk for when needed. We stopped at age two due to me needing medication that was not safe for feeding. But our feeds had already naturally cut down and monkey was ready as she could understand and talk about it a bit.
I hope I can get to at least age 2 again with baby boy and even further maybe.
Colostrum harvesting isn’t as difficult as I thought, although it’s not easy for everyone. I really didn’t expect to get much or anything the first time. My midwife gave me some sterile collection syringes and all the info.
You don’t start until 36 weeks due to the fact it can induce labour if done earlier, you should also NOT use a pump. It is all done by hand massage. The syringes are 1ml size, for my first attempt, I got 0.6ml and second I got 0.5ml! Which going from a support group is amazing for first times!
Once collected, the syringes are labelled, popped in the freezer and kept till labour. They will be taken with us to hospital when we go and defrosted as needed.
Before harvesting, you need to be relaxed, if you are stressed or anxious or busy then it’s less likely to work.
What worked for me: I waited till monkey was in bed and went for a bath. I had the lights low, lavender candles round the bath and relaxation music on. I did some relaxation first and made sure I was calm, then I started massage with a warm facecloth as I watched bump have a party! He was obviously happy kicking away so that helped with visualising holding him in my arms. I tried not to look for a while so not to be disappointed, but as soon as I saw those first droplets I felt a rush of oxytocin (the love hormone) and kept going!
So for anyone wanting or needing to try keep going. Remember a newborns tummy is tiny, so anything you can get will be a huge help! It’s not called #liquidgold for nothing!
Now let’s hope I can get a nice wee pile of syringes ready before he arrives!
If you want to read more then this is a great link from Gestational Diabetes UK