Can colostrum go in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we will be answering the question, “can colostrum go in the fridge?” We will discuss the composition of the colostrum. We will also discover the health benefits of colostrum. We will also get to know the proper ways to store colostrum. 

Can colostrum go in the fridge?

Yes, you can store colostrum in the fridge. The nutrient composition of colostrum changes after 24 hours so if you have pumped colostrum you need to keep it in the refrigerator at 4°C. CDC gives general guidelines on storing breast milk. 

According to CDC guidelines, colostrum or breast milk can be stored at 4°C for up to 4 days. It can be stored at -18°C or below for up to 6 months.

What is colostrum?

After giving birth, the mammary glands release the initial form of breastmilk, called colostrum. Colostrum is rich in antibodies and antioxidants, and its main purpose is to improve the immune system of the newly born child. The colostrum is changed into breast milk within 2 to 4 days after birth.

Colostrum is a thicker, more yellowed version of breast milk. Colostrum is a high-protein, low-fat, low-sugar food. It’s full of white blood cells, which make antibodies. These antibodies help your baby’s immune system to stay strong and protect him or her from infection. 

Even in little doses, colostrum is highly concentrated and nutrient-dense, so your baby’s belly won’t require much to get the benefits.

What is the nutritional value of colostrum?

  • Colostrum is rich in nutrients. Colostrum is a rich source of several developmental factors which plays an important role in the early developmental stages of your newborn.
     
  • Good amounts of water and fat-soluble vitamins are present in the colostrum i.e vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin B12. Low levels of lactose are also present in the colostrum.
  • A study was done to compare the nutrients in normal breast milk and colostrum, and it concluded that colostrum has higher levels of magnesium, sodium, and chloride as compared to breast milk. Colostrum from late pregnancy had higher protein contents and lower metabolite concentrations than milk from established lactation.
  • When compared to maternal serum, colostrum appears to be higher in vitamins A, C, and K, which could indicate vigorous mammary gland uptake.

What are the health benefits of colostrum?

  • Colostrum has everything your kid needs in the first few days, and it’s especially high in sugar which can help keep blood sugar levels in check.
  • Colostrum acts as a gentle laxative and aids in the colonisation of your baby’s gastrointestinal system with beneficial bacteria.
  • The protein content of colostrum is twice as compared to breast milk.
  • Colostrum has four times the zinc of milk which helps to build the immune system of a newborn child.
  • Colostrum has a decreased fat and sugar content, making it easier to digest.
  • It helps in coating the intestines, which helps to make the gut healthier. This helps to prevent the ingestion of dangerous germs.
  • Provides the best nutrients for a newborn. Colostrum is the only way of getting nutrients for the newborn.
  • Has a laxative effect, which aids in the elimination of meconium (your baby’s first stool) and reduces the risk of jaundice. It is very important for the child’s health that he passes his first stool in time.
  • In full-term babies, it helps to prevent low blood sugar. This is a major concern in the newborn child as a child can get hypoglycemic easily because he is dependent on the mother’s feed.

How to store colostrum?

CDC  gives the following guidelines to store the colostrum.

  • Specific bags and clean air-tight boxes are used to store the colostrum. Just make sure that your containers are tightly air sealed.
  • Do not use plastic bottles that contain BPA in them, as it is harmful plastic.
  • We have the following steps to preserve and ensure the safety of the colostrum.
  • You can refrigerate your colostrum at 4 degree centigrade for 4 days. Keeping it for more than this period will spoil the nutritional value of colostrum.
  • If you want to keep it for a longer duration it is suggested to keep the colostrum in the freezer and here it can be kept for upto six months.
  • It is not safe to keep colostrum in the door of the refrigerator because the temperature is higher in this area and it will spoil the colostrum. 

Conclusion 

In this brief guide, we answered the question, “can colostrum go in the fridge?” We discussed the composition of the colostrum. We also discovered the health benefits of colostrum. We also get to know the proper ways to store colostrum. 

References 

https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/handling_breastmilk.htm
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7236122/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024806/#:~:text=Colostrum%20is%20rich%20in%20developmental,and%20 low%20 levels%20of%20lactose