During your pregnancy, your breasts will start to produce colostrum (the exact timing varies from person to person). You can collect and freeze this milk during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. This is also known as ‘colostrum harvesting’.
Collecting your colostrum will be especially beneficial for your baby if they are likely to have difficulties with feeding or maintaining their blood sugar levels during the first few days after birth.
This may be because your baby:
- is large or small for their gestational age
- is a twin or triplet
- has a cleft lip or palate
- has Down’s syndrome or a heart complication
- are taking beta blockers to control high blood pressure
- have developed pre-eclampsia during pregnancy
- are diabetic or have developed diabetes during pregnancy
- have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- have breast hypoplasia (a condition in which the breast doesn’t fully develop) or you have had breast surgery
- have a raised body mass index (BMI)
- plan to give birth by Caesarean section
Colostrum collection can also be beneficial for your baby if you:
If your baby needs extra feeds, you will be able to use your colostrum instead of formula milk if you have collected sufficient quantity in advance.