Can I Pump Colostrum If My Baby Is Having Trouble Nursing?

Woman breastfeeding while sitting down on couch and on a laptop

I’m a mom-to-be and this will be my first time breastfeeding. What if my baby has trouble nursing in the beginning, can I pump my colostrum so my baby doesn’t miss any important nutrients?

If your baby is nursing well after delivery, then there will be no need to pump colostrum in the early days. If your baby was born early or not nursing well for other reasons, then it may be necessary for you to pump your colostrum so baby can still reap its nutritional benefits. Packed with protein, antibodies, and vitamin a, colostrum is the perfect first food for your baby. It’s also low in fat and will be thicker than regular breast milk when you pump—so don’t worry; it’s supposed to carry a yellowish hue! That’s how colostrum got the nickname “liquid gold” and it lives up to its title.

The most effective way to pump colostrum is hands-on pumping, which is a combination of using a hand massage and an electric breast pump. Because colostrum is thicker than your typical breast milk, pumping might take more effort to express fully. But don’t be discouraged, each time you pump in the first few days you will see a little more colostrum!

Have another breastfeeding question? Let us know in the comments and we’ll bring you the answers you need!


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