Blush: Lactation pre-birth

Any lactation that starts before the birth of the child is made up of colostrum, the nutrient-rich, high antibody early milk.

I noticed that I’ve been producing it for a while now, but I’m not sure when it started, as mine doesn’t really interfere with daily living. My nursing pads aren’t even wet.

I talked with another person who had nursed their first-born for 3 months, and he said that he had also started lactating early while pregnant with his second.

It is nice to know that it’s normal, although I was fairly certain that it was, especially given that I had nursed my toddler until Christmas (end of first trimester).

Anyways, I thought I’d take a look into the actual facts about lactating before giving birth and see what the professionals say.

I am very glad that I did.

Apparently, it is recommended that people who have gestational diabetes (GDM) express some of this early milk and freeze it in anticipation of the baby’s birth, because the baby will have a drop in blood sugar after birth (hypoglycemia) and the extra colostrum will help regulate the blood sugar levels much faster.

Umm…okay… I didn’t know that! Good thing I received some milk storage bags from Baby Box University. And I guess I know what I’m doing sooner rather than later. (I’m 37 weeks and 5 days as of the writing of this post.)

This is the pump that I have. I loved it with Dragon – hopefully I’ll still love it for Pegasus! Image from walmart.ca.

The other option, of course, is formula feeding.

But if I’m already producing a slight amount of colostrum, I’m definitely going to try to collect it!

And hey, if the only danger in doing so is inducing labour, at my stage of pregnancy, I’m REALLY not going to complain.

Please note: there are other risk factors in expressing milk early, including to people who are supposed to receive a caesarean, if there is excess weight gain, if the baby is too small, or if there is too much fluid in the womb. Expressing milk might also reduce blood flow to the womb.

If you are considering expressing milk pre-delivery, please talk to your healthcare professional before doing so.

If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

References

theconversation.com
nhs.uk

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