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Colostrum – A New Mom’s Liquid Gold

You haven’t given birth yet but can feel your breasts leaking, so what’s going on? Don’t worry, it is completely normal and just means your body is getting ready to feed your baby. As your body’s hormones work to regulate milk production, you may find drops of colostrum in your bra, most commonly in the final weeks of pregnancy.

What is Colostrum?

Colostrum is the first milk your baby gets when you start breastfeeding, a high-protein, antibody-rich liquid that your body produces. It’s the first stage of breast milk production that begins during pregnancy and lasts for several days after the birth of your baby. It’s commonly called “foremilk” because it comes in before mature breast milk, or “liquid gold” because it’s the perfect first food for your baby. 


  • High in protein and lower in fat and sugar, making it easier to digest and full of nutrition.
  • Full of antibodies and immune properties.
  • A natural laxative, helping your baby move their bowels and get rid of the meconium (the tar-like poop that collects in the bowels before your baby is born).

What Does it Look Like?

Colostrum doesn’t look like what matured breast milk does. You can expect it to be a clear, creamy white, yellow, or even orange liquid. Most times it’s thick, though it can be thin, and sticky. As more mature breast milk comes in, typically around the third or fourth day after giving birth, it appears creamier looking and white or blueish white in color.

Don’t worry if the volume of colostrum seems small. Your body produces exactly what your baby needs. A newborn’s stomach is quite small, so several spoons of colostrum per day is plenty.

When Does Colostrum Come In?

While it’s different for every woman, colostrum can appear as early as the second trimester. If you do experience leakage long before your due date, don’t worry. This leakage is not a sign of premature labor, nor does it mean you won’t have any left when your baby arrives.

How Much Colostrum Does My Baby Need?

Generally, newborns need to eat about 8 to 10 times per day. Their little stomachs can only hold about a teaspoon of colostrum or milk at each feeding. Don’t worry about over-feeding at this stage, your body won’t produce much colostrum each day. If you and baby are healthy and breastfeeding is going well for both, you’re in great shape.

Our OB/GYNs are Here for You and Your Baby

At Cherokee Women’s Health, we dedicate ourselves to providing optimal care to moms and their babies. Call to schedule an appointment with one of our exceptional board-certified OB/GYNs or certified nurse midwives or simply request an appointment online.