When you hear of breastfeeding success stories, it often centres on a Mummy’s oversupply of milk. Photos of overflowing bottles and full freezer of expressed milk on Instagram can be overwhelming for a first time mother, wondering, “How do I go from zero to that?”
While it’s certainly a marvellous thing to have more than enough for your baby, we’d like to help Mums focus on breastfeeding one step at a time from Day 1. And that means setting up yourself up for success from the get-go, which begins with your “first milk” or colostrum.
Colostrum is a thick, rich yellowish substance that is secreted from the mammary glands after the baby is born or sometimes even in late pregnancy. This dense, slightly oily milk is nutrient-filled; mostly with carbohydrates. Newborn babies have a very tiny digestive system (about the size of a marble), even more so for premies. It’s essential that your baby gets to ingest colostrum in the first few days after birth as there are many benefits to it.
Apart from giving the best form of nutrition to baby, colostrum also aids in many issues concerning newborn babies, such as acting as a laxative to help with passing of their first stool (meconium) and getting rid of toxins from the body to prevent jaundice.
Colostrum is high in antibodies and white blood cells to build strong immunity and creates a tough coating to line baby’s stomach and intestines, preventing disease-causing germs to build up. All in all, it’s baby’s perfect first food. Studies show that infants, especially preterm ones, who manage to effectively ingest colostrum end up with significantly better health outcomes than those who don’t.
While colostrum can actually be harvested in the third trimester of pregnancy, we believe that stimulation of the nipples will induce early contractions and premature births. This is a highly dangerous practice and don't encourage it. But we while we are here to only offer advice, we cannot dictate what you can or cannot do, as mums know their bodies best. We would always recommend to consult with your gynaecologist before trying anything.
The colostrum collector
To make colostrum extraction less daunting for the newly-minted mother, Hegen has added a tiny 2oz bottle to its collection, Hegen PCTO™ 60ml/2oz Feeding Bottle PPSU, for Mummy to express out and directly feed her newborn in the event she’s unable to latch.
Typically in the first few days of childbirth, a first-time mother may only be able to express out 20ml of milk. With all that is going on to her physically and emotionally, the last thing she needs is more pressure and anxiety to fill up a large milk bottle with her breastmilk.
Having Hegen’s cute little two-ouncer, affectionately known as the Colostrum Collector, is a reminder that her infant really only needs up to 60ml in the first week. Something as diminutive as this is also easier to fill, allowing Mummy to feel more confident about her breastfeeding abilities!
As a sustainable brand, Hegen always ensures that its drinking bottles can be reused for a different purpose as your child’s feeding habits evolve. With just the swap of a lid, Hegen PCTO™ 60ml/2oz Feeding Bottle PPSU can be repurposed into feeding or storage cup for baby’s first solids. These food portioners, ideal for first foods and snacks, will look cute in a group when fastened together with the storage lids’ connecting buttons. Further down the road, Mummy can go on to use these containers to store all sorts of condiments in the kitchen!
Handling babies with feeding challenges
As an all-inclusive brand, Hegen recognises that not all babies are made equal, and that some may find our Slow Flow teats too fast. That is why Hegen has recently introduced the Extra Slow Flow teat to its family, designed primarily for premature or low birth weight babies who are still learning to coordinate suckling and swallowing. This teat also extend to babies with feeding challenges or may require a slower feeding rhythm.
Having a slower flow teat, which mimics the natural flow of breastfeeding, would prevent your newborn from preferring a faster (and thus easier) milk supply from a bottle.
We stand firm that breast is always best, but for those who may not be able to direct latch for various reasons, these tools are the perfect alternative to help support you to continue feeding your breastmilk exclusively.
With ample preparation and the right tools at hand, there will be increased chances of success in your breastfeeding journey from Day 1.