Human colostrum is a vital first food tailored to assist the newborn's transition to extrauterine life. During gestation, humans receive nutrients, immunological agents and growth factors from both the placenta and amniotic fluid. After birth, newborns must orally ingest what they need to survive. From colostrum's typically small volumes to its unique composition, colostrum nurtures and protects human infants until they are ready and able to consume larger volumes of mothers' milk.

This edition of Innovating Practice will explore three articles representative of important themes in the science of colostrum. The overall theme in this edition related to solostrum is: the few days of colostrum production are a brief, but fascinating, period of time in which mothers produce their most densely concentrated milk. Through an understanding of research and clinical evidence, health professionals can ensure that infants receive the full benefits that colostrum confers.

Read the Innovating Practice research overview and summaries now

  • Human colostrum and breast milk contain high levels of TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) - journal article

  • A pilot study to determine the safety and feasibility of oropharyngeal administration of own mother's colostrum to extremely low-birth-weight infants - journal article

  • Factors affecting the severity of necrotizing enterocolitis - journal article

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