Human Colostrum: New Discoveries and Best Practices

Recorded Live Webinar

  • Description
  • Credit Hours
  • Outline



National perinatal initiatives are driving practice changes to ensure mothers are supported to exclusively breastfeed after delivery and throughout the hospital stay. In addition, The Joint Commission standards and American Academy of Pediatrics stipulate mothers who are unable to breastfeed should be assisted to express milk as soon as possible for their sick or preterm infants. Why have perinatal breastfeeding standards changed so emphatically in the last few years?

The human breast produces colostrum for just a brief period of time after birth, yet colostrum is vitally important in assisting the newborn’s transition from intrauterine to extrauterine life. In this presentation we will explore research related specific components in colostrum, how they facilitate immune system development and promote balanced cellular growth. We will also discuss new research that suggests colostrum feedings might potentially reduce the risk of NEC in preterm babies. Lastly, we will explore clinical practices that ensure all babies receive colostrum during their first days of life.

1 Hour 0 Minutes
Course ID

Credit Hours

  • Nursing - 1.0 Contact Hours


Discussion Topics

  • Role of colostrum in human adaptation to extrauterine life
  • Overview of components in high concentration in colostrum
  • Role of cytokines, including TRAIL, in the human body and in colostrum
  • Development of mucosa-associated lymphatic immune systems and colostrum
  • Value of colostrum administration in the NICU
  • The Joint Commission Perinatal Core Measures – insuring colostrum delivery for breastfeeding infants

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify specific components of human colostrum that promote immune protection and balanced cellular growth in infants.
  2. Discuss the role of cytokines in development of human mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue.
  3. Evaluate potential advantages of colostrum administration and feedings to infants who are being tube fed in the NICU.
  4. Discuss the Joint Commission’s Perinatal Core Measures in terms of promoting exclusive breastfeeding and early colostrum feeds.


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