Colostrum, a gold-colored liquid produced by all mammals—including humans—comes out of the breasts just before and after a baby is born, prior to being replaced with regular breast milk.

"Colostrum is the perfect first food for babies," explained Sheila Janakos, a lactation consultant for Healthy Horizons, "Only 1 or 2 teaspoons [are] needed to benefit a newborn."

"It is a newborn's first protection from illnesses and allergies," Janakos continued. "It is concentrated and made up of the perfect amount of proteins, milk sugars, fats, nutrients and vitamins that are needed to help the baby's vital organs grow and to prevent low blood sugar."

Why is colostrum so important?

One of the most important benefits of colostrum is the high concentration of antibodies and white blood cells that are packed into it, which supplement a baby's immune system. The womb is a sterile environment, and when a baby is born, they are exposed to new germs and bacteria they haven't come in contact with before. Colostrum provides babies with what their bodies need to adjust to the outside world.