When you are pregnant did you know that the fetus can taste his mother’s food intake? At around 12 weeks gestation, the fetus has taste buds that resemble adults, can distinguish tastes in the amniotic fluid and ultrasound pictures have even shown the fetus to actually lick the sides of the uterus! Scientists believe that tastes in the amniotic fluid is a bridge towards tastes in the breastmilk.
If a woman eats a healthy and a varied diet when pregnant, that is already a good start to that baby’s life. If possible, (and most of the time it physically is) a woman/couple should consider breastfeeding. If, for personal reasons breastfeeding is not an option, I always encourage women to consider just giving the colostrum for the first couple days after childbirth. The colostrum is already present in the breast at childbirth and contains the most important nutrients for the baby immediately following birth. It contains antibodies (disease fighting cells) from the mother, and the perfect mix of nutrients to help the newborn start gaining weight and passing the meconium, which are the black tarry stools already present in the newborn’s intestine. By providing colostrum, even if breastfeeding further on is not an option, you have given your baby a great start in life!