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The first milk secreted by the mammary gland during the first days following parturition.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in mammals and man, a secretion of the mam-mary glands present for a few days before and after parturition.

Colostrum is a thick, viscous, yellowish fluid with a brackish taste and characteristic odor. It differs from milk in its greater acidity, its higher content of dry matter (especially proteins— mainly albumins and globulins—and fats, minerals, and vitamins), and its lower content of sugar. In kind and combination of nutrients, colostrum is an indispensable food for newborns. It contains a large quantity of immune bodies and antitoxins, which protect the infant from the effects of pathogenic bacteria. In addition, it is a laxative and stimulates the normal activity of the digestive tract. In general, it helps the newborn adapt to extrauterine existence. Animal colostrum is not suitable for industrial processing; it clots quickly upon pasteurization and imparts an unpleasant flavor and poor storage potential to food products containing it. Human colostrum approaches the composition of normal milk by the third day or the end of the first week after labor; animal colostrum, after seven to ten days.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The important point is that infants who were breast-fed by their mothers from birth had a much better chance of survival, because of their enhanced ability to fight infections, than the babies who were 'wet nursed' while the mother had the beestings, or those infants who were fed alternative foods from non-sterile containers.
Bridgette was doing cartwheels on the lawn and she got beestings on her hands and feet.
Even a marvelously archaic word like "beestings" or "biestings," denoting the colostrum or first milk of a newly-calved cow, is transformed by intentional malapropism into the absurd yet evocative "beastlings." What Muldoon had called "the use and abuse of the English language in Ireland" becomes a lesson to us all in the multiple-leveled workings of language and image creation.