If you notice that your breast milk appears unusual in color and consistency don’t panic, more than likely it is perfectly normal. Most of us, prior to our breastfeeding journeys, envisioned our breast milk to be a smooth, milky white color with a perfect consistency. In reality, this is not the case!
Your breast milk is continually changing in its nutritional composition as it meets the changing needs of your growing baby. The first milk you produce is called Colostrum. Colostrum has a sticky consistency varying in color from clear to deep golden yellow. This powerhouse packed with fat-soluble vitamins and minerals protects your baby against any infection you have ever been exposed to. It also prepares your baby’s digestive system.
Generally, at the begging of a feed or pumping session your breast milk will be clear or have a bluish tint. This is called foremilk. This milk is lower in fat and higher in sugar than the milk you produce after the let down. As the feeding or pumping continues you may notice the milk appears creamier as the fat content increases. This is called hindmilk. Mature milk is a mixture of both the foremilk and the hindmilk.
So what causes your breast milk to change colors? Most of the time it is your diet. The article The Colors of Breastmilk, gives the following explanations for color variations:
Green: A green tint to your breast milk can come form green foods (spinach, kale, seaweed) or food containing green dyes. It can also be a result of taking certain herbs or supplements.
Pink, Orange, Red, and Brown Milk: Foods that are naturally vibrant in these colors (beets for example) or foods that contain red, yellow and orange food dyes have been known to change the color of your milk. Orange soda, and red or orange fruit drinks can have the same effect.
If your breast milk appears brown or rust colored it may be from blood. Sometimes blood may get into your breast milk due to cracked nipples but rest assured small amounts of blood are not harmful to the baby.
Black Milk: Black discoloration has been reported with the use of the antibiotic minocycline. This antibiotic is not recommended if you are nursing. Always first consult with your doctor about any medications that are not safe while nursing.
Just remember that breast milk is all natural and unprocessed so it will not always look picture perfect and that’s okay. Whether it is clear, blue, green, or pink, your breast milk is providing the absolute best nourishment and protection for the many developing essential parts of your baby. Aeroflow Breastpumps can help you obtain a breast pump that best fits your breastfeeding needs. Learn how to qualify through insurance today.