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March 02, 2021

Breast milk changes and colors

If you have ever hand expressed milk or pumped you have probably noticed that sometimes the milk appears to look different at different times of the day, or might be a different color or consistency and that is because breastmilk does in fact CHANGE. So let's go over those changes and what you may see when you really take a look at your milk.


The colors of your milk can vary between white, cream, tan, blue tinged, maybe even pink tinged and those colors can be normal and you shouldn't panic or feel like you need to dump your milk out if a color appears different than normal. 


Sometimes depending on what you eat or drink can impact how your breastmilk can appear in color. Sometimes your little might bite which can cause your nipples to chap OR they might just crack from pumping/nursing/expressing then when you go to pump some of the blood might get into your milk changing it to a pink. Do not panic it is completely safe and it happens.



1. Colostrum- Almost EVERYONE is familiar with this term/word and if you are not it is the first bits of milk that is produced and comes when you give birth. For most you will notice leaking when you are still pregnant and that is colostrum, DO NOT pump OR stimulate your breasts to get milk out when you are pregnant. Wait until you have had your baby and are ready to start expressing milk. You usually only make a smaller amount of this milk but it is enough to fill the baby after birth and until your supply really comes in! Sometimes it can take a few days or sometimes it can take a week for your milk to fully come in, just wait it will! Colostrum is usually THICKER in texture and can appear a yellowish color as it is dense in nutrition. 


2. Transitional milk- Once your milk has come in you will notice it can be quite well, milky but kinda watery. It will appear mostly white when you pump or express but the yellow color should start to subside as your body is starting to produce more. 


3. Mature milk- After your milk has really started coming in nicely this is usually around 2-3 weeks this is where you will see mature milk. Mature milk has different textures and appearances based off of FAT in the milk. This will be based off of two things. Foremilk and Hindmilk. Foremilk is the thinner water textured milk [sometimes clear or blueish] when you first start pumping or nursing and after a few minutes the Hindmilk starts that is the fatty milk that is kinda stored back. THIS is where most of the nutrition comes from, the hindmilk. Have you ever been nursing and baby is drinking fast just getting it all in and then all of a sudden the gulps get BIGGER and slower that is the hindmilk coming in. It is heavier and has more fat so baby is going "OK this is good I like this and will slow things down a bit" same with pumping. You will pump and see the textures change during each session.



Now that we have chatted about milk changes and stages let's discuss different color types that you may or may not see/notice when pumping or expressing. 


Yellow or Orange Breast Milk: Colostrum or transitional milk can be yellow or orange in color. Sometimes based off what you eat that has high in orange color can tinge your milk making it darker. You may often notice if you freeze your breast milk it will settle a specific way. You might see half of it darker than the other or it will freeze darker than it looked when pumped and that is normal.


Blue-ish Breast Milk: Mature milk can have a blue tint to it since it can still be in a WATERY milk stage. Which can "appear" blue or clear. This is normal and isn't OFTEN but it is still safe to give your baby. 


Green Breast Milk: Depending again on what you eat can determine the color of your milk that goes for green foods. Spinach can make your milk look off green and sometimes if you are taking supplements or specific vitamins it can impact your milk and add that greenish tint to it.


Pink or Brown Breast Milk: Again any sort of cracking or bleeding from the nipple can transfer while pumping causing a pinkish/brown tinge to the milk and it is safe and shouldn't be concerned over. HOWEVER if you are noticing it to be quite a lot chat with your doctor because you don't want there to be a sign of internal infection causing bleeding. If you checked out your nipples and you are like "yeah I see some cracking that is probably the cause" then watch for it. However, if you have no cracking and you are getting blood in your milk ring your dr just to get things checked out. You always should go with your gut no matter what anyway!


Black Breast Milk: This isn't common but sometimes certain medications can make your milk dark.


As I always advise. Ring a dr if you feel concerned over anything ever! You should always reach out if you ever have any questions or concerns .






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