Understanding the Color of Breast Milk: What’s Normal and When to Worry
Breast milk comes in all amounts and colors. There are many variations of colors when it comes to breast milk. The color, composition, appearance and sometimes even the amount can change throughout the day and even the feeding session.
Whether your breast milk is white, yellow, clear or even has a blue tint to it, we can help you understand the different hues of your breast milk and what they mean.
Breast Milk Variations:
- Colostrum: Colostrum is often referred to as “liquid gold”. Colostrum is what is produced in the initial days after birth. It is thick and yellow, a hint for the gold reference. It is rich in antibodies and nutrients essential to support your newborn and her developing immune system.
- Transitional Milk: After a few days as you continue to breastfeed, your milk will change from colostrum to transitional milk. This breast milk is white with a hint of yellow or blue. This change is normal. It may change day to day and depend on your diet and hydration levels.
- Frozen Milk: Frozen milk may have more of a yellowish tint.
- Green, Pink, or Orange Tints: These colors are mainly from your diet or medications. Consuming green colored beverages, lots of yellow-orange vegetables, and food dyes or gelatin desserts can change the colors of your breast milk.
- Pink or Brown Milk: Pink and/or brown milk may indicate blood in your milk. You may be experiencing cracked nipples, which may be causing some blood to get into your breast milk. Contact one of our Lactation Consultants to help you heal your sore nipples. But, do not be alarmed, a little bit of blood will not be harmful. Blood in your breast milk can also be caused by Mastitis (read about Mastitis here). However, if after a few days you still see pink/blood in your breast milk, contact your healthcare provider.Brown milk is often referred to as “rusty pipe syndrome” because the brown color resembles that of water coming out from a rusty pipe. Most common after the first few days of breastfeeding and caused by the increased blood supply to your nipples, this hue should clear up after a few days as more milk flows through.
Breast milk color changes are completely normal and can be determined by diet, medications, and can even change throughout the day. So, put yourself at ease, Mama! You’ve got this! Understanding these variations can help you know you are getting lots of different nutrients to your baby. If you ever have any concerns or questions, contact your healthcare provider, but always remember that we at Milky Mama are here for you!
Did you find this information useful? Let us know in The Official Milky Mama Lactation Support Group. This is your place to get advice from our team of Milky Mama experts and seasoned breastfeeding moms. If you are needing more one-on-one help book a call with one of our International Board Certified Lactation Consultants here.