What colours can my breastmilk be?
Red and yellow and pink and green… 🌈
What?! Have you ever pumped some colourful breast milk? Pumping and nursing mothers have all experienced the golden age of colostrum in the early days, but what does it mean if your milk suddenly has a green tinge? Or downright looks like strawberry milk…?
Pink breast milk is common enough that it has its own nickname - strawberry milk. This can occur while pumping if blood from the nipple or breast seeps into the pumped milk, turning it a cute pink hue. Pain is not cute though! If this is happening to you, it’s worth trying some ways to improve your pumping comfort. The good news is that strawberry milk is typically safe for your baby to still consume. If you're concerned, contact your lactation professional.
Colostrum: the golden yellow, sweet, nutrient dense milk of the days following birth. You may sometimes leak this yellow milk while pregnant, as your body preps this perfectly designed milk for your brand new baby. You may wish to collect colostrum toward the end of your pregnancy to have on hand to syringe feed bub after birth, and there are a number of kits available online to help you do this. If you have access to one, contact your lactation professional about antenatal expressing.
Green breast milk? It sounds weird but this phenomenon can occur when your milk is particularly dense with antibodies. This can occur if you or your little one are sick, prompting your body to pump out tonnes of protective antibodies to protect and heal your baby. There were viral videos during the COVID-19 pandemic showing infected mothers pumping breast milk that had turned green. Amazing.
Whatever colour your milk may be, we think pumping mothers are incredible. Take care of yourself and make sure you’re doing all you can to make yourself comfy while you pump.
If you're even concerned about anything to do with your milk, reach out to your lactation professional.