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Believe it or not, breast milk is not always white, or, rather, bluish white, since it can change its color due to physiological, pathological and / or dietary causes. What does each of the colors of breast milk mean?
If you have opted for breastfeeding, you have to know that these color changes will not affect the baby's digestion, nor will they cause harm to his health, therefore, you don't have to stop breastfeeding, since by eliminating the cause that produces the color change, the milk will return to its normal color.
Breast milk is a very intelligent and living liquid, which adapts to the nutritional needs of the baby. In addition, it provides a greater amount of antibodies when both present some pathology, in order to increase its defenses and protect it from external agents that may attack it.
It is incredible how it is constantly changing, from the birth of the baby until it is decided to wean (precalostrum, colostrum, transitional and mature milk). It's definitely wonderful, that's why it is and will continue to be the best food for our children.
And it is that as it is said in the report of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, 'Breastfeeding', carried out by María José Lozano de la Torre, from the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital. University of Cantabria (Spain) and a member of the Breastfeeding Committee of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, 'the non-breastfed infant ceases to obtain numerous benefits, there is sufficient evidence to affirm that these infants are exposed to a greater risk of morbidity and mortality and generate a significant economic and social cost '.
Each mother produces the milk her baby needs, so each milk is different, but what about the color of breast milk? What does it mean? Pay attention to this classification!
When breast milk has this color it is called 'rusty pipe syndrome' and it can happen during the first days after the baby arrives. It is due to an increase in blood circulation in the milk ducts days before the baby is born, which produces small cracks or wounds in the same ducts that lead to an accumulation of blood, which then turns into a brown liquid that stains the milk at the time of first ejection.
On this occasion, the red milk can be more severe deep lesions such as mastitis (inflammatory and infectious process of the mammary gland), cracks or fissures in the nipple. It can also be seen in the baby's regurgitations or evacuations as threads of black blood, since it is digested, which can cause great anguish in parents or relatives, but will not affect the health of the baby, that is, there is no need to suspend breastfeeding.
In case the reddish coloration lasts and it is very uncomfortable to see it in that color, it can be solved by expressing the milk and then you take it to the refrigerator and wait for the milk (top) and blood (bottom) to separate and that way you can offer the milk to your baby without being mixed with the blood.
This coloration has been seen in mothers with high consumption of beet-type foods or by soft drinks or jellies. It can also be this shade from minor bleeding from nipple fissures.
- Transparent bluish
It corresponds to the first phase of mature milk, with a high content of water and lactose.
It is usually the color of transitional milk when the milk falls or rises on the fifth day or so after colostrum and is high in fat, lactose, and water-soluble vitamins.
When the milk is green in color it is associated with excessive consumption of vitamins or green leafy vegetables such as spinach, chard, watercress ... It can also be a high consumption of isotonic drinks (they are very common in athletes). This greenish tone will disappear when stopping the exaggerated consumption of all these products and foods.
It is called colostrum because of its high beta-carotene content and the last phase of mature milk that contains fats and nutrients. It is the one that comes out the first hours and days when you start to breastfeed and, also when the mother has an infectious process. In these cases, their milk changes its color to yellow because it increases the production of immunoglobulins that will strengthen the immune system of your baby to defend it from aggressive microorganisms and avoid contagion with the mother.
Orange milk can also be due to the excessive consumption of foods rich in beta carotene such as papaya, pumpkin, carrot, etc. It can also be caused by the consumption of some medications and orange-flavored soft drinks (they usually have many colorants), as well as jellies, candies, sweets, etc.
In this case, it is attributed to the consumption of some medications, mainly those indicated for the treatment of acne or for infectious processes. This coloration is very rare.
In conclusion, despite the different colors that breast milk can present, the important thing is that this is temporary and when removing certain foods, drinks or medications from the mother's diet and / or when there is an improvement in infectious processes or local wounds , the milk returns to its normal color according to the stage it is in and does not warrant weaning the baby.
You can read more articles similar to The different colors of breast milk and what they mean, in the category of On-site Breastfeeding.