The Breast Milk Rainbow
Did you know that breast milk actually comes in a variety of colors? Breast milk is designed especially for its baby, and morphs and evolves from day to day (even feed to feed) based on a variety of factors including something as in depth as a shift in certain immunological or nutritional components based on babies individual need, or as simple as being influenced by the food a lactating parent eats!
And, just so you know, in most cases, all colors of human milk are under the realm of normal and absolutely okay for baby to drink.
Often many may worry that the color or "creaminess" of the milk indicates nutritional viability but it does not. In fact, some parents milk may always look very watery.
Breast milk may be blue or clear. Typically, this color is indicative of foremilk, or the first milk that flows at the start of a nursing or pump session. It's typically higher in lactose and can be described as watery.
It is not surprising that breast milk can be yellow. Liquid GOLD, anyone? The most common yellow milk is that of the nutrient dense magical elixir that is present right after birth called, colostrum.
Certain foods and drinks, especially those rich in color like vegetables or with color additives or artificial dyes, like those in sports drinks, can influence the color of breast milk most! Carrots, leafy greens like spinach, beets, and more can inspire a rainbow of breast milk.
Sometimes breast milk can be a red or pinkish hue—coining the name "strawberry milk". It can be due to trace amounts of blood running through the ducts due to a ruptured capillary, mastitis, inflammation, or cracked and bloody nipples. In most cases this is not a cause for alarm unless it happens consistently for an extended period of time.
Breast milk can even be black or brown! It can be due to residual blood from a clogged duct, or from a particular medication or supplement taken by the lactating parent.
Sometimes change in milk colors can be alarming, but it is almost always typical and okay for baby to consume. It's important to always communicate concerns with your lactation team and medical providers just in case!