Table of Contents
- What color is breast milk?
- Can the color of breast milk change?
- Green & Blue breast milk
- Red, Brown, and Pink breast milk
- Orange or yellow breast milk
Most people think that breast milk is white, but not always. The tint of breast milk can vary quite a lot. Your breast milk might take on a different hue from time to time, and it's usually nothing to worry about.
What Color Should Breast Milk Be?
So, what color is breast milk usually?
It’s typically a creamish-white, bluish or yellowish color. This color depends on how long you have been breastfeeding, what foods you have been eating, and many more factors.
So, Can Breast Milk Change Color?
Blue or Green Breast Milk
Mature milk is usually whitish or bluish. The color of your milk changes during feeding as well, from something that looks like skim milk with a bluish tinge at the beginning of a feed to a creamier white towards the end of a feed; this is because your body provides your baby with a thirst quencher (watery breast milk) before the hardy fattier milk (the hindmilk) Learn more about foremilk and hindmilk here.
Some moms have complained about a greenish tint to their breast milk. This is likely something that was consumed with a lot of green pigments (chlorophyll), such as peas, seaweed, or spinach (including some herbs and supplements).
Green or blue-colored sports drinks contain dye that can pass into your breast milk.
The Blue Breast Milk Myth - Your milk supply is low if your milk has a blue hue to it. This is false!
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (WAB 8th edition, page 307) reminds us, “Don’t worry about the color of your milk. It can change after you eat certain foods, but that doesn’t harm the milk. Just tell yourself, “If I were nursing, I wouldn’t be seeing this.”
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Red, Brown, or Pink Breast Milk
Beetroot containing betalain pigments may give your breast milk a pinkish hue.
Pink or brown breast milk can also indicate blood, usually due to cracked nipples or rusty-pipe syndrome (increased blood flow to the breasts), both of which occur during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Milk, which contains actual red blood, is common too but should be kept an eye on. Learn more about what you should do if you find blood streaks in your breast milk.
Orange or Yellow Breast Milk
Pre-milk (colostrum) is usually yellowish; some refer to it as “clear breast milk” because it is translucent. Colostrum is made in tiny amounts because it is extremely potent, and your baby only needs a small amount due to their tiny tummy.
Transitional milk comes just before your mature milk and usually has an orange tint; this milk turns to mature milk within about 14 days or sooner.
Yellow breast milk is often caused by yellow or orange foods such as sweet potatoes or carrots (Carotenoid pigments). Breast milk that has been frozen or refrigerated can also turn a yellowish hue.
Breast specialist Dr. Kristi Funk weighs in on a viewer's question about her breast milk changing color when her baby has the flu. Does this happen? Watch the video below...
Black Breast Milk
What about black breast milk? Yes, medications taken for short periods while nursing, such as Minocycline, can make your milk appear black.
So, don't worry too much about the color of your milk. Having yellow, orange, blue, or green breast milk doesn't change its life-giving nature! Enjoy!
Dark Green-Colored Milk After Weaning....Help!
By: helpless mom (Singapore)
"Hi! I stopped breastfeeding a year ago. Eventually, I discovered that one of my nipple openings could express dark green colored milk, while the other nipple opening is fine, where the regular color milk comes out.
Is this infection? Or a plugged duct? It's a bit painful when I poke on my breast area, but I'm not experiencing any fever, hot feeling, or redness on my breast area..."
Re: Green milk?
"Is it green or green-tinged?
The fact that it's only one breast and not the other is a little strange but not cause for concern if it's not painful.
If it's dark green and thicker than normal and your breast is painful, I recommend you see your doc about it."
Re: It's dark green, not green-tinged.
by: Helpless mom
"It's dark green, not tinged green.
I've even studied some articles, and I know that the diet might cause it, but when I review my diet... I don't find any high iron or over-intake of green-colored food.
The Breastfeeding Mothers Support Group (Singapore) counselor couldn't consult me further about this. Anyway, I've made an appointment with local women's care consultant. Hopefully, they'll schedule me for an ultrasound - till then, I'll update here to share with others."
Re: The same problem
I also have a problem with one opening on my left nipple. It started two months ago when I discovered the milk from that opening was dark green. Sometimes it looks like it's mixed with a drop of white milk.
Like the other mum, I also didn't eat too many green vegetables, and I'm very concerned.
I have an 11-months old son, whom I breastfed for 5,5 months."
Re: My boobs haven't fallen off yet, so...
"I've had the dark green colostrum for over 13 yrs. I had a hysterectomy 16yrs ago. There has been no pain, so no doctor's appointment.
I think I asked a Dr. about it when it first started; there's a name for it - I can't recall. The doc wasn't concerned and said it's quite common.
My boobs haven't fallen off yet. They're hanging in there!"
Re: Green milk
"I stopped breastfeeding seven years ago, and I still have dark green milk that can be expressed from my breasts. My Dr. tested it, no infection, so she isn't worried. Her advice was to stop messing with it, and it will eventually dry up."
Re: Dark green breast milk
"I am over 60 and have had this condition ever since giving birth to my son at 19.
I tried to breastfeed but had flat nipple issues, and my doctor recommended that I stop. I was given some treatment to force my breast milk to stop.
That partially worked, but I was left with a small ongoing discharge. About 20 years later, I began to notice one nipple on my right breast had a combination of regular color milk and one single exit point that discharged green.
Sometimes it is light green, sometimes dark, almost like ink. It persists to this day. It was tested some years ago for possible blood, but it is strictly milk.
My doctor then said it is not uncommon, and as long as the mammogram checkups are good and there is no pain or irritation, it is nothing to worry about.
Do not feel embarrassed to check with your doctor if you are concerned."