Yes, you read that right! Breastmilk is blue! I’m not talking full-on Thomas the Tank Engine blue but more a subtle tint or hint of it in an otherwise white-ish cream. (Though that wouldn’t have made a very exciting title!)
The colour stages of breastmilk
- Gold – Soon after (and sometimes before) baby is born women produce colostrum. This is often referred to as ‘liquid gold’. It is absolutely the best stuff for a baby which is why (if you can) you should at least feed your baby your colostrum before moving to formula. As the name suggests this milk has a golden colour. Colostrum is packed full with protein and nutrients and is low in fat so easy for your newborn to digest. It is not as liquid as normal milk though and takes some squeezing to get out! In the first 3 days or so you might only get about 10ml of this stuff and that’s normal. I hand-expressed and collected it in syringes as my baby wasn’t breastfeeding.
- Yellow/Orange – once your milk comes in (just as you also hit baby blues) it becomes more runny and loses the dark gold colour. It gradually lightens up over a couple of weeks to a pale yellow. This is often the stage when women are producing absolutely loads of milk and have to express as well as breastfeed. If you want to breastfeed make sure you are also expressing while trying to establish a good latch. Don’t make my mistake and almost dry up!
- Creamy white – this is your mature milk. Most milk will be this colour after a month or so and for the rest of your breastfeeding journey (with this baby). This is the stage where your milk may actually be bluish in colour! Why?!
Foremilk and Hindmilk
Your breast milk separates (and actually does this visually when bottled) into foremilk and hindmilk.
Foremilk – this is the thirst-quenching milk at the front of your breast that baby often gets first. It is this milk that looks thinner, slightly clearer or even blue in colour.
Hindmilk – this milk is stored further back in your breast. It is creamier and has more fat in it so is so important for baby to get what they need. This tends to be a creamier or slightly yellow colour.
Interestingly, according to verywellfamily.com, milk can also be tinged with other colours. This includes green (if you have certain vitamin supplements or eat lots of green veg); rusty or slightly red if your milk ducts have a little blood in them; or even black(!) if you are taking the antibiotic ‘Minocycline’.
So there you have it! Breast milk is a wonderful yet rather strange thing!
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