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Breast Milk Color - Understanding The Meaning

3 min read

Breast milk color is often thought to be white. So, when you notice a different colored substance coming out of your breast, it’s understandable to be concerned.


Well, there is nothing to worry about! It's quite normal for breast milk to be yellowish and even change color over time. In this post, we will talk about the different colors of breast milk and what they mean. 


The “normal” color of breast milk


Most often, break milk is light in color, usually pale yellow. It can have bluish or other yellowish tints as well.


During the first few weeks after delivery, the milk changes its composition, amount, and color quickly. The normal changes by stage are:


Color of Colostrum: The highly nutritious and concentrated colostrum is the first breast milk your body produces. It is sometimes clear and watery, and can be orange or yellow and thick. Colostrum contains high levels of beta-carotene that can give it a dark yellow or orange color.


Color of Transitional Milk: As the production of breast milk increases, the body starts making transitional milk. During this transition period, breast milk changes its color from yellow to more white.


Color of Foremilk: Foremilk is lower in fat and thinner. This foremilk is thin and can look clear or bluish.


Color of Hindmilk: As you continue to breastfeed, the fat in the milk increases. And, with increased fat content, breast milk becomes creamier milk called hindmilk that appears white or yellow.

Related: What is Breastfeeding Let Down and is it Bad?

The meaning of other colors of breast milk

Certain medications, herbs, foods, and nutritional supplements can change the color of breast milk. Note that breast milk changes its color after also freezing, but without damaging its nutritional value.


These changes are usually diet-related and harmless. Some different colors of breast milk are:


●       Green Breast Milk: The green tone of your break milk is when you eat a lot of green foods or edible products that contain green dyes. Green-colored beverages and green vegetables like spinach and seaweed can also cause the greenish color of your breast milk.

●       Pink, Red, and Orange: The orange, pink, and red-tinged breast milk are due to eating foods that are naturally these colors. Other reasons could be having drinks or foods that contain orange, red, and yellow food dyes. Orange and sometimes, reddish fruit drinks orange soda, beets, etc., can also leads to differently colored milk with tints of orange, red, and pink. Pink can also be due to droplets of blood leaking into the milk from a nipple or breast duct injury.

●       Brown and Blood-Tinged Breast Milk: When older blood leaks into your body’s milk ducts, the breast milk may appear brown, rust-colored, or dark orange. When breast milk appears like dirty water, it is called rusty pipe syndrome (blood in the ducts from breast engorgement).

●       Black Breast Milk: Black breast milk is often due to the antibiotic Minocin that also causes skin darkening. Minocin is not recommended when nursing. So make sure you consult with your doctor before taking any medication during breastfeeding.




Most breastfeeding mothers do not notice color variations unless they pump often, or the baby spits up the breast milk with a color.


Knowing the reason behind the color change can reassure you if you are concerned about your baby's milk. In case of any doubt, it is always good to consult with your doctor if you have any concerns about your breastmilk

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