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What causes breast milk to turn pink? Experts elucidate

At some point during the breastfeeding experience, you may be surprised to find that your breast milk can be in other colours as well, experts say.

breastfeedingBreastfeeding failure may also lead to newborn jaundice (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock) )

From menstruation to childbirth and breastfeeding, a woman’s body undergoes a lot of changes, which may vary from one person to another. However, it is always advised to seek medical opinion if one experiences something out of the blue.

So was the case with a new mother, who recently took to TikTok to share how her breast milk turned pink, after six weeks of childbirth.

“Nobody told me that whenever I had a baby, that if I chose to breastfeed, my milk would come in an array of colours,” she said in a now-viral video that has been viewed by over 10 million users.

We reached out to experts to understand more. Here’s what they said.

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Breast milk is usually yellow, white, clear, cream, tan, or blue-tinged. However, at some point during the breastfeeding experience, one may be surprised to find that breast milk can be in other colours as well, experts say, depending on what one eats on a regular basis.

It may turn ink, orange, or red-tinged occur after having natural foods like beetroot, or orange fruit drinks, said Dr Vinit Samdani, pediatrician, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai.

The colour of breastmilk is usually yellow, white, clear, cream, tan, or blue-tinged (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Breast milk may also look as though it has a green, pink, or red tint, too. Sometimes, a little bit of blood may even make its way into breast milk giving it a brown or rust colour depending on what one eats, or whether there is an infection, added Dr Samdani.

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As per National Center for Biotechnology Information, breast milk can turn pink due to the presence of Serratia marcescens colonization, a bacterium associated with several diseases and even death.

As per Dr Ritu Sethi, senior consultant, gynaecology, Cloud Nine Hospital, Sector 14, Gurgaon and Apex Clinic, Sector 31, Gurgaon, blood in breast milk needs to be examined at the earliest.

“It can be due infection in the breast, previous bloody discharge from breast which patient may not have noticed, underlying cancer of the milk ducts,” she said.

What are the symptoms?

As per Dr Sethi,

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Mass in the breast
Lump felt in the breast
Cracked nipples
Abnormal discharge from breast previously
If any of these conditions are present prior to pregnancy or during pregnancy, it can lead to blood coming from the breast when the patient is breastfeeding, she mentioned.

So is it safe to feed the child? “That depends on underlying pathology of the breast which needs to be diagnosed in time,” said Dr Sethi.

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First published on: 17-11-2021 at 01:20:16 pm
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