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A mom in Australia recently discovered that her breast milk was flowing out a bright pink color. But it wasn't tinged with blood, as one might suspect at first. Instead the explanation is far less frightening, but super interesting!
The mom, who wanted to remain anonymous, posted in the private Facebook group Breastfeeders in Australia that during the course of a day, she’d consumed a juice containing fresh beetroot, eaten a salad sandwich with beetroot, and finished the rest of a can of the vibrant, red veggie.
Beetroot contains high levels of beta carotene, which may help increase the supply of a mama's breast milk.
Per Breastfeeders in Australia, while breastfeeding, the mom's 16-month-old "started acting unusually, pulling at her mama’s nipple and saying 'more, more!' The stimulation caused some breast milk to spray out. Imagine mama’s shock when her milk was such a bright colour! She began expressing to see if her milk continued flowing pink and it did! Then she remembered... what she'd been eating and drinking!"
When other members of the online breastfeeding support group encouraged her to sample her breast milk, the mom discovered it was very sweet-tasting.
"Some members were concerned the milk may have been coloured due to blood – a blockage or other damage to the mama's breast," the group reported. "Mama was quick to confirm that it was not only her breast milk that was pink, but also her's and her daughter’s urine!"
So it seems there was no real cause for concern. In fact, beets are known to affect the color of a mom's milk, and aren't the only veggie that can do so. According to the Australian Breastfeeding Association, eating carrots, squash, pumpkin, leafy greens, and seaweed can also tinge breast milk with color.
The U.S. Office of Women's Health also notes that breast milk's color changes over time. Before your milk comes in, baby will drink colostrum, the thick and yellowish substance also referred to as "liquid gold." During the course of a feeding session, milk also changes from a thinner, blue liquid to a thicker and whiter fluid.
Of course, if your breast milk is an odd color or consistency and you are concerned, there is no harm in talking to your doctor first before you continue to nurse your little one. In this case, the pink hue of a mom's milk was not harmful to her tot, and simply made for a very interesting and informative topic for breastfeeding moms to discuss and consider!
Photos used with permission: Breastfeeders in Australia
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.