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Breast milk and its colors

The earliest and most effective defense against illness and disease, that a baby has, is breast milk. Some babies find it easier to digest breast milk than formula, containing antibodies to support a baby's immune system.

However, if breastfeeding is new to a mother, she might not be familiar with the many colors of breast milk. She might assume that cow's milk, formula, and breast milk are all the same, but it looks different. The color of a mother's breast milk's may change over time, but it can vary during the day or even after a single meal. 

Is there a normal color for breastmilk? Here’s what you need to know about how the color of breast milk changes at each stage:

What might be a normal color for one mother could not be for another. Breast milk often has a lighter look, usually white, but it can occasionally have a faintly yellowish or bluish color.

1. Colostrum
Colostrum is the first breast milk a mother will produce. It is concentrated and produced in small amounts, yet very healthy. While colostrum can occasionally be clear, thin, and watery, it is also referred to as liquid gold because colostrum is yellow in color. It contains antibodies that protect babies from illnesses and is rich in nutrients.

2. Transitional Milk
Breast milk production grows after the first few days of colostrum, and a mother’s body starts producing transitional milk. Breast milk usually turns yellow to white during this two-week transition period as a mother makes more milk.

3. Mature Milk
A mother’s body reaches the mature milk stage after two weeks. The amount of fat in mature breast milk affects how it looks. 

  • Foremilk - At the start of the feeding session, mature milk comes out of the breast. It is thinner and lower in fat, called foremilk. Foremilk often appears clear or blue since it is light.
  • Hindmilk - The fat in a mother’s milk increases as she continues to breastfeed. Breast milk becomes creamier, known as "hindmilk," when the fat content rises. Hindmilk is a thicker white or yellow in color.

With the theme “Sama-samang Itaguyod Tamang Kaalaman at Kalinga sa Pagpapasuso,” the Philippines celebrates National Breastfeeding Awareness Month every August.

The Department of Health (DOH) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) encourage every mother to exclusively breastfeed their babies until 6 months of age.

From 6 months, a child should be given proper and nutritious food while continuing breastfeeding. (PIA-NCR)

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About the Author

Gelaine Louise Gutierrez

Information Officer I


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