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Thread: Blood in milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Blood in milk

    Hello.
    I was quite alarmed this morning when I started pumping and saw the first part of my milk from my right breast had a stream of blood in it. I do have a milk blister on that side but I haven't seen blood in the milk before. Does that mean my daughter is ingesting my blood as well? I continued pumping and it was just those first few pumps that had milk in them. I was able to get 4 ounces - I'm assuming this milk should be thrown out, right? And should I assume it is the milk blister or be concerned it is something else?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,357

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    Don't worry. Blood in the milk is not a problem for your baby, and you probably wouldn't even have noticed it if you hadn't been pumping. It takes only a very small amount of blood to turn your milk a very shocking color, so you don't have to discard your pump output. You can feed it to the baby as is, or allow it to sit in the fridge for a few hours. The blood will settle to the bottom of the bottle, allowing you to pour off the clean fraction on top.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,912

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    I agree with mommal, No need to throw expressed milk out or to stop nursing due to blood in milk.
    My only worry is if the pump is causing injury, which can happen. Is pumping comfortable for you? And are you pumping for some urgent reason or to build a stash? If you don't need to pump right now, (if you can nurse instead) you could stop for a couple days.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    Thanks for the reassurance! I am pumping because I go back to work in a month and want to build a stash. Today was my first day to do so and there wasn't any pain when I did it. I was thinking of using a breast shield for a couple of days on the breast with the milk blister to give it time to heal. I have had it for a while but only today did I notice that the skin is broken. I know long term use of the shield can decrease supply, so I won't make it a habit.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,912

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    If using a sheild dimishes the pain of nursing with a blister, I think that is not a problem, as the sheild is only for one side for a few days and should not cause any issues. But be careful, as sheilds do not always work well for this purpose. Is it a friction blister or a bleb?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,096

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    This happened to me once that I noticed. I was pretty alarmed, but I think it's more common than one would think. As long as it's not due to an injury from the pump, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
    Mommy to L - May 7, 07' , B - February 7, 09' , and R - August 18, 12'

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Is it a friction blister or a bleb?
    Well, I think it is a bleb. What is a friction blister?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,912

    Default Re: Blood in milk

    A friction blister is a blister caused by friction. A bleb is basically a plugged milk duct occuring just below the skin of the nipple (rather than deeper in the breast.) Shallow latch and/or ill fitting pump could directly cause the former. (although of course they could also contribute to the latter as well if they cause poor milk extraction.)
    Kellymom explains here : http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/nipplebleb/

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