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Thread: Possible blood in expressed milk

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6

    Unhappy Possible blood in expressed milk

    I think I may have mastitis in my left breast; if so, this is the first time for me in nursing over a year. I woke up early this morning in excruciating pain to a hard, red, sore breast and a fever. So, I thought, since my DD wasn't yet awake, I'll go pump and relieve some of the pressure. I pumped about three ounces and the milk was bright pink! I was horrified. I put the milk in the fridge and when I looked at it after it had chilled, what looks like blood had separated out on the bottom...like a red layer of sludge, almost, on the bottom of the bottle. It was thick. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Could it be from the mastitis? Could it hurt my daughter (she nursed all night, so I'm sure she got some)? I did have a Cherry Coke at dinner last night, but I don't honestly even know if that is red at all, it doesn't really look that red--I mention this because I've heard that eating certain foods can cause milk color changes. Of course, it is Sunday so I didn't want to call the doctor, but I'll be calling first thing in the morning. Thanks for any words of reassurance!
    --Sarah
    mom to Charlotte, 8-31-2006

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,103

    Default Re: Possible blood in expressed milk

    Don't worry- bloody milk won't hurt your baby! Usually bloody milk results from either nipple damage (which doesn't sound like your problem) or from a tiny burst blood vessel. It takes very little blood to turn your milk bright pink. If you have a burst blood vessel, it will likely heal very quickly, probably by the next time you nurse or pump.

    However- what you describe does sound like mastitis (Sorry!!! ), and I would guess that the inflammation and infection in your breast make it more likely that something in the area of the infected tissues will start to bleed. Still, it won't hurt your baby to drink milk from that breast. In fact, the best thing you can do to help yourself beat the mastitis is to nurse, nurse, nurse! The more you empty out that breast, the sooner you will get better. I've read that when you have mastitis, you should start every feeding on the infected breast to empty it really thoroughly. Hang in there!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Possible blood in expressed milk

    Hi. It certainly will not hurt your baby to nurse. BUT, if the pain and fever aren't gone by tomorrow, give your doc a call. You may need antibiotics for yourself. Good luck and hope you are feeling better soon.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Possible blood in expressed milk

    Thanks, ladies. The doc confirmed mastitis and gave me a script for antibiotics. Hopefully, this will clear up soon! Thanks again!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    33

    Default Re: Possible blood in expressed milk

    I just went through the same thing and in a few days of antibiotics I felt 100% better. One awesome tip I found for the mastitis - for the warm, moist compresses, instead of using a washcloth, use a disposable diaper. Wet the inside with the warm water. It seems to hold the heat longer and the shape is perfect for the breast.
    Hope you're feeling better!
    Mary - mom to Gabriela (3.20.99), Steven (5.17.01) and Sofia (3.20.06)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,107

    Default Re: Possible blood in expressed milk

    This same thing happened to me while pumping one morning. I looked at what i had pumped and the milk in one bottle was red. I panicked and was on the phone with an LC within minutes. She assured me that it was fine if DD drank the milk and said the blood was probably from a cracked nipple.

    Has your nipple been sore possibly from a bad latch? Has your LO been nursing a lot lately?
    Robin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Possible blood in expressed milk

    It's possible it's a bad latch...but I think it's more likely that DD is in a biting phase lately. Although, she has been nursing a lot, especially at night in bed, when I am not so careful about her latch. She bit me pretty hard a few times over the weekend. She also tends to bite down as she falls asleep and the nipple starts to slip out of her mouth. I'd imagine that would be a route for infection, biting, I mean.
    Thanks for the diaper-compress tip--I'd actually seen that on kellymom and tried it, and it does work great, doesn't it? It was funny, I tucked it into my bra so I wouldn't have to hold it, and pulled my shirt down, and my husband didn't even notice that I had this enormous inflated diaper in my shirt. He asked me which breast it was that was hurting! I was like, don't you notice anything odd about my chest?!
    I'm definitely feeling much better now that I'm on the antibiotics.

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