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Thread: Problem?!?

  1. #1

    Default Problem?!?

    I don't know what color my breast milk should be. I have been pumping for over 3 weeks and now today my breast milk has changed in color from a milk color to almost transparent. Is this milk ok for my baby?!? If not what should I do?!?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Problem?!?

    It is normal for your milk to change color over time. At first, you produce colostrum (golden-yellow). Then, when your milk comes in you produce a colostrum-milk blend (creamy white). As colostrum ceases production and you switch over to 100% milk, it is normal for the milk to look thinner and whitish (shades of bluish white are very common, but greenish, orange, or pink shades are also in the normal realm).

    What happens if you leave your milk in the fridge overnight? Do you see a layer of cream forming on top? If so, there's no need to worry. If you're not seeing any cream, or seeing very little, you may not be pumping long enough to get to the fatty and nutritious "hindmilk" that is expressed when your breasts are thoroughly drained.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Problem?!?

    I pump for 15-20 minutes per breast. Since my baby doesn't take at the nipple I need to pump. Though at night time she is fine at the nipple. So how often and for how long should I be pumping?
    I have seen the cream forming on top of the milk, but the last time I saw that was from yesterdays last pump. This morning is when it looked really watered down and it has been sitting in my fridge for over 8 hours and no cream has formed at all on top of the milk. Now is that normal?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Problem?!?

    Milk it gradually changes composition over the course of a feeding/pumping session. At the beginning of the session, you produce mostly foremilk (watery, thirst-quenching milk) and as you get towards the end of the feeding you produce mostly hindmilk (creamy, hunger-satisfying milk).

    If you are pumping and seeing mostly watery foremilk that doesn't show much cream in the fridge, then there's nothing wrong with your milk. The issue is probably one of several things, all related to timing:
    1. You are not pumping long enough, and therefore you are not getting to the hindmilk.
    2. You have an oversupply of milk, and you never get to the hindmilk because you would have to pump for a very long time to do so.
    3. You are not pumping frequently enough, and therefore the foremilk is building up to a very high level. (The longer you go between pumping sessions, the more foremilk you will see.)
    4. Your output is fine, but you are worried because you got a few bottles of "skim" milk. It's normal to have your output vary in fat content over the course of the day. So you can expect that some bottles will be mostly foremilk, particularly if they were produced after you hadn't nursed or pumped for a long time (allowing the foremilk to build up).

    I pump for 15-20 minutes per breast.
    How many times per day are you pumping? And how much milk are you producing when pumping?

    Since my baby doesn't take at the nipple I need to pump. Though at night time she is fine at the nipple.
    It's great that your baby will take the breast at night. That's a good indication that you can get her back to the breast full-time if you want to. (I strongly suggest that you try- nursing is so much easier than exclusive pumping in the long term!) Here are some things you can try:
    - See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC. Nothing beats hands-on help!
    - Do lots of skin-to-skin contact.
    - When attempting to latch baby onto the breast, express of drip a few drops of milk onto the nipple. The taste of milk may get her to suck longer.
    - Make bottle-feeding as much like breastfeeding as possible, so that breastfeeding doesn't feel weird to your baby. Use the slowest-flow bottle nipple available. When it's time to bottle-feed, open your shirt and cradle baby close to your bare breast. Tickle her lips with the bottle nipple, and put it in her mouth only after she opens wide. (Don't let her learn sloppy latch habits from getting a bottle stuck in a half-open mouth!) Pause after every oz or so of milk, to get your baby used to the natural ebb-and-flow rhythm of breastfeeding.
    - Check out this link: Help - My Baby Won't Nurse!

    So how often and for how long should I be pumping?
    The answer is different for every mom. Some moms can get away with just a few pumping sessions per day, but others need to pump frequently in order to maintain supply.

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