Lacticups and Reusable Breastmilk Storage bags are HSA & FSA Eligible
Although the description of color can vary. You may say that your milk is very clear, transparent with a tint of blue. For the purpose of clarification, we would call it Blue milk.
Several posts are now circulating about "blue milk" having more antibodies for baby when mom or baby are sick. It has become viral in some circles, but it’s not actually based on fact, therefore the importance for clarification.
Breastmilk has a natural bluish hue caused by the presence of CASEIN, (which accounts for 40%- 60% of the protein content in your milk). Casein is one of the the proteins in milk. Casein contains all the essential amino acids, which are necessary for muscle development.
"There are two classes of protein in breast milk: Casein and whey. Casein becomes clots or curds in the stomach; while whey remains as a liquid and is easier to digest. Depending on the stage of milk, 80% to 50% of protein in breast milk is whey . The whey/casein ratio in human milk fluctuates between 70/30 and 80/20 in early lactation and decreases to 50/50 in late lactation . This proportion is significantly greater compared to the milk of other mammals".
All mammals make specie's specific milk, milk suited for the development of its own specie. That is why the composition of cow's and humans are different. The needs for the physical development of a calf and a baby are obviously very different.
The blue hue in breastmilk is usually more visible when the volume of your milk is high and the fat content is relatively lower.
This can happen for many reasons: You may notice this blueish color more when several hours have passed between pumpings, like the first pumping session in the morning, when your breasts are fuller from sleeping longer at night. A blueish tint in expressed breast milk is mainly due to the foremilk composition which is seen at the beginning of a feeding.
As the breast continues to empty, the composition changes to hindmilk, which is higher in fat, giving milk that creamier color. It’s a gradual change as the feeding progresses.
When using a pump to empty the breast, you may not see the blue color as you’re more fully emptying the breast. Those that use a Haakaa may see a more blue color in the milk they collect as these devices often catch the first dripping milk, which has a higher casein content, and lower fat content milk if is dripping at the start of the feeding. If you catch the drips from the end of the feeding you may notice cremier milk dripping.
Be assured, the bluish "watery milk" and white creamier milk have the SAME components and are the same great breastmilk to supply your baby with protection and nutrition.
There are not two different types or kinds of milk. It’s just the ratio of the various components like casein and fat that can change based on how you’re feeding and pumping.
Those who feed their babies frequently or empty their breasts often and more thoroughly tend to have thicker milk. Those with an exceptionally robust milk supply or those who go long stretches between feeds tend to have a more bluish hue to their milk.
Regardless of the color of your milk is safe and offers the most complete nutrition to feed your baby.
Written by Julie Matheney, MS, CCC-SLP, CLEC, IBCLC @LaLactation
and collaboration with @lacticups