Tag Archives: Milk

Did COVID-19 Turn This Mom's Breast Milk Green?!

Did COVID-19 Turn This Mom’s Breast Milk Green?!

Did a COVID-19 infection really turn one mother’s breast milk green?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Did COVID-19 Turn This Mom’s Breast Milk Green?!

A mother of two, Ashmiry, just went viral after sharing a picture that showed how her breast milk turned green after she contracted COVID-19!

Her viral photo showed two pouches of her breast milk. The white one on the left was apparently expressed before she contracted COVID-19, and the green one of the right after she tested positive for COVID-19.

She originally posted this on Instagram almost a year ago, on 1 February 2021:

I needed a few days to let my brain understand what has been happening this past week. 3 out of 4 family members tested POSITIVE for COVID-19 in my home, Jesse, Rubi and myself. (Mia may have the antibodies, she has not had any symptoms and she tested NEGATIVE)..

I really wanted to share this photo of my breastmilk! It actually let me know something was going on in my body and my babies.

How amazing is breastmilk, it’s magical and I’m so thankful to be able to produce it especially now! The color change indicates that my body is making exactly what Rubi needs! Antibodies, extra fatty and just pure goodness 🥲🥺🙌🏻

However, her original post didn’t go viral until lactation consultant, Goldilacts, reposted it with this message:

OUR BREASTS ARE SUPER RESPONDERS 🏃🏽‍♀️

Connecting to our post from a few days ago regarding milk supply during COVID, there is also THIS magic 🪄

Check out GoldiLacts mama @ashmiry_ liquid GREEN gold when she and her breastfeeding baby tested positive for Covid 💚

When lactating, our bodies are always doing full body scans of mama and baby and figuring out exactly what to put in breastmilk for babies wellness. 😭😍

SO amazing!!!

 

Diet, Not COVID-19, Likely Turn This Mom’s Breast Milk Green

Ashmiry did not share much beyond what was in her post, so we don’t really know the circumstances behind those two breast milk pouches.

Let me share with you why it is far more likely that her diet, not COVID-19, turned her breast milk green… and some other breast milk facts!

Fact #1 : No Evidence COVID-19 Infection Changes Breast Milk Colour

There is currently no evidence that breast milk changes colour with COVID-19 infection.

In fact, other mothers in Goldilacts’ Instagram thread pointed out that their breast milk did not change in colour, even when they were infected :

dagirl2011 : I had covid last week as well and pumped but my milk was not green. I assumed it still had antibodies and my baby tested negative throughout. 2 out of 4 of us were positive in our house.

candicemconcepcion : hmm I’m Covid positive with a 2 week old and my breast milk has never looked like this.

wafasoultan_ : This is amazing! I tested positive for covid but my milk was never green

Other mothers also pointed out that their breast milk looked exactly like Ashimiry’s after they had green foods :

YL Grieves : My expressed breastmilk had a tinge of green like this when I have a green smoothie

heavensent706 : My milk turned that color when I ate green vegetables

It is highly likely that Ashmiry’s breast milk turned green because of her diet, not because she was infected with COVID-19.

Fact #2 : Breast Milk Colour Changes Over Time

Breast milk changes in colour and composition over time during the first few weeks :

  • Colostrum is the first breast milk a mother’s body makes. There is only a small amount, but it is thick and highly nutritious. It is often yellow or orange in colour from the high levels of beta-carotene.
  • After a few days, the amount of breast milk increases, as the mother begins to make transitional milk. During this two week period, the colour of the breast milk changes from yellow to white.
  • After the transitional milk period, the mother produces mature milk which itself changes in colour during each feed :
    – Foremilk : The first milk that flows out is thinner and lower in fat, and appears clear or bluish white.
    – Hindmilk : The fat content goes up as the milk flows, and eventually becomes a creamier milk called hindmilk which has a thicker white or yellowish cream colour.

Read more : Will COVID-19 Turn Breastmilk Yellow With Antibodies?

Foremilk (left) vs. Hindmilk (right)

Fact #3 : Breast Milk Colour Changes With Mother’s Diet

Breast milk is also known to change colour with the mother’s diet :

  • Green : If the mother eat lots of green foods (vegetables like spinach, kale or seaweed), or foods that contain green dyes (Gatorade), or certain herbs or vitamin supplements.
  • Pink / Orange / Red : If the mother eats foods that contain these colours naturally, or use food dyes. For example – beets, orange or red soda drinks, red Jell-O.
  • Yellow / Orange : If the mother has a diet rich in beta-carotene, like carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.

The Australian Breastfeeding Association also points out that mothers can get green breast milk after they eat green- or blue-coloured foods like green vegetables, kelp or some types of seaweed in tablet form, or concentrates of natural vitamins.

Fact #4 : Breast Milk Colour Changes With Mother’s Health

Breast milk can also change with the mother’s health :

  • Pink / Brown / Rust-coloured : If some blood from the mother’s breast leaks into the milk.
  • Pink / Red-tinged : If the mother has cracked nipples.
  • Black : If the mother is taking the antibiotic Minocycline

Fact #5 : Breast Milk Colour Changes When Frozen

When you freeze breast milk, it can appear more yellowish.

Credit : Verywell

Fact #6 : No Such Thing As Mother-Baby Body Scans

As much as I strongly support breastfeeding, I have to point out that there is no such thing as full body scans of mother and baby during lactation.

The mother’s breasts do not scan her baby for infections (like COVID-19), and create antibodies to put in breast milk.

If the mother is infected with COVID-19, any antibodies she produce goes into her breast milk. This occurs irrespective of whether the baby is infected as well, or not.

If the baby has COVID-19, the mother’s body cannot detect that, or produce antibodies to put into the breast milk.

Fact #7 : Consumed Antibodies Unlikely To Impart Protection

While a mother’s breast milk may contain antibodies against COVID-19, they impart little to no protection because the antibodies appear to be destroyed when digested by the infant.

If the antibodies cannot pass directly into the infant’s blood, they cannot confer any actual protection beyond temporarily protecting the oral cavity or GI tract during the feeding session.

A December 2021 LactMed summary of studies on the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on breast milk found that:

  • Both vaccinated mothers, and mothers who survived COVID-19, produced breast milk with neutralising antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • Levels of antibodies in breast milk from vaccinated mothers were higher than those of mothers who survived COVID-19
  • The antibodies in the milk samples had neutralising activity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
  • However, none of the infants who were fed breast milk with these antibodies had any SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies in their blood.

In other words, the mother’s milk may have neutralising antibodies against COVID-19, but they don’t actually get absorbed by the infant, so breast milk with COVID-19 antibodies do not confer any protection to the infant.

 

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Will COVID-19 Turn Breastmilk Yellow With Antibodies? 🤔

Will getting infected by COVID-19 turn your breastmilk yellow with antibodies? 🤔

Find out what happened, and what the facts really are!

 

Claim : COVID-19 Turns Breastmilk Yellow With Antibodies!

A mother, who apparently was infected with COVID-19, shared a photo of her frozen breastmilk, saying….

Breastmilk is truly amazing! This was my milk just a few weeks before I had Covid (right). The other milk (left) is filled with my antibodies to protect my babies.

It naturally went viral, with mothers sharing it as evidence of the power of breastmilk.

Some even suggested that scientists should look at using such yellow breastmilk as a treatment for COVID-19 patients.

 

Will COVID-19 Turn Breastmilk Yellow With Antibodies? The Facts…

As amazing as breastmilk may be, and as much as we encourage breastfeeding, it’s not right to make such claims. Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : There Has Been NO Research On Colour Change

There has been ZERO research on breastmilk changing colour because of a COVID-19 infection, so no one can definitively say either way.

Fact #2 : Breastmilk Changes Colour In A Single Feeding

Breastmilk colour actually changes during a feed. This may not seem obvious to breastfeeding mothers, but those who express their milk will notice the change.

The foremilk (left), which looks white and watery, is what flows out first when your baby starts feeding. It has a higher water and lactose content.

The hindmilk (right), which looks thicker and yellowish, is what flows out later. It has higher fat content.

It’s not that your breast makes different milk at different times. It makes only one kind of milk.

It’s just that the more watery part of the milk flows easier down the ducts, than the thicker fats that tend to stick to the milk secreting cells and moves slower down the ducts.

So the picture that the mother posted may be nothing more than normal colour changes in the milk – literals, hind milk versus fore milk.

Here is a picture of fore milk (left) and hind milk (right) from the same mother in a single pumping session.

Fact #3 : Breastmilk Can Change Colour With Diet / Medication / Supplement

In addition to natural changes in the body, breastmilk can also change colour with diet and/or medication / supplements.

Foremilk can look white or even bluish, while hindmilk can look creamy white or yellow.

Breastmilk can turn green, if you eat a lot of vegetables or certain herbs or supplements, or green-coloured drinks like Gatorade.

Beets and orange- or red-coloured drinks, can turn your milk pink, orange or even red in colour!

If your breastmilk looks brown (rust-coloured) or dark orange, it just means there is some blood in it. It may also get blood-tinged if you have cracked nipples.

Infographic Credit : VeryWell

Fact #4 : A Small Study Found COVID-19 Antibodies In Breastmilk

A small study of 15 mothers who contracted and recovered from COVID-19 found significant secretory Immunoglobulin A (sIgA) and some IgG antibodies in 12 of their breastmilk samples (80%), but not for IgM.

This is a preprint, which has not been peer-reviewed, and a very small study. Therefore, it only suggests that further research is warranted.

It also does NOT suggest that the detected antibodies have any protective effect on the child. That requires… yes, MORE RESEARCH!

Fact #5 : Scientists Are Looking At Breastmilk Transmission Of COVID-19

Scientists are concerned that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can also be transmitted from the mother to the child through breastmilk, so they did a living systematic review of mothers with COVID-19.

A total of 46 mother-infant dyads were selected for the study, in which all mothers were COVID-19 positive, but only 13 of their infants tested positive.

Photo Credit : Healthline

When their breastmilk samples were tested, 3 came back positive for SARS-CoV-2 particles, while the other 43 were negative.

Of the 3 mothers whose breastmilk had SARS-CoV-2 particles, only one infant tested positive for COVID-19. However, it was impossible to know how the infant was infected – through breastmilk, respiratory droplets from the mother, or even another infected close contact.

It is important to note that this does NOT mean SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted through breastmilk. It merely means more research is required!

The fact that the other two infants did not contract COVID-19 from their mothers also is not proof that breastmilk protects against SARS-CoV-2. It merely means, yes – MORE RESEARCH is needed!

 

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