Nature has its queer ways to make sure your milk goes directly from its source to its destination without being seen. However, for long everybody has been very curious to see what human milk looks like.
The beauty of breast milk is that it looks different during different phases of your baby’s growth. Colostrum is thicker than mature milk and has less fat and sugar than mature milk, which on the other hand is thinner and produced in larger quantities by the mother (sometimes more than what the baby needs). Breast milk largely contains water, fat, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals, powerful enzymes, amino acids- basically everything a baby needs for life. But, in addition, here are some interesting facts about breast milk that you might not know.
Breast milk looks nothing like cow’s milk
The milk that women express is usually very different looking from cow’s milk. The milk that adults and older children drink has been pasteurized and homogenized before it comes to us. So, it looks white and creamy. But that’s not the case with breast milk. So, don’t be surprised if your milk has turned a bluish gray or split up into two layers during storage.
The appearance of breast milk changes several times during the first couple of weeks
The first bit of milk that your body produces is the colostrum which is very thick and concentrated. It is full of fats, nutrients, immune factors, and energy but very low in water content. That’s because of your baby when it arrives, is sort of water-logged and has enough water for the first few days. So, the resulting milk that oozes from your breasts is a sticky, yellowish substance. As time goes by, and about a week after your baby is born, your milk begins the transition to mature milk. The body recognizes that the placenta has come away so you’re prepared to lactate. Your breasts tend to fill up and can become hard and full if your baby is unable to consume all of the milk. So, make sure to feed or pump as often as you can. This milk too might be slightly yellow in color and it might even spray out when pumped.
Around 14 days after childbirth the last of your colostrum gives way to fully mature breast milk.
It can be of different colors
Depending on your diet and how much of artificial coloring you consume, the color of your breast milk might change. Interesting?
The consistency of breast milk keeps changing
While you begin to feed, the milk has a lot of water for a thirsty baby but as you continue the fat content begins to rise and that continues to happen as you feed. So, what initially looks like skim milk will end up looking like full-cream milk. Once the baby is done, the milk goes back to looking watery and thin. Depending on how often you feed, the consistency keeps changing.