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Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

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Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by mcdaidwiley on Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:34 pm

I am curious if anyone has noticed a huge difference in the 'whiteness' of breast milk from different mamas? My own milk is a pale yellow / cream color when frozen but our wonderful donors milk is so white in comparison. When my milk is stored in the fridge and settles, the fat layer is approx. half an inch (for a 5 oz bottle), so I know I have fat in there.

When your milk settles in the fridge, how much fat do you observe on the top?

Is the more white milk color of our donors milk due to fat content or milk proteins ? There is obviously a huge difference in the composition of our milks.

Comments gratefully appreciated?
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mcdaidwiley

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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by Jodibug on Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:23 am

Info on fat content: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/milk/change-milkfat.html

Info on what breast milk looks like: http://www.mother-2-mother.com/motherconcerns.htm#whatdoesbreastmilklooklike

Bottom line: The fat content and appearance of breast milk varies from woman to woman, day to day, morning to night, beginning of feed to end of feed, etc.

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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by sarahgreen on Wed Jul 07, 2010 12:31 pm

As to color, on days when I take my vitamins in the late p.m. I notice the milk the next morning is slightly greenish. I attribute it to the alfalfa. Later in the day the milk I pump is creamier and noticeably fattier. I have no idea how it looks all the other times when I'm nursing my own daughter, hahaha!

so yea, I agree with jodibug. It's constantly changing!

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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by dietpepsigal on Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:39 pm

The creamy yello color.. when I take B vitamins it makes my milk 'creamy' - more yellow. its alot whiter when I dont' take B's.

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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by Saritamackita on Sat Sep 18, 2010 9:54 pm

of course, an important question would be, how old is your baby? The milk I pumped the first week was extremely yellow because it was "transitional milk." It then gradually shifted to white.

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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by mel chris on Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:42 pm

Yeah, how old is your baby? :-) My milk was very yellow and even orange for the first few days my daughter was born, and I think there was a bit more fat too. Then it changed to white and is still white. It's definitely creamy though. But it looks white!

Also, I definitely noticed that sometimes my own milk varies in colour/creaminess.

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Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Relation to colic in breast fed babies?

Post by mcdaidwiley on Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:56 am

Hi...Thank for the posts.
My baby is now 7 months old and at the time these e-mails were written, was approx. 4 months old, so it definitely was not colostrum-only milk I was refering to. We have had the same donor for the past 3 months and there is a consistent difference in the composition of her milk versus mine, which I guess I have accepted as being part of the natural human variation that we all have. The donor milk has much more fat relative to mine (though she may just get more of the hind milk out when pumping than I do, even though I pump for 40 minute sessions and have 3 letdowns, so in theory that should be fat-dense hind milk).

My interest in this stems from my baby's horrible GI problems (colic)..............mucousy stools and pain, which I have always suspected is due to lactose-rich milk and not enough fat in my milk. I have researched this subject thoroughly and there is conflicting information. Kelly mom states:

'The research tells us that baby's milk intake (the volume of milk - not the amount of fat in that milk) is the only thing that has been correlated with infant growth in exclusively breastfed babies. As noted earlier, average fat content of human milk is highly variable, but has not proven to be significant when calculating baby's total energy intake or weight gain. (Aksit 2002, Butte 1984, Cregan 1999, Mitoulas 2003, Mitoulas 2002.)'

I do not agree with this statement since fat has TWICE the number of calories as protein or carbohydrate.....so if my baby is drinking 30oz per day of lactose-rich (carbohydrate) rich milk then they will NOT get the same amount of calories as a baby drinking 30oz of high fat milk........that is common sense. IN fact, other studies have shown a wide variation in the fat composition of human milk (analyzed from donor mothers)....see below.

Macronutrient Analysis of a Nationwide Sample of Donor Breast Milk
As part of routine QA activity, incoming donor milk was tested for macronutrient content. Upon arrival, each donor’s milk was pooled into 10 liter aliquots, unique to that donor, and a sample of each aliquot was taken for testing. A total of 415 sequential samples from 273 donors were tested. A large variation in caloric and fat content was noted and a substantial proportion of donations tested had a caloric density of less than or equal to 17 calories/oz. The mean caloric density and the mean protein content were also found to be lower than generally assumed.
Wojcik KY, Rechtman DJ, Lee ML, et al. "Macronutrient Analysis of a Nationwide Sample of Donor Breast Milk" J Am Diet Assoc. 2009; 109: 137-140

I did find a wonderful article that described the potential causes of colic in breastfed babies, called 'Resolution of Lactose Intolerance and Colic in Breastfed Babies'. I have included a link to the article below. I hope this article can help some of you mothers to understand what may be going on.
http://www.health-e-learning.com/articles/Lactose.pdf

I was on an elimination diet for 3 months (dairt, gluten, soy and nuts) and tried cluster feeding on one side to increase fat content of milk, but I think the only thing this accomplished was to drastically reduce my supply. I also ate fat-rich foods and tried to eliminate sugars but I don't know if these helped to be honest. Like my older baby, who also had the very same issues when I nursed her, my little baby outgrew colic at the typical 3 months. When a parent is going through this is it agonising and at the time it is so frustrating to find little research into the cause. Because of the transient nature of colic we tend to forget about the lack of research when our babies outgrow it. Plus, it probably has to do with so many highly varible factors (milk composition, immaturity of babies digestive secretions, immune effect / immaturity, physiological immaturity of babies gut..........the list could go on).

Bottom line, the point of this post was to find how many of you noted a difference in the fat content of milk between donors....that is the part that intrigues me and I often wondered what the incidence rate of colic was in babies who get high fat human milk versus those who receive carbohydrate-rich (lactose-rich) milk. Of couse, this will usually only be applicable in for the first few months when colic is evident. For me, I only got donor milk when my baby was 4 months old, so was never able to evaluate if my wonderful donors fat-rich milk helped reduced colic symptoms.
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Profile pic illustrates difference in my milk versus donor!

Post by mcdaidwiley on Wed Feb 09, 2011 11:26 pm

Dear Fellow Moms,
It has been a few months since I posted and my baby is 1 in two weeks. What a journey this first year has been. we are still nursing and what I can provide is enough for her. I no longer need donor milk, though I remain eternally gratefully to my wonderful donor !!

I had noticed that this post got a lot of hits, so I thought it might be nice for fellow Mom's to SEE what I meant by the difference in fat content between my milk and donor milk. I have uploaded a picture onto my profile. The milk shown was expressed when our babies were approximately 8 months, although I have noticed this difference form the beginning.
The two bottles to the left are my milk....greeny in color with a small fat layer. The one bottle to the right is my donor's milk.....much whiter and with a large layer of fat.

I think a picture tells a thousand words!!!

Anyway, the purspose of this is just to reassure Mom's that this is just Nature's variation. Both our milk was appreciated by my child's hungry body and nourished her well.
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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by bhtimm on Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:52 am

Thanks for sharing!
My milk is closer to yours in nature. Your donor has some ultra-high fat milk there! Keep in mind that she may pump after feedings, which may yield more of the fatty hindmilk per session. I simply don't have a lot of milk, and my hindmilk is hard to express, but I often see "clumps" of hindmilk on my nipples when my daughter nurses. (I exclusively hand-express for days at a time when I'm away from my daughter)

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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by mcdaidwiley on Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:03 am

Thanks.......I know she pumped 3X per day at work in relatively short sessions with one let down. The milk in one bottle of mine was obtained in a 40 minute pumping session involving 3 letdowns.....so in theory I should have be extracting the fat-rich hindmilk.

Bottom line......she just makes this amazing fatty milk and it is probably in her DNA to do so!!! No matter what I did...diet...sleep.....herbs...vitamins, I was never able to make this much fat.

But that's OK......it is so interesting though!!!
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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by kauaiangirl on Wed Feb 23, 2011 4:04 am

Another thing to remember when talking about the color of milk is that your foods can also lead to "coloring" your milk. When I ate 2 mango's in one day my milk was very orange, and when I'd eat broccoli it would often turn greenish. Many things can change the color, not just fat content. Mary
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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by krnolan89 on Wed Feb 23, 2011 2:20 pm

My milk tends to be more of a bluish color. The lactation consulatant told me that was because mine was really rich. I'm guessing because of my vast variety in diet?? I'm not sure. But I haven't seen anyone else's milk be the same color as mine. My nephew is pump fed, and his milk is always yellow-ish.

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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by lavenda319 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:08 pm

I am the donor that mcdaidwiley was referring to. (I was so happy to help you in your time of need!!)

I feel a major difference is that I was blessed with a surplus of milk! I pumped for my son while he was at daycare, and I pumped an unbelievable 10 to 15 ounces extra per day! I had so much milk, it wasn't a struggle to keep up with my sons need... I was in pain if I didn't pump every 3 hours! My point is that maybe my surplus was such that I had a lot of hindmilk? I usually pumped 15 to 20 minute sessions, I never checked for # of letdowns since I didn't have a supply issue. I kept track, and I believe I donated a total of 1096 ounces to three infants!

I did not pump while I was with my son, or after he nursed. All pumping was while I was away from my dear son.

A few people mentioned vitamins... I wasn't taking any at that time.

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Re: Difference in color of my breast milk versus donor - Comments?

Post by adbaker0818 on Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:45 pm

I've had over 12,000 ounces of milk donated to my baby over the last 14 months from almost 30 different moms, I've seen a whole range of colors, all totally normal! I've seen white, cream, yellow, orange, blue tinted, green tinted, and my favorite, a neon yellow/green color! I've uploaded a pic to my avatar as well for you to see the vast differences in color between what I typically think of as a normal white, and the neon milk I got from one particular mamma. She was a chiropracter's wife, ate lots of green veggies, and took massive amounts of vitamin C which we think might be why the milk was this color. I always saved her milk for when my baby got the sniffles, thinking all that vit. c would help!
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