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Breast Feeding

Light green breast milk

01/19/2001

Question:

The other morning while my sister was pumping, she noticed her breast milk was very light green. Is this normal? On and off for the past 1 1/2 months, the baby has had green stool. Is there any cause for concern?

Answer:

Green milk is unusual but is not usually harmful. The green color may be related to iron supplements, intake of artificial dyes, or ingesting large amounts of green vegetables. If the green milk is only coming from one breast, or is thicker than the usual breast milk pumped your sister should contact her personal health care provider.

Green stools in an exclusively breast fed infant (an infant not receiving any other food, or vitamin supplementation) is most likely due to the infant receiving the lactose-loaded foremilk and not enough of the fat-calorie-rich hind milk. Let the nursing child continue nursing until he self-detaches which may be ten to thirty minutes for a young child. If the infant determines when to switch breast and continues to have green stools this should be discussed with his health care provider.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati