7 causes of the presence of blood in expressed milk
blood in expressed milk
Expressing milk is a wonderful way to make sure your baby has access to breast milk, even when you can’t be there to feed. It can also help relieve symptoms of inflammation and reduce the risk of experiencing a duct blockage. While you may not pay much attention to the milk coming from your breasts during pumping sessions, seeing small changes in color can be quite alarming. This is especially true when your milk turns red or pink in color. Traces of blood in breast milk can be scary, but they’re not always a cause for concern. To better understand what is happening and how to fix it, consider the following causes of blood in expressed milk.
Should breast milk that contains traces of blood be discarded?
First, it’s important to know that breast milk that contains traces of blood is safe for your baby, in most cases. The cases in which it might not be safe are if you have an infection or a blood disease, such as hepatitis or HIV. You can talk to your doctor to better understand what’s causing traces of blood in your breast milk, do whatever tests you want to put your mind at ease, and then feel confident in your ability to feed your baby no matter what. happen.
However, breast milk that contains traces of blood may taste different to your baby. This could lead to lactation aversions or hesitancy to breastfeed. The blood could also increase the amount of spitting up your baby experiences. Although rare, if traces of blood cause your baby to vomit, it’s important to take your baby to the pediatrician or emergency department immediately. Vomiting during the first years of life can be dangerous, so it is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately.
Blood in expressed breast milk could also cause blood to appear in the baby’s stool. Even if you think this is caused by blood in your breast milk, it’s still important to take your baby to the pediatrician to make sure everything is okay. Blood in the stool can be a symptom of other serious complications, so it’s best to rule this possibility out.
7 causes of blood in breast milk
The presence of blood in breast milk is not always easy to recognize. It could go completely unnoticed due to the amount of blood vs. the amount of milk, or it could cause breast milk to turn a strawberry pink color. However, the presence of blood in breast milk can also cause it to turn black, olive green, or even brown. If you notice any kind of indication that something is wrong, it is best to see your doctor. In the meantime, try not to stress. There are a number of reasons why your breast milk may contain traces of blood, and most of them are not worth worrying about.
- Food or drinks
- Have you ever eaten a lot of beets and noticed a change in the color of your urine or stool? The same can happen with breast milk. Foods that have a lot of red pigments can make the milk look like there is blood, even though there isn’t. This coloration should go away as soon as your body digests what you have eaten.
- cracked nipples
- One of the most common reasons for the presence of blood in breast milk is due to the existence of cracks in the nipples. It is a normal complication of lactation that usually occurs due to an inadequate latch on of the nipple. Inadequate support to the chest can cause irritation, and this could lead to cracks or discomfort. When they are not sufficiently hydrated, the cracks can eventually open up and bleed.At the first sign of cracked nipples, it’s important to treat and fix the underlying problem. You might try another nursing position to see if your baby latches on better, or work with a lactation consultant to better understand what’s going on. You can also ease the pain caused by cracked nipples and reduce the risk of bleeding by applying a lactation-friendly moisturizer or moisturizer. However, if you don’t fix the problem of inadequate attachment, the nipples will continue to crack.
- broken capillaries
- Another frequent cause of the presence of blood in breast milk is due to broken capillaries. The cause is often the incorrect use of a breast pump , in which the suction is too strong, causing damage to the blood vessels. This injury is not considered normal and should be addressed to reduce the risk of ongoing problems. The best way to do this is to make sure you fully read the manufacturer’s instructions on using your breast pump. and avoid using the highest suction settings. You can still express milk using the low settings on the pump; you just have to experiment with the let-down phase and try to be patient. If you continue to experience symptoms of broken capillaries, you should speak to your doctor or lactation consultant for recommendations.
- Rusty pipe syndrome
- Vascular engorgement, also known as rusty pipe syndrome, is a side effect of increased blood flow to the breasts during initial milk production . This is a normal part of the process and tends to subside within a few days. Vascular engorgement causes blood to leak into the milk, causing the milk to take on a brown or orange color similar to the appearance of rust. This is the reason why it is often called rusty pipe syndrome. Although it sounds alarming, it is completely safe and you can continue to breastfeed your baby.
- Most mothers experience engorgement at some point, especially when dealing with initial changes in supply and demand. The engorgement can be treated with home remedies, but if it continues to worsen it could be a sign of mastitis. Mastitis occurs when the breast becomes infected, which can result in blood in the breast milk. If you think you may have mastitis, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible for treatment. The most common symptoms are: inflammation, redness and pain that does not go away. You may also have a fever or show signs of infection, such as nausea, fatigue, or dizziness.
- benign intraductal papilloma
- “Benign intraductal papilloma” is a term used to describe small, benign tumors that grow in the lining of the breast ducts. Although this may sound alarming, they are usually quite innocuous. However, a benign intraductal papilloma can increase your risk factor for developing breast cancer, so it’s important to stay vigilant about preventive care and check-in with your doctor. If you have a benign intraductal papilloma, you may notice small lumps on your breast or bleeding from the nipple, regardless of how much hydration you receive.
- breast cancer
- While most cases of blood in breast milk are not cause for concern, there are rare cases where it could be an early sign of breast cancer. If you notice any type of bleeding that is not related to any of the problems described above, you should see your doctor. It’s most likely something else, but it’s always better to be safe, especially when it comes to early detection of cancer. Although most of the common reasons for blood in breast milk are normal and will clear up on their own, seeing your doctor can help give you peace of mind and rule out more serious complications such as mastitis or breast cancer. If you are not sure what is causing the bleeding, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible, especially if it is persistent.
How to act in the presence of blood in breast milk
Talking with your doctor is the first step in determining the underlying cause of blood in your breast milk. If your nipples are cracked or bleeding, this could be an obvious cause. However, other potential causes may not be as obvious. In addition to making an appointment with your doctor, you should work with a lactation consultant to make sure your baby has the best latch possible , which can help reduce nipple damage.. Although it may seem counterintuitive, you should not stop nursing or expressing milk just because there is a trace of blood in it. Even if you have an infection or blood disease, continue to pump while you and your doctor determine the cause and treatment to avoid blocked ducts or painful engorgement.
Expressing milk is an excellent way to supplement lactation and increase milk supply. To provide your baby with the essential nutrients she needs during development, Byram Healthcare has a wide selection of breast pumps covered by insurance . To get started with our easy three-step ordering process, visit our breast pump selection page today.
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