Funny Breastmilk

Breastmilk may not always look or smell like the cow's milk you're used to seeing. In fact, it can be affected by many different factors!


Breastmilk will have the faint smell and flavor of spices and foods eaten by the mother. It has been speculated that these flavors passed on to the baby in breastmilk, acquaints him to the flavors of the family foods.


Studies have shown that babies consumed less milk when it contained alcohol. Alcohol consumption should be avoided or limited due to the alcohol that is passed to the baby.


Milk from mothers who exercise prior to breastfeeding can contain “off” flavors due to the lactic acid that builds in the body during vigorous exercises which is passed into the breastmilk.

Although it does not cause the baby any problem, the baby may not be eager to nurse right after exercise.


Occasionally women report milk that smells “spoiled” after only a short period of storage.

The cause of this is unknown (though may be related to an unusually fast break down of milk fats) when the milk is stored in recommended containers and for limited periods of time.

Suggestions may include use of glass storage containers, freezing at the coldest temperature possible and keeping the milk away from odor releasing foods in the refrigerator or freezer.

Women have found that heat treating their milk (heating until steaming, then chilling) stops the formation of “off” odors.


  • Green: Spinach and green leafy vegetables

  • Pink: Beets

  • Orange: Carrots and squash

  • “Rusty pipe syndrome” is a brownish color in breastmilk that occurs most often at the onset of lactation and dissipates over time. The coloration is due to small amounts of blood from broken capillaries in the breast.


Cream will rise to the surface of the milk. It may appear as a layer or as clumps. Swirl the milk before feeding to disperse the fat back into the milk.