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Can COVID-19 Infection Turn Breast Milk Green?!

Can COVID-19 Infection Turn Breast Milk Green?!

Can a COVID-19 infection really turn breast milk green?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Can COVID-19 Infection Turn Breast Milk Green?!

A mother of two, Ashmiry, just went viral after sharing a picture that showed how her breast milk turned green after she contracted COVID-19!

Her viral photo showed two pouches of her breast milk. The white one on the left was apparently expressed before she contracted COVID-19, and the green one of the right after she tested positive for COVID-19.

She originally posted this on Instagram almost a year ago, on 1 February 2021:

I needed a few days to let my brain understand what has been happening this past week. 3 out of 4 family members tested POSITIVE for COVID-19 in my home, Jesse, Rubi and myself. (Mia may have the antibodies, she has not had any symptoms and she tested NEGATIVE)..

I really wanted to share this photo of my breastmilk! It actually let me know something was going on in my body and my babies.

How amazing is breastmilk, it’s magical and I’m so thankful to be able to produce it especially now! The color change indicates that my body is making exactly what Rubi needs! Antibodies, extra fatty and just pure goodness 🥲🥺🙌🏻

However, her original post didn’t go viral until lactation consultant, Goldilacts, reposted it with this message:

OUR BREASTS ARE SUPER RESPONDERS 🏃🏽‍♀️

Connecting to our post from a few days ago regarding milk supply during COVID, there is also THIS magic 🪄

Check out GoldiLacts mama @ashmiry_ liquid GREEN gold when she and her breastfeeding baby tested positive for Covid 💚

When lactating, our bodies are always doing full body scans of mama and baby and figuring out exactly what to put in breastmilk for babies wellness. 😭😍

SO amazing!!!

 

Diet Likely Turns Breast Milk Green, Not COVID-19

Ashmiry did not share much beyond what was in her post, so we don’t really know the circumstances behind those two breast milk pouches.

Let me share with you why it is far more likely that her diet, not COVID-19, turned her breast milk green… and some other breast milk facts!

Fact #1 : No Evidence COVID-19 Infection Changes Breast Milk Colour

There is currently no evidence that breast milk changes colour with COVID-19 infection.

In fact, other mothers in Goldilacts’ Instagram thread pointed out that their breast milk did not change in colour, even when they were infected :

dagirl2011 : I had covid last week as well and pumped but my milk was not green. I assumed it still had antibodies and my baby tested negative throughout. 2 out of 4 of us were positive in our house.

candicemconcepcion : hmm I’m Covid positive with a 2 week old and my breast milk has never looked like this.

wafasoultan_ : This is amazing! I tested positive for covid but my milk was never green

Other mothers also pointed out that their breast milk looked exactly like Ashimiry’s after they had green foods :

YL Grieves : My expressed breastmilk had a tinge of green like this when I have a green smoothie

heavensent706 : My milk turned that color when I ate green vegetables

It is highly likely that Ashmiry’s breast milk turned green because of her diet, not because she was infected with COVID-19.

Fact #2 : Breast Milk Colour Changes Over Time

Breast milk changes in colour and composition over time during the first few weeks :

Read more : Will COVID-19 Turn Breastmilk Yellow With Antibodies?

Foremilk (left) vs. Hindmilk (right)

Fact #3 : Breast Milk Colour Changes With Mother’s Diet

Breast milk is also known to change colour with the mother’s diet :

The Australian Breastfeeding Association also points out that mothers can get green breast milk after they eat green- or blue-coloured foods like green vegetables, kelp or some types of seaweed in tablet form, or concentrates of natural vitamins.

Fact #4 : Breast Milk Colour Changes With Mother’s Health

Breast milk can also change with the mother’s health :

Fact #5 : Breast Milk Colour Changes When Frozen

When you freeze breast milk, it can appear more yellowish.

Credit : Verywell

Fact #6 : No Such Thing As Mother-Baby Body Scans

As much as I strongly support breastfeeding, I have to point out that there is no such thing as full body scans of mother and baby during lactation.

The mother’s breasts do not scan her baby for infections (like COVID-19), and create antibodies to put in breast milk.

If the mother is infected with COVID-19, any antibodies she produce goes into her breast milk. This occurs irrespective of whether the baby is infected as well, or not.

If the baby has COVID-19, the mother’s body cannot detect that, or produce antibodies to put into the breast milk.

Fact #7 : Consumed Antibodies Unlikely To Impart Protection

While a mother’s breast milk may contain antibodies against COVID-19, they impart little to no protection because the antibodies appear to be destroyed when digested by the infant.

If the antibodies cannot pass directly into the infant’s blood, they cannot confer any actual protection beyond temporarily protecting the oral cavity or GI tract during the feeding session.

A December 2021 LactMed summary of studies on the effect of COVID-19 vaccines on breast milk found that:

In other words, the mother’s milk may have neutralising antibodies against COVID-19, but they don’t actually get absorbed by the infant, so breast milk with COVID-19 antibodies do not confer any protection to the infant.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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