A mum is raising awareness of bloody breast milk after being alarmed when she was confronted with bright red milk.
Tanya Knox shared a series of images on The Milk Meg’s Facebook page to raise awareness of mastitis – an infection caused by a blocked duct – after seeing her milk turn red from a blood clot the size of a 10p coin.
Tanya only noticed her red tinted milk – sometimes referred to as ‘rusty pipe syndrome’- because she pumps instead of breastfeeding.
‘Painful breastfeeding pic from a bad clog almost turned mastitis. I thought it might show what can happen to our milk that nursing mums might not usually see (I exclusively pump),’ she explained.
Tanya’s photos left many mothers concerned, with one questioning whether it was painful for Tanya to express milk from her breast thanks to the clot.
One mum commented: ‘You poor woman!!! That giant thing came out of your nipple? I didn’t even think our milk holes were big enough to house/release something that size!’
But Tanya was quick to reassure her, replying: ‘Passing the clot actually didn’t hurt! My breasts were sore because I had a plugged duct and was fighting mastitis but passing the clot was pain free.’
Speaking to MamaMia, Tanya later explained: ‘It was quite confronting. I could feel mastitis starting to set in and my milk suddenly became really bloody. I had no idea I was passing clots until I strained the milk after pumping. My husband nearly fainted.
‘I had pumped strawberry coloured milk before in the past but nothing like this, I’d heard of people expressing out clogs and clots but never experienced it until this happened, about four months into my pumping journey.’
Despite the alarming colour, the milk is still completely safe for your baby to drink. In fact, many breastfeeding mums don’t actually notice if their milk has been tinted because the baby breastfeeds as normal.
Have you ever experienced something similar while breastfeeding? Let us know in the comments section below!