WE’VE ALL heard the term, breast is best, right?
Breast milk is often referred to as “liquid gold” because of its ability to adjust nutrients to suit a baby’s needs.
Now a mother has shared a striking photo claiming her breast milk turned green after she and her baby tested positive to COVID-19.
Mum-of-two, Ashmiry, has shared a picture of two pouches of breast milk before and after contracting the virus.
The white one on the left was expressed before her daughter tested positive for COVID-19, and the second green-tinged milk was after her family got ill with the virus.
Ashmiry was stunned to see the colour of her milk change, but excited because she believed the changes were her body making extra nutrients to nourish her daughter.
Ashmiry shared the photo to Instagram last year – and reshared it this week – to share the benefits of breastfeeding.
At the time, Ashmiry, her partner and one-year-old daughter tested positive for COVID-19.
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She said: “I really wanted to share this photo of my breast milk.
“It actually let me know something was going on in my body and my babies.
“How amazing is breast milk, it’s magical and I’m so thankful to be able to produce it especially now!
“The colour change indicates that my body is making exactly what Rubi needs!
“Antibodies, extra fatty and just pure goodness.”
When resharing the photo this week, she admitted that she drank the breast milk when ill with COVID-19.
She explained: “I was so grateful at that time, that I was still nursing.
“Otherwise if not I would have not experienced that or seen what my body was able to do for Rubi.
“We all had some of that breast milk. I had my own breast milk.
“But hey I got better, I was tired of being sick, so I was thinking 'I’m going to drink some of that breast milk', and I did. I don’t know if it helped, who knows."
This post was shared by CPR KIDS, a child-focused first aid group on Facebook.
The health experts said: “The COVID-19 virus has not been found in breastmilk, but can easily be passed between people.
“Speak to your midwife or GP for advice specific to your situation and make the choice you are comfortable with.”
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Lactation consultant Goldilacts also shared the image calling the milk, "liquid green gold" alongside the message, “our breasts are super responders”.
The consultant said: “When lactating, our bodies are always doing full body scans of mama and baby and figuring out exactly what to put in breast milk for babies wellness.”
It's believed that the switch in colour of the breast milk is due to an increase in immunoglobulins, white blood cells, and leukocytes – all of cells that help fight illness.
A Facebook post by mum Mallory Smothers explained why the colour change can occur.
She wrote: "When a baby nurses, it creates a vacuum in which the infant's saliva sneaks into the mother's nipple.
“There, it is believed that mammary gland receptors interpret the 'baby spit backwash' for bacteria and viruses and, if they detect something amiss (i.e., the baby is sick or fighting off an infection), Mom's body will actually change the milk's immunological composition, tailoring it to the baby's particular pathogens by producing customized antibodies.
“(Science backs this up. A 2013 Clinical and Translational Immunology study found that when a baby is ill, the numbers of leukocytes in its mother's breast milk spike.)"
The Australian Breastfeeding Association also noted that green breastmilk can occur after eating large amounts of green (or even blue)-coloured foods such as green vegetables, kelp and other types of seaweed in tablet form or concentrates of natural vitamins.
Dr Natalie Shenker, a breast milk researcher at Imperial College London and co-founder of the Human Milk Foundation, told the Mirror: "We do know that women who are infected with Covid do generate antibodies against Covid and those antibodies go into the milk in over 90 per cent of women."
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