Last week, Jody Danielle Fisher posted a picture on Facebook of a bottle of her "normal" colored breast milk next to a bottle of "blue" colored breast milk. The contrast was striking, and the post quickly went viral. Fisher, who claimed that the ‘blue’ breast milk was produced two days after her one-year-old daughter got her immunization shots, became the subject of heated debate online.
Fisher wrote, "It's blue from all the antibodies my body is producing as it thinks she's sick with what she was vaccinated against! When she feeds her saliva sends signals to my body to produce more milk with illness specific antibodies!"
Experts quickly debunked Fisher's theory. "While there is still so much that we don't know about human milk, we do know that breast milk comes in a wide variety of colors and consistencies. The vast majority of those differences are normal," Barbara Cohen, a longtime board-certified lactation consultant in New York City, told Parents.com.
The internet has marvelled over the power of the female body this week, after a British mother released images of her “magical” breastmilk. https://t.co/2fbNh7KdaB— news.com.au (@newscomauHQ) May 9, 2019
Breast milk can change color for a variety of reasons, including the time of day that it was produced. "The blueish color is most noticeable during the first few minutes of milk expression when the composition is mostly foremilk," Nancy Hurst, director of Women's Support Services at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women in Houston, told Romper. "As the breast continues to empty, the composition changes to hindmilk, which is higher in fat, giving it that creamier color."
Hurst added that mothers may see blueish tint when they have gone longer between pumpings, for example, first thing in the morning when more milk has accumulated. The blueish color in breast milk is the result of the foremilk composition and how light refracts off of it.
Fisher, however, was unwavering. After she was told that the color change may be the result of her diet or the time of her pumping session, she wrote that the milk pictured "was expressed straight after a feed," therefore, not foremilk. She added that she hadn't consumed "anything artificially colored," taken any supplements, or consumed any green vegetables before the production of the "blue" breast milk. Adding that her milk is only bluish when her daughter is ill, never when she is well.
Have you ever heard of this happening? https://t.co/YRtoD0hQp2— StokeonTrentLive (@Sotlive) May 10, 2019
Although some anti-vaxxers were quick to use the bluish breast milk as an example of why vaccines are dangerous or unnatural, Fisher herself wasn’t buying these claims, stating, "This goes to show the vaccines are doing exactly what they are meant to do, and so is my daughter's body and mine.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines contain the same microorganisms that cause disease, but they have either been killed or weakened to the point that they can no longer transmit the disease. Although a vaccine may stimulate your immune system to produce antibodies, it gives you immunity without actually making you ill. Thus, Fisher’s claim cannot be scientifically supported.
Despite the facts presented, the picture was shared more than 7,000 times and received over 9,000 comments, with one user writing, "One of the reasons why I want to breastfeed," while another added, "Absolutely incredible! Truly, our bodies are miraculous." That they are.