Brown Spotting While Breastfeeding: Here’s What It Means

Throughout pregnancy and postpartum, your body goes through many changes. Some changes are expected, and you have a general idea of what to expect and how to handle them when changes occur. But, some changes can be a shock to the system and may creep you out a bit. As you nurse your new baby, you can experience everything ranging from aches and pains throughout your body to putting on a new nursing bra every few hours because of leaking milk. Some new moms even experience discharges before or after feeding their little ones, making them nervous. 

If you’ve seen a brown discharge from your body, you may wonder what it means to you and your baby. If you are, don’t be afraid, as the brown discharge you see is a common experience among nursing moms.

Let’s dive deeper into some of the changes you may be experiencing with your body, how your body is a baby-feeding powerhouse, and what bodily discharges can mean for you and your baby. 

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How Your Body Responds to Nursing

When your new baby is born, your body works overtime to produce everything your baby needs. For instance, your body can make a substance called colostrum shortly after delivering the baby. Think of this substance as the first “superfood” your baby will ever eat, as it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals your baby can’t get anywhere else. 

Many healthcare professionals recommend that new babies and their moms spend their first few minutes bonding through nursing. The baby’s suckling helps stimulate the breasts to let them know that the baby is ready for its first meal.

When you get home, your body stops making the colostrum and begins producing breast milk as your baby’s primary food source. You can expect your body to tell you when it’s time for your baby’s next meal, as the breasts often fill with milk and become tender. Many nursing moms report that this happens whenever feeding time is near. Some moms say breast milk can “sync up” with the baby’s feeding schedule. While it can be pretty cool knowing that your body can tell you that the baby is ready for your meal, rest assured that your baby won’t have trouble letting you know when it’s time to eat, either!

Another way your body responds to nursing is that your milk can change color in response to viruses. Many mothers say that their milk turns yellow when someone in the house isn’t feeling well. This yellow color results from your body producing antibodies and passing them through the milk to protect your baby (how fantastic is that?!). So, if you’ve noticed that your milk is more yellow than usual, it could mean that someone in your home has come down with something, and your body is working hard to protect your new little one.

What Does a Brown Discharge Mean?

Although it can be a scary sight initially, don’t be alarmed If you see a brown discharge from your body after nursing.  The brown discharge is a common phenomenon called the Lochia Discharge. The Lochia Discharge is a liquid combination of blood, uterine tissue, and mucus, which gives it its distinct brown color. This discharge typically occurs a few weeks after delivery when your bleeding begins to slow.

Spotting While Breastfeeding

Along with the Lochia Discharge, your body is apt to do some spotting as your hormones work to regulate themselves. While most mothers don’t have to worry about menstruation for up to a year after giving birth, spotting and irregular periods are commonplace for nursing moms. If you have a period, you may notice that it is lasting longer than usual, which is also a regular occurrence.

Also, you may experience heavier periods while your hormones try to get back to normal.

When Will Your Period Return to Normal?

When breastfeeding, you may wonder when your period will return to normal. The amount of time it takes for your periods to regulate can vary, as everyone has a different experience. Many women report that their periods return to average about a year after giving birth, while others experience their period a few weeks after giving birth. Still, again, this varies depending on your hormone levels and how your body responds to nursing. 

If your period comes back while you’re still nursing, keep an eye on your milk supply, as many mothers have seen their supply dip when their period comes back. If this happens, try your best to maintain your regular feeding schedule for your baby. If you’re concerned about fluctuations in your milk supply, be sure to reach out to your doctor for advice on how to proceed with your lactation efforts.

Looking Out For Mastitis

Experiencing discharges isn’t limited to your uterus, as discharges from the breasts and nipples are also commonplace for nursing mothers. Some discharges may come from the stimulation of nursing, and other discharges can result from stopping nursing.

While most discharges are harmless for you and your baby, remaining vigilant is crucial.

If you’ve noticed that your breast discharge contains pus, it may indicate an infection called mastitis in your breast and must be treated. Mastitis is an infection commonly seen in nursing mothers. While it poses no threat to your baby, it can cause your breasts to be very sore and can make nursing uncomfortable.


Breastfeeding helps you and your baby form an inseparable bond. It can cause you to have peculiar experiences. Most changes come with the territory and are harmless to you and your baby. A brown discharge while nursing is a small part of your body adjusting to life with your new baby and trying to regulate itself. 

While your body can produce liquid gold in the form of breastfeeding, staying vigilant and noting abnormalities are crucial for you and your baby.

There are many mysteries behind the body’s response to nursing. Paying attention to its signals as it tries to adjust to your new reality can help you feel more comfortable as you navigate the new adventure of motherhood.

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