Rusty pipe syndrome: counselling a key intervention

Breastfeed Rev. 2013 Nov;21(3):27-30.


Presence of blood in the breastmilk renders a rusty or brownish colour to it; this entity is known as "rusty pipe syndrome". Although this is a self-limiting condition, it can be particularly intimidating for mothers and may act as a psychological barrier to successful breastfeeding. We describe this entity in two mothers who had spontaneous blood-stained breastmilk from both breasts in the early post-partum period and were worried about feeding their infants. Subsequent to proper counselling with the use of skills like active listening, accepting their concerns, building confidence by providing relevant information in simple language and by giving suggestions and avoiding commands, both mothers were able to successfully breastfeed their offspring.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / prevention & control
  • Breast Feeding / psychology*
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation Disorders / blood*
  • Lactation Disorders / psychology*
  • Milk, Human*
  • Mother-Child Relations*
  • Mothers / education*
  • Mothers / psychology
  • Postpartum Period / physiology*
  • Syndrome
  • Young Adult