Newborn Lips Purple After Breastfeeding
Parenting Toddler Safety

Newborn Lips Purple After Breastfeeding

Newborn lips purple after breastfeeding? Is it a cause for concern? 

An oxygen deficiency in the blood causes purple and blue lips.

A red blood color, especially on lighter skin, is created by oxygenated blood.

The skin showcases a similar purple-ish color when the blood is low in oxygen.

Especially noticeable in the thinner skin areas like lips, newborns have particularly thin skin.

People who describe blue lips are describing a purplish lip color.

In most cases, this is not a serious problem and usually goes away within a short amount of time.

Lips with a true blue hue are rare and should be taken seriously. We refer to the lips as blue even though the coloration is purplish.

We also provide more information about what constitutes help and when it is necessary.

Newborn Lips Purple After Breastfeeding

It is unlikely that the issue is serious if the baby appears to have blue or purplish skin around their lips but is breathing normally and responding normally.

The blue lips are temporary in babies, mainly resulting from a cold environment after bathing or exposure to cold air.

Babies cannot thermoregulate their temperature like older children so they may react strongly to temperature changes.

The baby’s lips retain their original color upon returning to normal temperature.

The baby can turn blue while breastfeeding, which can be frightening. In the event of this happening to the baby, understanding and knowing what to do will help the mother. 

For a new mom, breastfeeding is one of the most rewarding experiences, even when it can be stressful and overwhelming.

This rarely happens. Your best course is to be calm when it occurs.

When a baby confuses the suck-swallow-breathe pattern necessary to nurse successfully, they can turn blue around the mouth. 

An interconnecting network of veins surrounds the mouth of the baby.

Blood engorges the veins when the baby sucks, and the veins are visible. This is what causes the baby’s lips to appear purple.

If this happens to your baby while trying to breastfeed him, don’t panic and follow some simple logic.

1. Don’t Let The Baby Starve

As a result of hunger, newborns may suck hard when they first appear.

The baby continuously suckles without breathing when getting milk from the mother’s breast.

Sucking so hard can cause the baby to become yellow or dusky in color.

The infant may also cry for several minutes in anticipation of being fed. 

As the baby tries to start sucking, swallowing, and breathing, he tries to confuse the pattern and either choke or turn bluish for a few seconds before he learns the correct pattern.

If babies swallow too quickly, they will choke and turn blue in some cases.

Begin choking first aid as soon as the baby can’t cry or make noises and has trouble breathing. Ensure that the baby’s airway is clear.

2. Baby Should Be Disengaged From Breastfeeding

Disengage the infant from the breast as soon as you notice the baby’s mouth turning Purple.

The baby can take a breath after breaking the suction and start breathing normally once the suction is broken. 

Make sure the baby’s gums and tongue are pink, then you can be assured that he is healthy.

Before you start breastfeeding again, continue to watch the baby’s color.

When the baby goes through this process again, he will remember the suck-swallow-breath pattern and continue breastfeeding.

3. Possible Medical Conditions Of Purple Lips In A Baby


The painless discoloration is caused by acrocyanosis of the extremities and often the lips.

There may appear to be some purplish color to the lips, but they are not blue. In newborns, it is caused by a change in temperature.

The blood vessels constrict to focus blood flow around vital organs, such as the heart, lung, and brain.

A baby’s coloring will return to normal after his internal temperature has regulated.

Central Cyanosis

A baby with cyanosis in the central region has an oxygen system problem.

It affects the lips, facial skin, and tongue, in particular, causing them to turn purple. Low blood oxygen levels cause this condition.

Cyanosis central can be caused by several health conditions like lung problems, heart problems, or airway issues.

Congenital heart defects, for instance, could result in the blood bypassing the lungs and not supplying new oxygen to the body.

This condition refers to the tetralogy of Fallot or tricuspid atresia.

Other respiratory conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, or bronchiolitis could be preventing the blood from receiving oxygen.

The environment may also play a role. For example, smoke inhalation can limit blood oxygenation.

4. Tips For Nursing A Baby

Ensure that the nose of the infant is not blocked. Despite it sounding obvious, it’ll pose a dangerous threat if the mom doesn’t pay attention to the infant. 

It is very easy to see how an infant’s nose can be blocked.

While breastfeeding, stay awake and attentive. When the baby is sucking, observe for changes in color and signs of respiratory distress.

Allow the baby to breathe for a few moments before reengaging them.

It may help the infant latch on if the mom dispenses a few drops of breast milk on the infant’s lips before it begins.

Thus, the baby immediately begins sucking, swallowing, and breathing.

Breastfeeding mothers who have trouble initiating milk flow are especially likely to benefit from it.

A physician should be consulted when

  • You notice an increase in purple tints from the lips to the mouth, tongue, head, or other areas. Discuss it with a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  • It is worth consulting a doctor if your child frequently has bluish lips without an obvious cause, such as temperature changes.
  • It’s most likely acrocyanosis if blue skin develops only around the lips or on the hands and feet, which usually goes away.


Now, you know about newborn lips purple after breastfeeding. A decrease in blood oxygen levels causes the lips to appear blue or purple.

The lips or extremities have this tinge, and it is usually caused due to changes in body temperatures.

Over time, the color tends to fade quickly. Speak with a healthcare provider immediately if the blue tinge extends to your lips, tongue, mouth, or other areas.

You should contact emergency services if the baby is having trouble breathing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes newborns to have cyanosis?

By 10 minutes after birth, newborn infants normally have normal oxygen saturation and no central cyanosis. 

Can purple lips be a cause for concern?

If you have purple lips or skin, there isn’t enough blood flowing or oxygen circulating in the body.

The change in color of your lips may represent a medical emergency, such as an asthma attack or flare-up of COPD.

Is anemia responsible for purple lips?

Skin discoloration may indicate an oxygen deficiency in the blood.

Moreover, it could also be caused by an abnormal form of hemoglobin (a protein found in red blood cells), as with sickle cell anemia.


Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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