Surprise Uses of Breast Milk Other Than for Feeding
Breast milk is known as ‘liquid gold’ not because it can fill up that tiny tummy of your cute little bundle alone, but because it can do many more wonders than that!
Yes, all of us are aware of the uses of breast milk for babies. With widespread awareness, some generous moms offer to send packets of expressed breast milk for babies in need. The world is just getting to be a better place to bring these little ones into.
Though the demand for breast milk is predominantly to only feed the infants, many midwives claim to use this liquid gold for various other purposes as well. However, consultation with a doctor is always advisable, considering the tender age of your baby.
So, are you wondering what are the other benefits of breast milk? Read on to know more in detail about this brilliant elixir that only a mother’s body can produce.
Uses of Breast Milk
All of us are aware of the common benefits of breast milk. Here are some of the breast milk benefits you may not be aware of:
1. Fix a Scrape
Did your baby hit himself/ herself somewhere and is crying over a tiny scrape? A couple of drops of breast milk over the scrape can soothe down the burning sensation and help the skin heal quicker. Also, you need not worry about your child touching the scrape and putting the same finger into their mouth or food since it’s milk. Now, this is something you cannot do if you had dabbed some ointment on the scrape, right?
2. Mosquito Bites
Are those sore red spots making you nervous? You can’t do much about those pesky little mosquitoes that seem to be evolving with time and finding ways to surpass all those creams, sprays, and nets. But what you can do is dab some breast milk on those spots to stop the itchy sensation that has been making your baby cry or scratch constantly.
You will also be surprised to see how quickly the breast milk helps in reducing the size of the bump, and most of the bite marks vanish in a day – which is faster than most of these over-the-counter after-bite creams.
3. Eye Infections
Babies experience clogged tear ducts – a reason why you rarely see tears come from their eyes even when they are crying hysterically. As the tear ducts get clogged with dirt, it can cause severe irritation to the eyes. Your child can be seen rubbing their eyes constantly or, worse, cry due to discomfort and helplessness.
Washing the eyes and cleaning the tear duct with a clean washcloth is highly recommended. However, you can also use a dropper to squirt a few drops of breast milk into the eyes to help with the clogged ducts.
4. Teething Pain
Teething can be a nightmare not just for the infants but for the parents too. The continuous crying, refusing to eat food, or lack of sleep can really drain out both the parents as well as the child. What you can do is, instead of offering ice to soothe down the pain, you can use breast milk popsicles.
Fill in small popsicle moulds with breast milk and freeze them. Every time your child is experiencing pain, give them one popsicle. Not only will the ice soothe their pain, but the milk will also fill their tummies. You need not worry if your tiny tot comes back for more. Fruit nibblers that come with a silicone teat and a ring for the child to hold on to are even better. You can even insert the pacifier into the mold before putting it into the freezer and use that as a handle.
As your baby starts transitioning to semi-solids, porridges are one of the most recommended foods. As most doctors do not recommend feeding cow’s milk to children below the age of one, the use of breast milk is a good option. Rather than mixing the porridge or any semi-solid food with water, mix it with breast milk. This will ease the child into new foods as they are used to the smell and taste of the milk.
6. Dilute Medicines
We all know many medicines come in a powder form. These powders have to be diluted a little for the baby to be able to digest them. Doctors recommend mothers to dilute in breast milk rather than sterile water. This is because the baby will recognize the taste and smell
of breast milk and be more willing to swallow the medicine without a fuss. Also, many doctors are against adding water to a baby’s diet for the first few months.
Yes, you read that right! Soaps! Many parents have become very conscious about what they use on their skin and that of the baby’s. While usage of milk or even goat’s milk is very popular in hand made soaps, the use of breast milk is also not uncommon. Soaps made with a mother’s milk are believed to help with eczema, a skin condition that we will discuss further in this article. This soap is believed to soften the skin and leave the user (baby or not) with soft baby skin.
Uses of Breast Milk for Skin
Breast milk has many wonderful properties that make it a great option for skin ailments. So why is breast milk recommended for the skin? Here are a few reasons:
Eczema is a skin condition that is more common in babies than you know. There has been a lot of research in this area, and several treatments are available today. However, the use of breast milk on the affected spots has been a long time remedy and an effective one too!
Just dab some breast milk on the rashes to reduce the puffiness and itchiness. It will cool and be soothing for babies and adults too. This is one of the amazing uses of breast milk for skin.
These terrible red rashes can leave itching all over for days. While it is easier said than done, scratching is the most rewarding action for chickenpox. A little bit of frozen breast milk will feel great when rubbed over the itchy spots. The anti-inflammatory and cooling properties can help with the itches.
Breast milk can work wonders on the skin. Many rashes that may require multiple visits to the doctors can be handled with breast milk. Many babies experience rashes and spots on their tender skin as their bodies adjust to the new environment and all the harmful particles in it. You will be surprised to realize the uses of breast milk in this context!
Be it acne on the face or the back; be it acne on the baby or the mommy, try dabbing some breast milk on the spots. The results will sweep you off your feet, and you will not be subject to any greasy or foul-smelling ointments either!
5. Diaper Rash
Even as many mothers are going eco-friendly with cloth nappies and other similar options, diapers are a major part of every new parents’ life. While the diapers promise to keep that soft bottom dry and help the baby sleep longer, it can cause irritation and rashes too.
Uses of breast milk are not restricted to exposed skin alone. Though there are some diaper rash creams across the counter, try applying some breast milk to the affected area. The anti-inflammatory properties in breast milk will help calm down the rash quickly.
6. Baby’s Cracked Lips
Babies experience dry and cracked lips just like us adults. Though they are fully on a milk diet for the first few months, dehydration cannot be dismissed. Rather than using some oil or baby-safe cream on their lips, you can always wet their lips with some expressed breast milk from time to time. Use a clean cotton pad and just dab it on their lips very gently. Be careful not to rub it, as it might cause those precious tender lips to crack up and bleed all the more.
Since breast milk can do wonders for rashes and eczema, it doesn’t take much time for people to incorporate it into lotions for babies and adults. This lotion can be very soothing for a baby’s sensitive skin. It might be a little expensive, as this important ingredient is not easily available, but the effects will be worth the money paid.
While Aloe vera is the most common remedy for sunburns, breast milk is a great stand-by option. While a mother may not be particularly happy about slathering sunburns with her precious breast milk, applying a bit of it on heavily affected areas can be a real relief for the baby. The soothing properties in the milk will help calm down the burn and reduce the impact on the skin.
Uses of Breast Milk for the Mother
The uses of breast milk are not limited to babies. The mother and other adults can benefit from this wonderful liquid too! What are the uses of breast milk for mothers?? Read on to find out:
The majority of the new mothers suffer from cracked nipples, and not one of them will tell you “It was no big deal.” Many mothers are scared of or even give up breastfeeding very soon, simply because of cracked / sore nipples.
Many creams can help soothe a cracked nipple. However, the usage of such creams is not easy as it sounds. Mothers have to wash off the creams and clean up the nipple before she can breastfeed the baby. This can be quite a daunting task when you are feeding so frequently that you don’t remember when was the last time you put down/ burped the baby. In such cases, a little bit of the same milk can help soothe the cracked nipple, and the mother need not fear the baby swallowing it in the next feed.
2. Puffy Eyes
Woke up with puffy eyes due to staying up most of the night with your cranky baby? Dip a clean cotton pad in some breast milk and let it sit on your lids for a while. You will be surprised to see how quickly those eyes return to normal size.
That mark across a mother’s stomach signifies the first home for a baby. Despite a beautiful story behind the marks, not many are ready to embrace it. This is the very reason that stretch mark creams are doing well in the market. Applying breast milk for stretch marks daily is said to reduce the marks effectively. Since it is high in nutrition, it helps in rejuvenating the skin to a great extent.
As mentioned earlier, many generous mothers come out and help others in need. However, a highly debated topic, and unacceptable for some, is if one mother’s milk can be fed to another baby. Many new parents and doctors have embraced this wonder of nature and are encouraging mothers to express and store milk. The milk is frozen in packets and is sent out to babies in dire need.
It is heart-wrenching for a mother to realize she cannot feed her child, especially when the child needs it badly. Helping such mothers restores faith in humanity and makes you feel good about yourself too.
The uses of breast milk do not stop with the above-mentioned uses. Here are more than a dozen uses of breast milk you still may not be aware of:
Many mothers today are going in for customized pendants or rings that store their breast milk in it, in a different form, of course. This is considered to be one of the coolest inventions and usages of breast milk. The mother gets to not only keep a bit of her precious milk with her forever but can also pass it down to her child to remind them about their very first food!
Have you noticed your baby crying inconsolably and pulling their ear? It could be an ear infection!
Squirting medicine into your tiny baby’s ears may not be a very comfortable thing to do. However, an ear infection cannot be left unattended. Squirt a few drops of breast milk to ease the discomfort and this acts as alternative medicine, going by the results.
Yes, the cheese takes a lot of milk. However, some mothers don’t mind turning all those pumped bottles of milk into cheese for the healthiest form of cheese for their babies. This can be a great alternative for vegan parents or babies who are allergic to animal milk.
4. Makeup Remover
While baby oil is a very common makeup remover, breast milk can do the trick too. Just a few drops of expressed milk rubbed directly on the skin can loosen out the products without irritating the skin. Use a clean cotton pad to remove the makeup without causing any burns or itches. This is a very safe alternative to remove eye and lip makeup.
The uses of breast milk extend into the kitchen as well. Just as it can be used in semi-solid foods for babies, breast milk can be used to prepare other foods as well. Use breast milk instead of regular cow’s milk while baking goodies for your baby. This is a more nutritious snack or meal for your child, isn’t it?
6. Canker Sores
Those terrible sores on the inside of your mouth can be a real game-changer when you want to talk to others or even eat food. It can leave you in pain and discomfort for days on end. While there are many across-the-counter ointments, nothing is safer than breast milk. Even if you were to swallow most of it, it will not impact your stomach negatively.
Use a clean finger to dab some of the precious milk on your sores from time to time. Very soon, you will notice those unsightly sores fade away.
Warts are more common in adults. The use of breast milk here can be quite surprising. Mother’s milk is believed to have a particular compound that can help with loosening warts. Regular usage of the milk on the affected spots can loosen the wart and make it fall off. This is any day, a better option than getting it surgically removed.
8. Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is a condition in which rough patches develop on the scalp of a baby. While doctors say the cradle cap will eventually disappear on its own, it may not be a very pretty sight. As this cap becomes very prominent during the feeding phase, mothers are requested to alter their diets. It is believed that if a mother increases her intake of manganese, biotin, B6, and zinc, it can help the cradle cap fall off faster. What the mother consumes is passed on to the child in the milk. Therefore, an increase in these nutrients can make the cradle cap disappear faster.
9. Milk Bath
New mothers are advised to have milk baths to soothe the raw pain of childbirth. It soothes the irritated skin, body parts and relaxes her muscles too. Babies are treated to milk baths too.
10. Poison Ivy
While you may never come across a situation where your infant runs into poison ivy, you can never be too sure with toddlers. Rubbing some raw mother’s milk on the affected area is believed to soothe down the inflammation and reduce irritation. If left unattended, poison ivy rash can escalate very quickly and cause serious after-effects. If you have some breast milk at hand, do not hesitate to use it as first aid.
We all know contact lenses require a saline solution for proper maintenance. Breast milk can act as a great alternative to a saline solution. If you were to forget your solution when you step out, you know what to use instead.
Make yogurt out of breast milk for babies. It will be more nutritious than any probiotic yogurt in the market.
Over the years, research and real-time stories have added value to the various uses of breast milk. Gone are the days when everyone rushed to transition the baby to semi-solids from what is believed to be the “watery milk” that did no great good for the babies. Even the hindmilk, which was earlier discarded, is now in full demand.
Nature has its ways to protect and take care of us. It is us humans who have taken time to understand and embrace this wonderful fact. Go on and use your new-found knowledge to put that liquid gold to more uses. If you discover more uses of breast milk, be sure to share it with other mothers and us in the world!