10 Surprising Things You'd No Idea You Could Use Breast Milk For
For many parents, breast really is best. Its nutritional value can't be understated, with benefits including lower risks of infections and a higher IQ, WebMD reports. What's more is that unlike formula milk, breast milk is completely free!
Breastfeeding also helps moms, too. According to Medela, it can burn between 500 and 600 calories a day - so it really is the perfect way to shift those pesky extra pounds which come hand in hand with a postpartum body.
However, breast milk has some surprising uses too, from trailing various ailments to making products like soap. We've compiled a list of the best so that both you and your baby can benefit from your own homemade bounty!
1. Healing blocked tear ducts
A common ailment faced by many babies is blocked tear ducts. And while this is usually treated with antibiotics, as we all know, these should be used sparingly. The Happy Hospitalist, however, found that applying just a few drops of breast milk onto the affected area can help to relieve the problem. The more you know, eh?
2. Soothing ear infections
Just like blocked tear ducts, another all too common problem for young children are ear infections. And because there are so many antibiotic-resistant bacteria out there, it's recommended that, where possible, alternatives should be sought. It's recommended by Dr. Mercola to put a few drops of breast milk in an infected child's ear at regular intervals.
3. Clearing up baby acne
Yeah, babies are prone to a lot of ailments, and another common one which can also be treated with breast milk is baby acne. It's caused when your baby's body rids itself of maternal hormones. And according to SmartMom.com dabbing a cloth soaked in breast milk will help clear up the problem in no time.
4. Soothing diaper rash
At this point, you're probably feeling sorry for your little bundle of joy - they have a lot to contend with at the start of their lives! And if their bottom is looking a little worse for wear from all those diapers, one blogger mom discovered that breast milk is once again an unlikely remedy. However, it's worth noting that if yeast is causing your baby's diaper rash, the sugar which breast milk naturally contains can make the situation worse, so always consult a doctor.
5. Healing cracked or sore nipples
As we moms know, it's not just our babies who have a lot to contend with at the start of their lives - it's us too. Breastfeeding for all its benefits can seriously take its toll on our nipples. According to La Leche League, if you express small amounts of your milk onto them, it's actually one of the best remedies out there.
6. Making your own homemade lotion
Animal milk is used to make a lot of lotions. So why not cut out the middle man and do it yourself? There are countless breast milk-based lotion recipes available online - like this one for an oat, honey, and breast milk lotion.
Babies and soft foods are a match made in heaven, and while buying yogurt from a store is easiest, if you make it yourself using breast milk, you'll know exactly what your baby is consuming - no nasty additives here!
8. Ice pops
Once your baby has gotten old enough to feed themselves a little, the next problem you'll most likely have to face is teething. However, if you're still breastfeeding at this stage, you can use your milk to make soothing ice pops!
Sadly, there's a lot of taboos around using breast milk for the same products we freely make with animal milk - and there shouldn't be. It can be used to make nutritional cheese, which can keep your whole family healthy!
Lastly, and most certainly not least is breast milk soap. It's benefits for our and our baby's skin should be clear by now. This is Traditional Midwife's recipe for making your own breast milk soap.
So there you have it - 10 surprising uses for breast milk. Have they inspired you to get creative with yours? And most importantly, are there any other unconventional uses that we've missed? Let us know in the comments section.