|26 ounces of my frozen breastmilk|
Here, I've compiled a collection of some less apparent uses for (and things you can make out of) breastmilk. Some I have tried, and others I haven't.
Breastmilk can help with the following ailments:
- Healing baby acne (and other transient mystery baby rashes): Breastmilk has antibacterial properties, which can help soothe and heal your baby's rashy skin.
- Treating mama acne: Besides having antibacterial properties, breastmilk has lauric acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin. I've heard mixed results from this remedy: some people swear by breastmilk for acne (and there's even research that supports this claim). Others (like my friend, Lauren) just haven't had the same success with it.
- Diaper rash: A special kind of rash all in its own, diaper rash can be particularly responsive to receiving the breastmilk treatment. Simply apply some after each diaper change, and allow the affected area to dry prior to putting on the clean diaper.
- Baby's infected/clogged tear ducts: Again, because of the antibacterial properties of breastmilk, and the fact that the nursing mother is continually making antibodies for every pathogen her baby is exposed to on a day-to-day basis, breastmilk works wonders with infected baby eyes. And it works fast, too!
- Conjunctivitis ("pink eye") in Mama's or Papa's or anyone else's eyes: For the same reasons it works in your baby's eyes, breastmilk can clear up infections in older folks' eyes as well. I've used my milk to treat my own eye infection, and (I don't think he would mind me sharing this) I know my brother has used a friend's milk to treat his own pink eye on more than one occasion. It works!
- Baby's nasal congestion: Breastmilk works at least as well as saline nasal spray (but it's free!) at helping to loosen nasal congestion in your little one. You can use breastmilk alone, or just before using a nasal aspirator to clear everything out.
- Cuts & scrapes: Breastmilk is particularly useful for this purpose when you're away from home (or a reliable water source). You can clean the injury with the milk, and then apply some fresh milk to it and allow it to dry there.
- Insect stings & bites: For the same reason I just mentioned, you're often away from home when you're outside getting bitten by insects. Breastmilk can help to take the itch away from a nasty mosquito bite!
Breastmilk can be made into:
- Cupcakes: I've seen this idea on several blogs, but I'm pretty sure I saw it first on Breastfeeding Moms Unite! If you follow that link, the recipe is for vanilla breastmilk cupcakes with strawberry frosting...and they sound absolutely delicious. Perhaps these would be good to serve at a first birthday party!
- Soap: I recently asked a fellow doula, Nicole, to make me some breastmilk soap and she did a beautiful job! I love the idea of having breastmilk soap around long after your babies are weaned. You can have a very special (but still quite practical and useful) memento of your nursing relationship for years to come. The frozen milk pictured in the photo above is now part of this:
Just one of the 20 bars of soap made with my milk
You can even do it yourself with this recipe, if you feel so inspired!
- Momsicles: Oh, I know, the name makes me groan, too! If you haven't guessed, these are popsicles made of breastmilk, and they're very handy to keep in stock for teething and/or feverish babies. Sometimes a sick kiddo won't eat or drink anything, but sucking on a popsicle hits the spot. Even better when it's made of antibody-rich breastmilk! You can use a popsicle mold to make them or a simple ice cube tray with toothpicks stuck in them works well, too.
- Apparently, making breastmilk cheese is out of the question, though...just in case you were considering it.
Which of these breastmilk remedies or recipes have you tried, if any? What other uses for breastmilk can you think of that I missed? I'd love to add to my list!
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