Healing Uses of Breast Milk

Pumped Breast MilkDid you know that human breast milk is great for more than just feeding your baby? Breast milk has healing properties, which makes your milk great for your baby’s body, inside and out. Did you also know that your breast milk is also good for you and the rest of your family? I did and have been using my milk to treat my baby’s and my minor ailments since my milk came in. Because of my use of my milk for reasons other than just feeding my daughter, I have yet to have had to put her on antibiotics or treat her with any other medications. So, what are some of the great healing uses of breast milk?

Cuts and Scrapes

My daughter has the sharpest and the most quickly growing fingernails that I have ever seen. Her big toenails, too, get incredibly sharp and claw-like every few weeks. When she was first born, I was not as adept at trimming her nails as I am now, so she always ended up with one or two sharp, pointy nails. Inevitably, she would scratch her face with one of her nails. Even just yesterday, I discovered that she had scratched up one of her feet with her other big toenail. Breast milk is great for treating minor cuts and scrapes. I just dab a little milk on the scratches that my daughter gave herself and her skin heals right up.

Rashes and Eczema

Breast milk is also great for treating other ailments of the skin. Whenever my daughter gets diaper rash, I pour a little of my milk on the rash and then let her skin air out. The rash always heals much more quickly than had I used a more traditional diaper rash cream. Breast milk is also great for treating other rashes including eczema. For example, when I noticed a little rough patch on my daughter’s leg a few nights ago, I rubbed a little of my milk on the spot. Without any lotions or oils, the little rough patch on her leg cleared right up.

Excess Mucus and Sinus Infections

My daughter recently caught the cold that I had picked up at work. As a result, she had a lot of excess mucus in her nose. At first I tried using saline drops to help break up the extra boogers, but then I realized that my daughter was swallowing some of the saline solution. I then switched to putting a few drops of my milk in her nose before using the nasal aspirator. I no longer worried about her swallowing anything because she eats my milk anyway. Furthermore, my milk actually cleared out the boogers from her nose much better than the saline drops.

In addition to clearing out excess mucus from  your baby’s nose, breast milk is also great for preventing and treating sinus infections. By cleansing my daughter’s nose with my milk, I was not only getting out the boogers but I was also helping to prevent her from getting a sinus infection. Breast milk has antibacterial properties and helps cleanse the nasal passages. In fact, to help prevent myself from getting a sinus infection as I got over my cold, I also used a little of my milk inside my nose. I usually use a salt water and baking soda mixture to cleanse my nasal passages. Let me tell you: Breast milk is so much gentler and just as effective!

Ear Infections

With the cold that my daughter recently had also came some redness in her ears. To prevent the redness from turning into an ear infection, I placed a few drops of my milk in her ear canals. She screamed the first time that I poured my milk in her ears. By the second time, she was cool with the whole thing. Better yet, the redness in her ears cleared up and did not turn into an ear infection. Just a few drops of antibacterial breast milk in your baby’s ears can help prevent some kinds of ear infections.

Eye Infections and Blocked Tear Ducts

Just as breast milk can prevent and treat infections in the sinuses and ears, so too can this antibacterial liquid prevent and treat infections in the eyes. For example, if your baby has pink eye (conjunctivitis) or another minor eye infection, gently squeeze a few drops of milk into his or her eyes a few times a day. Additionally, if your baby if having problems with blocked tear ducts, an ailment that is common among newborns, also put a few drops of breast milk in his or her eyes. The milk will help dissolve the blockage and will cleanse the eyes.

Sore Nipples

Finally, breast milk is great for treating sore nipples. When I first started breastfeeding my daughter, my nipples were extremely tender. I used lanolin cream, but I also used my own breast milk to help clear up my sore nipples. After I was done feeding my daughter, I would stay topless. I would then rub some of my milk on my nipples and let my skin air dry. My nipples got sore, but I never had any problems with dryness or cracking.

Have you ever used your breast milk for purposes other than feeding your child?


10 great ways to use breast milk (other than feeding your child): http://voices.yahoo.com/10-great-ways-breastmilk-other-than-feeding-231786.html
Six (other) uses for breast milk: http://www.breastfeedingmomsunite.com/2009/03/six-other-uses-for-breastmilk/

Image Credits

Pumped Breast Milk © 2012 Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson

Heather Johnson is a mother, wife, writer, librarian, and linguist. She earned a BA in English studies with a minor in creative writing from Illinois State University in May 2007, an MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2009, and an MS in English studies with an emphasis in linguistics at Illinois State University in December 2011.

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