Teething, treating eczema and 5 other brilliant uses for breast milk

Popsicles made out of breast milk can help soothe teething babies’ gums [Photo: Getty]
Popsicles made out of breast milk can help soothe teething babies’ gums [Photo: Getty]

The benefits of breast milk for feeding a baby have long been shouted about, but did you realise that the white stuff has some other, more surprising, plus points?

Parents have been taking to social media to share homemade recipes for breast milk skin lotions that could help clear a baby’s skin of irritations and infections such as eczema.

And there seems to be some science behind it. According to a study from Iran breast milk is as effective as one per cent hydrocortisone ointment, which is often prescribed by doctors to treat eczema.

Some 104 babies who had the common skin condition were enrolled in the study.

Fifty of them were treated with one per cent hydrocortisone ointment and 54 were treated with breast milk.

Nearly 82 per cent of the babies treated with breast milk showed improvements after 21 days of treatment, as did three quarters (76%) of babies treated with the ointment.

And treating eczema isn’t the only brilliant use for the white stuff. So to mark World Breastfeeding Week, we’ve gathered together some other super amazing uses for breast milk. (NB: Please don’t use it to make brownies like this mum!)

Ear Infection Treatment

While studies suggest breastfeeding could contribute to lower incidences of ear infections in babies, some experts believe the antibodies in breast milk itself can help to treat ear infections. Dr. Joseph Mercola suggests putting about 3 to 4 drops at the entrance of the ear canal (not directly in it) every few hours. The infection should clear up within 24 to 48 hours.

Eye Infection Treatment

According to some studies breast milk has been proven to be an effective treatment of conjunctivitis and other eye infections in newborns. Just ask Ben Fogle! And the anecdotal evidence on parenting sites certainly suggests there’s something in it. Mums who’ve tried the treatment suggest a couple of drops of breast milk in the eye will help clear up infections more speedily. “Breast milk has been used by mothers (probably for many years) to treat infectious conjunctivitis,” Debbi Donovan, a board certified lactation consultant, told iVillage. But hold off trying it for yourself until you’ve spoken to your GP or health visitor.

Soothe teething pain

Little one suffering the dreaded teething? Try pouring some expressed breast milk into an ice lolly mould and freezing it. Sam Faiers swears by it! When the pain kicks in, you can whip out a ‘mumsicle’ to help soothe their gums.

Cure nappy rash

Breast milk contains natural moisturisers that can help speed up the nappy rash healing process. Experts recommend washing the area with clean water first, then rubbing breast milk directly onto the rash and allowing to dry before popping on another nappy.

Breast milk has some amazing uses [Photo: Getty]
Breast milk has some amazing uses [Photo: Getty]

Help heal cuts or bites

If you have a cut that is causing burning, itching, or stinging, a drop of breast milk could help disinfect it. Experts believe the antibodies found in breast milk, specifically IgA, can help prevent germs from growing on the site of injury.

Help zap zits

Sounds strange, but breast milk could in fact be a super natural spot zapper. According to scientist, Dissaya Pornpattananangkul from University of California, San Diego, and reported by the Telegraph, a component found in breast milk, called lauric acid, could have acne-fighting qualities. Better still the treatment has no side effects because it comes from natural products unlike some other treatments, which can cause redness and burning. Not sure we’ll be ditching our expensive face creams just yet, but its good to know.

Please seek medical advice before using breast milk to treat any of the above

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