Breastfeeding benefits aren’t limited to mum and baby — this amazing liquid is filled with antibodies and anti-inflammatory goodness that can be applied to a multiple of health issues for the whole family!
What makes breastmilk so good
Breastmilk contains antibodies and anti-infective goodness to help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria while their bodies are still developing their immune systems. While we all know how good this is for babies — it means that their less likely to have asthma or allergies, plus have fewer infections and bouts of diarrhoea — did you know that these same healing qualities that go into your baby’s body can also do amazing things for a variety of health ailments as well? The best part is that breastmilk is free, so no need to buy creams and lotions while you’ve got this amazing super power to heal all the things.
Seven ways breastmilk can be used as a natural remedy
1. Eye infections
Use a few drops of breastmilk to help soothe eyes affected by conjunctivitis or plugged tear ducts. You can squeeze the drops in with a syringe or just squirt it in the corner of the eye using your breast. This stuff comes with a ready-made dispensary system! To err on the side of caution, please check with your health professional, who may also want to prescribe medication to help your baby’s infection. But for regular gunky eyes, which are common in young babies and can accompany the common cold, try breastmilk.
2. Cradle cap
I wish I’d know about this one for my babies, who all had cradle cap when they were little, and NOTHING WORKED to get rid of it. If your baby has this condition and you haven’t been able to shift it, your milk has to be worth a try. Apparently, you just need to massage a few drops of breastmilk around the affected areas on the scalp and you should see visible improvement overnight.
3. Cuts and scrapes
The powerful anti-infective qualities in breast milk can help cuts and scrapes heal faster and stop germs growing around the wound. Plus, if you have a toddler with a scraped knee in the house, watching you squirt milk on it will be entertaining enough to distract him from any pain.
4. Ear infection
Opinions are a little divided on this one. Some experts say that a few drops into the ear canal of an infected ear can help soothe the pain and clear up the infection faster, however, others advise against liquid going into the ear. If the infection is in the inner ear, the milk may not come into contact with it, but if it’s in the outer ear, like a ‘swimmer’s ear’ condition, it could work. Check with your GP before trying this one for a middle ear infection.
5. Sore nipples
There’s no need to buy nipple balm and soothing creams for your sore or cracked nipples. Save your money! The Australian Breastfeeding Association recommends soothing sore nipples with a few drops of breastmilk, squeezed out of the nipple and spread around the affected areas. Leave to dry in the open air if possible and watch it work it’s magic. I can vouch for this one working.
6. Rashes and itchy skin
Nappy rash, insect bites and even the itchiness caused by chicken pox can be soothed with the healing properties of breastmilk, which can calm the itch down and disinfect the area, which should help the irritation disappear more quickly.
7. Baby acne
Mums swear by a few drops of breastmilk on their baby’s acne-affected skin (completely normal in the newborn weeks) to help decrease the inflammation and speed up recovery. You can even try it on teenage or adult acne – chances are it could help!