I have always had a fairly healthy relationship with my boobs, which is surprising because I got them at a young age and my last name rhymed with “Hooters” (kids can be so cruel!). When I got pregnant people would ask me if I planned to breastfeed, and I always felt the question was kind of weird. Of course I’m going to breastfeed! I thought. Why wouldn’t I use what God gave me to feed my child? Plus, it’s free and better for the baby! It never really felt like a choice for me and I’m so glad I decided to do it. There have been some definite challenges (see future post about treating a blocked milk duct!), but ultimately it has been totally worth it!
Once my baby and I got the hang of regular feedings I started to become interested in the milk itself. What does it taste like? How long does it keep? What else can I do with it? So I Googled, “uses for breastmilk” and discovered a plethora of interesting things I could try! This list is only a tiny fraction of the things that you can do with breast milk, these are just the ones I tried and lived to tell about.
1. Use breast milk to relieve itchiness caused by bug bites.
Where I live mosquitoes are a common nuisance. I seem to get bitten about twice as much as my friends and family, so I personally will try anything to stop the itchiness caused by their bites. I have found that applying a little bit of breast milk directly to the affected area when it feels itchy can greatly reduce the discomfort and keep me from scratching and irritating my skin. I also noticed that the bites heal more quickly when I use the breast milk. If you have a problem with bug bites try an experiment. Apply breast milk to bites on only one side of your body and observe the difference. My guess is that the breast milk side will be noticeably less irritated and itchy.
2. Put breast milk up your nose.
Yeah, you heard me correctly, I said put it up your nose! I am a regular Neti Pot user so I am used to liquids up my nose. I have been pouring saline solution through my sinuses for over 2 years now and have recommended it to everyone as a safe, easy, inexpensive way to keep illness at bay. When I read that breast milk can clear up sinus congestion in both children and adults the thought occurred to me to try using it with the Neti Pot. The results were astounding! At the time my husband, baby and I were all suffering from a terrible cold, but after just one breast milk nasal cleanse I felt so much better! Pouring the milk through my sinuses felt cool and soothing and my sinus pain and head ache went away over night! After I tested it on myself I used it on my son by dropping it into his nostrils with a bulb syringe. It loosened up the mucus in his nose so I was able to suck most of it out with my favorite product, the NoseFreida Nose Sucker. It also helped him sleep. I was so happy to hear his stuffed up breathing go back to normal. There’s nothing worse than listening to your baby struggle to breathe in his sleep! I was so thankful that the breast milk worked because the alternative would have been spending money on a saline solution for babies. I have read from other moms that breast milk works just as good, if not better than the over the counter medications for sinus congestion, and there are no side effects for baby!
3. Gargle with breast milk.
Swollen glands and sore throats are never any fun. When I’m sick, my biggest concern is finding a way to get comfortable enough to sleep it off. I usually gargle salt water and try over the counter sore throat medicines and sprays, but last time I got a sore throat I decided to see how the breast milk would pan out. Once I got over the “ick” factor surrounding the idea of putting my own breast milk in my mouth, I poured myself a 10mL cap full and gargled away. The result was similar to the feeling I get after I gargle salt water. It loosened up some mucus so I could spit it out and helped relieve the pain in my glands when I swallowed. I also found the taste more pleasant than warm salt water. If you can stomach it, I recommend trying to gargle with breast milk to reduce sore throat symptoms. It’s also good for babies’ throats too, but obviously it’s hard to know if an infant is suffering from a sore throat. The solution for babies is to just feed them a lot when they aren’t feeling well.
How have you used breast milk?
There are lots of ways to use breast milk that I have not included in this article. I have read it is great for ear and eye infections. I have also heard that it can help treat acne, rashes and eczema. I’d love to hear from some of you. How have you used breast milk and what were your results? Please share your experiences in the comments!