As babies grow, breast milk offers important protection against disease and infection, which is not surprising considering its composition; it’s packed with nutrients, vitamins, and fat, including immunoglobulin A, lauric acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid, and many more.
While breastmilk has many qualities that make it incredible when ingested for nutritional and immune system support, it can be used for more than consumption.
Benefits of a Milk Bath for Baby
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that explore the use of breast milk to combat skin ailments and irritation that babies experience. Let’s explore these benefits further as they relate to bathing:
1. Treating Eczema, Cradle Cap, and Psoriasis
Breast milk was found to be similarly successful in the treatment of mild to moderate atopic dermatitis, a.k.a. Eczema, when compared to hydrocortisone 1% in a 2015 report published in the International Journal of Dermatology.
Studies show that half of all babies are affected by atopic eczema, which causes itchy, painful, swollen, and cracking skin. Many mothers swear by using a breast milk bath to help reduce the effects of eczema as well as psoriasis and cradle cap.
2. Clearing Acne
A breast milk bath could help to treat acne. Lauric acid, which is plentiful in breast milk, has antimicrobial properties that can help to fight against acne. It supports faster healing and keeps the area free of bacteria and infections. It may also help to reduce spots and discoloration of the skin.
3. Hydrating Dry Skin
All the acids described above (linoleic acid, vaccine acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid) are incredibly hydrating. Bathing a baby in breast milk could help to heal dry skin, lighten skin spots, and lessen inflammation.
4. Healing Minor Burns, Cuts, and Insect bites
Because of its natural antiseptic properties, breast milk can be applied on a small cut to minimize burning and stinging. The IgA antibody found in breast milk prevents germs from forming on the wound and helps speed up the healing process.
5. Soothing Diaper Rash
A 2013 research in the journal Pediatric Dermatology discovered that breast milk was just as effective as hydrocortisone in children with diaper dermatitis, a.k.a. Diaper rash.
How to Make a Breast Milk Bath
It’s relatively easy to make a breast milk bath. You need:
- Warm water
- Baby wash
- 6-10 oz of HBM
- Put lukewarm water in the tub.
- Add 6-10 oz of milk to warm water.
- Soak for 5 to 15 minutes.
- Apply the breast-milk laden water over the baby’s arms, ears, and limbs. If necessary, pour over the head and wash the face with it.
- Remove the baby from the tub and pat dry.
- Use moisturizers.
- Dress baby in cool, light fabrics that allow the skin to breathe.
Other Surprising Uses for Breast Milk
Soothing Teething Pain
In order to sooth teething pain, put some of your expressed breast milk into popsicle shells and freeze it. When your little one is crying from teething pain, give them a milk popsicle (usually called “”momsicles””) for a quick and nutritional soothing experience.
Treating Ear Infections
Breast milk could be used as a home remedy for ear infections. Breast milk has high levels of Immunoglobulin-A antibodies that protect infants from infection.
Adding a few drops of breast milk to the infected ear every few hours will help to clear the infection easily.
Before you do this, ensure you consult your pediatritian.
Clearing Blocked Tear Ducts
Babies’ eyes can often be affected by clogged tear ducts. Symptoms include excessive tearing, crusting, painful swelling in the inner corner of the eye, blurred vision, and pus discharge from the eyelids.
This can be a stressful condition for children. Physicians typically prescribe antibiotics for this condition or suggest a minor surgical operation that includes the wiring of tear ducts. Breast milk may be used as a home remedy instead of these intrusive procedures.
Apply 2 drops of milk to the eye after washing the eye region with water. This will allow the tear duct to get unclogged in 1 to 2 days. If it is still not clear, consult your doctor.
Alleviating Sore Nipples
Chapped, sore nipples are common problems in the early days of breastfeeding. There are plenty of creams and antibiotic ointments for these particular problems, but many mothers, midwives, and lactation counselors still swear by breast milk.
Breast milk is high in vitamins, minerals, and fats, and has a number of benefits. Apart from feeding, a breastmilk bath will have a number of benefits, including battling acne, moisturizing dry skin, and minor healing of cuts.
It can also be used in the bath to treat painful skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, cradle cap, and diaper rash.