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10 Surprising Alternative Uses for Breast Milk

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The term “liquid gold” refers to breast milk for its ability to nourish babies. But did you know its golden qualities may also heal baby's skin ailments? That breast milk makes nourishing soap? Or that is can be wonderful for teething when frozen? Check out these amazing alternative uses for your power milk! (And of course consult your pediatrician before attempting any home remedy, even with breast milk.)

1. Treating Blocked Tear Ducts

Does your newborn have weepy, crusty eyes? It’s not uncommon for infants to develop a blockage in their tear ducts. Doctors will typically prescribe antibiotic ointment or even a minor surgical procedure that involves probing the duct with a thin wire. But lots of moms, like The Happy Hospitalist, have found success using a few drops of breast milk to the affected eye. Of course, medical attention should always be sought.

2. Treating Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common childhood malady. With an upswing in the amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, many doctors are looking for alternative treatments. Dr. Mercola recommends adding a few drops of breast milk in the affected ear every few hours. But of course consult your pediatrician first.

3. Clearing Up Baby Acne

Newborn acne happens to most babies as their bodies process and clear maternal hormones. While it's totally natural for your baby to have teenage-worthy breakouts, it's hard to resist wanting to treat those baby pimples. SmartMom.com reports that anecdotally, most moms who gently dab a breast milk-soaked cotton ball over baby blemishes notice almost instant results.

4. Treating Diaper Rash

If your baby's bottom is red and irritated, you can try using breastmilk to clear things up. Blogger Science Momma tried breast milk to soothe her baby's bum and reports that it worked. There's a chance that your baby's diaper rash is caused by yeast, so if the infection doesn't clear up quickly, breast milk isn't going to help; the sugar in breast milk can actually make yeast even worse, so consult your pediatrician for persistent rashes.

5. Healing Sore or Cracked Nipples

Breastfeeding can sometimes be painful, leaving you with sore, cracked nipples. While many women will turn to lanolin, tea bags, and warm compresses, La Leche League reports that expressing a small amount of breast milk onto your nipples is actually among the top cures. If the soreness is caused by thrush, or yeast, the invading fungal infection thrives on breast milk. If you don't notice an improvement, seek medical attention.

6. Making Lotion

Some fine lotions are made with goat's milk, so why not try making your own lotion with momma's milk? We found a recipe for an oat, honey, and breast milk lotion from Molly Thomas that sounds wonderful. It does say to store breast milk lotion in the refrigerator, making this lotion sound even more appealing for use as a cool, soothing balm.

7. Making Yogurt

Yogurt is a great food for babies. It's easy to feed and they love the taste. While it may be easier to buy commercially-made yogurt, you can only be certain of what goes into it if you make it yourself. If you're interested in making your own breast milk yogurt, we found an easy recipe at food.com.

8. Making Ice Pops

Ice pops are a tasty treat and they can help with teething pain, too. For older children you can use a popsicle kit or a small cup with a popsicle stick to make frozen treats. You can serve them as snacks, or as a soothing treat for sore throats or upset bellies. For younger children and teething babies, put breast milk into an ice cube tray. Place breast milk cubes into a mesh feeder and let your baby teethe away.

9. Making Cheese

Kids love cheese, so why not try making some of your own? Chef Daniel Angerer made headlines a few years ago for making cheese with his wife's breast milk. While he didn't offer it in his restaurant, it did spark an interesting conversation about some of the taboos we still face related to breastfeeding. We found another do-it-yourself momma's milk cheese recipe at howstuffworks.com, so Chef Angerer certainly isn't alone in his cheese-making.

10. Making Soap

It's popularly thought that breast milk is great for skin, so it's not surprising that one mama made the leap to creating a breast milk-based soap. While you'll have to pump for a while to build up a stash of 6 cups of milk, Traditional Midwife has a recipe to make your own breast milk soap.

 
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