Most of us are more than aware about the amazing nutritional benefits of breastfeeding, but let's now dive in to the practical, medicinal, and cosmetic benefits of this natural superfood.
Science over the years has found a number of new purposes for this free, sustainable resource from clearing acne to fighting off ear infections.
Back in sixties, Albert Sabin (inventor of oral polio vaccine), found in his clinical study that mice recovered from polio when fed human breast milk, showing just how powerful breast milk antibodies are.
The antibodies found in breast milk can help ward off bacteria, viruses, parasites, and infection. One drop of breast milk contains more than one million white blood cells - which main job is to eat up germs.
Acne: Lauric acid, a component of breastmilk (most commonly found in coconut), has antibacterial, acne fighting qualities. When digested, lauric acid is sent directly to the liver, where it is converted to energy rather than just stored as fat. A study performed in 2009 and then again in 2016, confirmed lauric acid worked better than benzoyl peroxide (active ingredient in proactiv) against fighting acne. What to do: *To use breast milk as a face wash, first wash your skin with clear water, then wash again with breast milk, once complete wipe it away with a clean towel and continue your skin routine! *To help clear up acne, dab breast milk (or a mixture of breast milk and coconut oil) on your face, and then let it air dry.
Teething Pain: When babies begin to teeth, it can be a painful and unpleasant time but luckily you can help ease the hurt and still deliver vital nutrients by making "momsicles." What to do: Pour some of your liquid gold into an ice cube tray, top with a pacifier and freeze when your little one starts to ache. You can also traditional ice pop molds for the same effect.
Ear Infection: The natural antibodies found in breast milk can be helpful at fighting off ear infections, which most often occur in children. The CDC states that babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop ear infections than those who are not. Be sure to consult your doctor before any kind of medical treatment. What to do: Dr. Joesph Mercola recommends putting a few drops of breast milk in the ear canal every few hours. The infection should then clear up within 24-48 hours, creating a cheaper and safer way to treat your baby without the use of antibiotics.
Blocked Tear Ducts: It is very common for babies to develop crusty and watery eyes in the first few months, which is most often caused by blocked tear ducts. They usually resolve on their own, however there is a possibility of it leading to infection and unsightly eye discharge. What to do: Dropping a few drops of breast milk into the part of the eye that's irritated can help treat this condition. “Usually, I just tell people to squirt it in, but if that seems weird, you can take a little eye dropper and have some expressed milk and draw it up in the eye dropper,” says Esther Willms, a registered midwife at The Midwives’ Clinic of East York.
Diaper Rash: Breast milk contains natural moisturizers that can help speed up the natural healing process of painful diaper rash. What to do: Clean off the infected area with water first, then rub some of your natural liquid gold onto the rash. Ensure that the milk has fully dried before applying a new diaper.
Insect Bites: Similar to diaper rash, the natural moisturizers in breast milk can help take out the uncomfortable itch from bug bites. This can also be applied to chicken pox and certain forms of eczema. What to do: Clean the affected area first with water, and then rub on the breast milk. Reapply as necessary.
Cuts And Scrapes: Breast milk contains natural antiseptic qualities, and can be placed on minor cuts to reduce the burning/tingling sensation. The antibody known as IgA prevents bacteria from growing on the wound and also aids in speeding up the healing process. What to do: Get a cotton pad and apply the milk onto it, apply to the wound and allow it to fully dry.