We’ve all heard about the benefits for our skin of a milk bath and how luxurious it is, but have you ever tried giving a breast milk bath to your baby?
A milk bath for baby is just as beneficial, if not more.
It helps in treating a great number of skin problems that can occur during infancy, as well as serving some additional health benefits, even for you too.
From moisturizing dry skin and remedying diaper rash to handling eczema and cradle cap, it’s definitely worth trying out!
And the best part is that you don’t need to pour gallons of breast milk into the bath water.
All you need is about 100-300ml of milk. This means you can still continue breastfeeding and pumping milk normally without worrying that you’d have to reserve an insane amount for this treat.
But why exactly does it work?
Well, breast milk has much of the same properties as regular milk, except it’s also packed with tons of nutrients and other beneficial contents that help treat the skin and rejuvenate it.
I’m sure you’re wondering: How do I give a breast milk bath to my little one? Let’s find out, shall we?
How To Provide A Comfy Breast Milk Bath For Baby
The process is rather simple, though it should be done only once or twice a week.
Any more would be overdoing it and would put a lot of strain on your milk production and overall milk supply.
Besides, the last thing you want is to be struggling with sore nipples!
Firstly, you need to fill the baby’s bathtub with some warm water the same way you’d prepare for a regular bath.
After that, pour some of your stored breast milk into the water until it becomes cloudy or changes texture.
Once you get the water cloudy enough, you can finally lower your child into the milk-infused water.
Let your baby soak in it as long as he normally would so the baby’s skin absorbs all those beneficial properties of the breast milk.
While your little one’s skin soaks up all the goodness, slowly pour a small amount over the parts of his body that aren’t submerged.
Once the baby milk bath is done, take your little munchkin out of the bathtub and dab him dry with a gentle washcloth.
When that’s done, you can carefully rub some lotion or a moisturizer such as coconut oil in to help seal all of the milk moisture and its beneficial properties into the baby’s skin.
And then, finally, dress the child in some lighter clothing so his skin can breathe properly to enjoy the full effects of his breast milk bath.
And that’s all there is to it, as simple as taking a regular bath!
What Are The Beneficial Properties Of Human Milk?
Many of you are probably wondering what the benefits of breast milk are over regular milk. Well, here’s your answer.
The benefits are as follows:
• About 1% of protein
• 7% of various carbohydrates
• 3-5% of fat
• Numerous bioactive substances alongside a number of minerals and vitamins of which some are:
• Palmitic acid which acts as a high potency moisturiser
• Lauric acid which can act both as a moisturizer and a good way to kill off harmful bacteria thanks to its antibacterial properties
• Oleic acid which serves as yet another aid in moisturizing the skin and acts as an anti-aging agent
• Immunoglobulin A (IgA) which is a protein usually found in the blood which houses helpful bacteria that help combat infections within the body
• Linoleic acid which helps with skin inflammation, especially diaper rashes
• And vaccenic acid which helps to both protect and reinvigorate dry skin to keep it fresh and soft.
How Does A Breast Milk Bath For Baby Actually Help?
While the above is interesting, it may be more useful to know how some more topical applications of this liquid gold, or a breast milk bath, can actually help:
Helps treat eczema
Many moms and experts have reported that breast milk seems to have similar effects as hydrocortisone when it comes to combating the symptoms of eczema meaning that your child won’t have to deal with dry skin that feels as though it’ll peel off at any moment.
Treating insect bites and minor cuts
The immunoglobulin A (IgA)’s anti-infection properties help in soothing the stinging effects of both minor cuts and insect bites.
Meanwhile, the linoleic acid reduces any skin inflammation caused by the bite or cut and helps it heal quicker because the child has less of an urge to constantly scratch it.
Helps in treating baby acne
Sometimes even babies suffer from skin issues such as acne due to an excess of hormones absorbed while they were still in the womb.
The lauric acid, something that is found in many different skin moisturizers like coconut oil, combats this problem.
That’s because it does a really good job at killing the bacteria that causes skin issues such as these and helps return it to that silky smooth finish that you’re used to feeling on your little one.
A very effective tool in dealing with diaper rash
It’s not uncommon for a baby to suffer from diaper rash
No matter how vigilant you are, it’s bound to happen at least once or twice.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as circumstances forcing your little one to be in a dirty diaper for too long, an allergic reaction to one of the components of the diaper itself, or even the introduction of new foods – just to name a few.
All of the beneficial properties of human milk mean that a breast milk bath for your little one will help deal with that just as well as using some 1% hydrocortisone would.
What Else Can Breast Milk Do?
Aside from the above, here are a few other benefits of breast milk:
Helps soothe sore nipples
Breast milk is a great home remedy for the dreaded feeling of sore and cracked nipples which are likely to affect you at some point during the breastfeeding period.
Simply dab a few drops of breast milk on the inflamed and affected area and rub it in softly. It shouldn’t take long for you to feel the pain slowly fade away or at least lower in intensity.
Aids in resolving ear infection issues
Oddly enough, the antibacterial properties of lauric acid and some other elements of breast milk are strong enough to help fight off even the most stubborn of ear infections.
And trust me, your child will probably deal with at least one of them during his first year.
But, you might not need to go to the drug store for a remedy as a few simple drops of breast milk in your baby’s ear every few hours ought to clear that right up.
It doesn’t hurt to try at least since you won’t lose out on anything.
Relieves pain caused by teething
Teething is a process that every child goes through.
The arrival of your little one’s pearly whites signifies that he is ready to slowly transition to solid foods.
But, it’s not without its drawbacks. The pain caused by the teeth cutting through the gums for the first time can be very uncomfortable for a baby.
The anti-inflammatory properties of linoleic acid can help soothe these woes, but just feeding him breast milk isn’t going to do enough.
What you can do though is craft some momsicles which are popsicles infused with breast milk that you can give your child to suck/chew on.
They’re both a great sensory tool and a great teething aid while helping spread the beneficial effects of breast milk onto the affected sore spots in the baby’s mouth.
Helps in clearing up blocked tear ducts
Not only is breast milk a great home remedy for ear infections but, it can also assist with eye infections or blocked tear ducts.
You’ll know your little one has an eye infection if you see one or two of his eyes looking teary, or, if it’s leading to an infection like pink eye, some white-ish/yellow-ish discharge out the corner of his eye.
The blockage is bound to clear up with time, but the discharge still needs to get taken care of if it becomes worse than just tears.
The best way to do this is to put a few drops of breast milk on a cotton ball with some saline solution and gently dab around the affected area.
This helps absorb the discharge without leaving the skin irritated while also aiding in clearing up the blockage of the tear duct.
Can Frozen And Expired Breast Milk Be Used As Well?
Of course it can, the healing properties of breast milk retain their powers even if the milk was frozen or is somewhat past its expiration date.
Do try to avoid milk that’s gone so bad that it has an unpleasant smell.
After all, the point of a bath is to clean your little munchkin and have him smelling nice. Plus, I’m sure that he’s going to protest a bath in smelly water just as much you would!
A nice breast milk bath for baby is a very efficient home remedy for various skin conditions thanks to its great number of healing properties. Also, it is a great opportunity for taking a few milk bath baby photos!
The best part is that it comes all-natural from your own breast milk and all it requires is one or two additional uses of your breast pump per week.
Just make sure to adjust to how much excess you can produce so you don’t strain yourself. Treat the breast milk bath as a luxury rather than a necessity, a kind of treat for your child.
Plus, the milk doesn’t have to be fresh off the breast, you can use any of your older frozen leftovers as long as they haven’t gone too far past their expiration date.
And, it’s fun to imagine treating your child like a little Cleopatra in his or her own little milk bath.
While providing your little one with this royal treatment don’t forget to take some cute milk bath baby photos. I’m sure they’ll turn out so sweet!
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