Breast milk is full of valuable nutrients for your baby. Babies who are breastfed receive almost innumerable benefits concerning healthy growth and development. But many moms don’t realize that you can use breastmilk externally as well. Breast milk baths can help to treat and prevent cradle cap, eczema, diaper rash and moisturize your baby’s skin. Read on for how to add a little “liquid gold” to your baby’s bath.
The Benefits of a Breast Milk Bath for Your Baby
Breastmilk for Moisture
Breastmilk contains a few different types of acids that soothe and heal baby’s soft and tender skin. Oleic acid is an omega fatty acid that is found in human tissue. This acid is essential to moisturizing and preventing the effects of aging. Palmitic acid, a saturated fatty acid, is another intense moisturizer. Linoleic and vaccenic acid are two additional acids found in breastmilk. Linoleic acid soothes inflammation, calms spots, and provides hydration. Vaccenic acid nourishes and protects against the harsh conditions outside the womb.
A Milk Bath Can Treat Baby Acne
Breastmilk baths can help to heal red spots and acne. Acne is common in babies as they receive some fluctuating hormones from their mother when they nurse and have remaining hormones in their blood. Lauric acid, which is in both in breastmilk and coconut oil, is an antibacterial agent. A few drops of breastmilk in the bath can help reduce acne breakouts and clear red spots and discoloration.
Breastmilk to Heal Minor Irritations
Babies can be further soothed by breastmilk baths when they are suffering from minor burns, cuts, or insect bites. Immunoglobin-A, a component of breastmilk, helps to stave off infections by fighting bacteria. If your baby has irritation or itchiness from insect bites or minor scratches a breastmilk bath is a healing and soothing home remedy.
Breastmilk to Soothe Diaper Rash
Bacteria and yeast on babies skin can also cause diaper rash. The antibacterial properties and soothing acids of breastmilk can calm inflamed and painful skin. The addition of breastmilk to a bath will promote healing and calm irritation.
A Milk Bath Can Prevent and Treat Cradle Cap, Psoriasis, and Eczema in Your Baby
Skin problems can be quite common in babies. Some frequent issues include cradle cap, psoriasis, and eczema.
Is essentially the result of an overproduction of sebum, or your skin’s natural oils. This buildup of sebum results in crusty and oil patches, commonly on the scalp. It can present as yellowish or brownish scales on the head. It doesn’t require medical treatment and isn’t harmful to your baby, even if a little itchy and unsightly.
Isn’t prevalent in babies but has been known to develop in their diaper area. Psoriasis is a buildup of skin cells. This results in scaly and thick patches. The symptoms of psoriasis are cracked and dry skin with some bleeding as well as itching and burning.
Is yet another skin condition babies get that can be treated with a breast milk bath. It is somewhat common in children and babies. Many parents do confuse it with other skin conditions like cradle cap, though. Eczema is spots or patches of rough, scaly, and red skin. It is typically itchy or minorly painful. You will usually find it in the creases of your baby’s skin including the creases of their joints or between skin folds. Unlike cradle cap which is the buildup of sebum, eczema is caused by the production of too few natural skin moisturizers resulting in dry skin.
Many parents swear by the use of breastmilk baths to soothe these skin conditions. However, there is no scientific research or evidence behind this. You should still get an evaluation and treatment from your pediatrician if your baby has a rash that worries you. In the meantime though, for relief at home, a breastmilk bath could be the answer. The components in breastmilk can provide moisture and healing. Nourishing and calming cracked skin. They can also work to break up the collection of sebum and skin cells relieving itching.
How to Make a Milk Bath for Your Baby
To provide the highest concentration of breastmilk you should use an infant-sized baby bathtub instead of a full-sized bathtub.
Fill the bath with warm water, testing it on your inner wrist to make sure it is not too hot or too cold. Once you have an adequate amount of warm water for a bath add the breastmilk.
Add about 180ml to 300ml of breastmilk, or about 6 to 10 ounces. The milk can have been previously refrigerated or frozen or even freshly expressed. However, you should make sure it is warm prior to adding it to the bath.
Pour in the milk and stir the bath with your hand until the water appears milky and whitish. Place the baby in the bath and bathe as usual. Be sure to pour the water gently over babies arms and neck. Slowly and carefully pouring the water on your baby’s scalp can assist with cradle cap. Use a washcloth to dab the milk bath on your baby’s face, paying close attention to their cheeks.
Breastmilk is a valuable substance and creating a breastmilk bath uses quite a few ounces. If expired milk is not spoiled, but past the date in which you can safely feed it to your baby, you can consider using it for a breastmilk bath. Breastmilk can only last in the refrigerator for three to five days and in the freezer for six months or less. If your breastmilk has passed its expiration date and is not foul-smelling, chunky, or moldy it should be safe to use in a bath.
If you produce excess milk or pump additional milk to prevent engorgement save it! You can then use it for a breastmilk bath.
Breastmilk can be nourishing and soothing for babies. It is full of essential nutrients and acids that moisturize and heal babies’ skin. Giving your baby a breastmilk bath can prevent and calm a variety of skin ailments, keeping your little one’s skin baby-soft.