Breastfeeding Awareness photo with moms from all backgrounds breastfeeding

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month! Breastfeeding helps to build a positive parent-child attachment for stronger relationships and supports social-emotional development in infants. One of the most important ways Champions makes a better world for children is by making sure the people with the biggest impact on their well-being – their parents – have the knowledge, tools, and resources they need to provide a positive environment. Our comprehensive prenatal education and breastfeeding support benefits parents, especially moms who have a desire to breastfeed their baby.

Did you know there is more than one benefit and use to breast milk besides feeding your baby? Breast milk doesn’t just provide the essential nutrients your baby needs,it has many valuable uses for both mom and baby!

Breast milk’s natural healing properties allow it to be used for a ton of things, from treating minor illnesses and ailments to being a major component in cooking in many homes. What was once thought of as solely food for babies has transformed into something everyone can benefit from if they need to.

breast milk popsiclesFood Uses

Try mixing breast milk into your child’s food. If you are introducing a new food item like fruits and vegetables, you can mix it into a puree instead of using water or juice. Introducing new food items with breast milk offers them a familiar taste. You can also use breast milk in baby cereal or create a breast milk popsicle to help with teething. 

Yogurt and ice cream are made with milk as the main ingredient. Try replacing cow’s milk or plant based milk with breast milk. 

baby in a milk bathSkin Irritations

Parents with children who suffer from eczema, diaper rash, baby acne, or any other skin irritations can use breast milk to help. Try giving your baby a milk bath. When breast milk is added to the water in a regular bath, it can act as a major skin soother and softener for both adults and babies. You can also create a body cream from your breast milk to help soothe and soften the skin. 

Breast milk contains lauric acid which has antibacterial properties that help the skin and is often used to treat acne. All you need is a little bit of it on a cotton ball to apply to the face/body. 

Breastfeeding mothers can also use their breast milk to combat cracked and sore nipples. The mother can express a small amount on the nipple at the end of a feed and then let it air-dry there. Antibiotics found in breast milk help heal cracked or sore nipples. If you have thrush, you should avoid using this method of treatment. 

While breast milk is not a “cure-all” for aliments, they do offer a natural option to help with common irritations. Remember to check with your doctor before trying a home remedy. 

milk donation. two bottles and a pacifierMilk Donations

Did you know you can save a baby’s life by donating your extra breast milk? Your breast milk can be used to help premature babies who need it to survive, babies with Malabsorption syndromes, Allergies, Feeding/formula intolerance, Immunologic deficiencies, Post-operative nutrition, Infectious diseases and other complications. 

The Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Task Force has two milk bank depots in Tampa. Milk collected at the depot is shipped on dry ice to The Mother’s Milk Bank of Florida in Orlando. The Milk Bank screens donors and their milk. Any milk that does not pass the standards for donor milk is donated to research. For more information on breast milk donation, click here to visit their website. 

 

Links to Resources:

Breast Milk Popsicle for Teething

Momsicle for teething

Breast Milk Purees

Breast Milk Body Cream

Milk Baths for Baby

Breast Milk for Cracked/Sore Nipples

What is Lauric Acid? 

How does Lauric Acid help the skin? 

Milk Donations – Tampa Bay Breastfeeding Task Force