When breast milk goes “bad” you shouldn’t throw it out. It has a multitude of other uses. I’ve compiled my favorite 10 here:
1. For Insect Bites and Stings: In South Georgia, the heat brings the bugs like none other. And those bugs bring several months of scratching and pain. If you are a breastfeeding mama, or know someone who is, then nature’s given you the PERFECT solution – Breast milk!
I know this works, too. How?
Well, funny story: A few weeks ago, my husband and I left Diva with Nana and went hiking with my first cousin and his girlfriend. I pumped, knowing that I needed to get the milk out. I knew it would be “bad” by the time we got it home. Providence Canyon was in the 90 degree area at the least, and I couldn’t carry the extra weight of cooler, etc. to keep the milk cold.
Instead, I put the top on the bottles with every intention of packing it up to be used as “bad” milk after we got home.
Only half made it.
My cousin’s girlfriend sat down in a fire ant bed later that night. Ants crawled her legs, biting her from crotch to ankles. As the guys helped get them off, I ran for the breast milk.
“I know you might think I’m crazy, put rub this all over your legs. Make sure you get it everywhere they bit you.”
To my surprise, she did. She rubbed the breast milk everywhere ants had bitten her and let it dry.
The next morning, she grinned at me. “The ant bites never itched or anything,” she said.
Actually, I could barely see them. My super power came to the rescue!
Why did or does this work? Simple, really. Breast milk has natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties that reduce itching and swelling and promote healing of insect bites and stings.
Now that’s a way to make that “bad” milk good again! Let me see you do that with cow’s milk!
I didn’t think so.
2. For Cuts and Scrapes: Those same antiseptic and antibacterial properties in breast milk that help heal insect bites and stings also work wonders for scrapes and cut.
Every time Diva messes with the cat and it scratches her, I put breast milk on it right away and then again when we get out of the bath tub. When she fell and scraped her knee on the pavement the other week, I rubbed breast milk on it immediately and then again after we got out of the tub for several days.
Not only did it go away within a day or two, there is no scar or anything left.
3. For Sunburn: The summer means beach season and being out at the pool. Along with the bugs, the sun, no matter how much sunscreen we use, beats down and turns my skin and Diva’s skin from creamy white to lobster red.
It never fails.
That “bad” breast milk helps this every time. Just pat the breast milk onto the sunburn and, again, those natural antiseptic properties come into play, relieving pain, moisturizing the dried and burned skin, and speeding the healing process.
It works better than aloe!
4. For Poison Ivy/Oak: Though I’ve never had either of these, nor has Diva, I’ve had friends who swear this works. They dab the itchy spots with a cotton ball soaked in breast milk and not only does the spot stop itching, it heals and goes away a lot faster than traditional creams and ointments!
5. For any burn: Just as with sunburn, any other burn can be helped by breast milk! Follow the same routine as with sunburn, but taking care to be gentle. According to Liz Laing, “a burn treated with breast milk and mashed-up blueberries with dry up within an hour.”
6. To make lotion: I know this sounds funny, but this is the best lotion you can’t buy anywhere. It’s not that difficult to make either. Not only will it heal dried skin better than anything else you’ve got, it also makes your skin silky smooth. Think your baby’s skin. Why not use the same thing you put in a baby’s tummy on their skin? Here is a recipe I like to use from Peaceful Parenting’s Molly Thomas:
3 tablespoons of organic oats
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup breast milk (this is the equivalent of 5 ounces + 2 tsp, if you do not have enough milk, make up the total amount of fluid to 1 1/4 cups with whatever breast milk you have and water)
2 tsp Bees wax pellets
6 tsp Emulsifying wax
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil OR vitamin E oil
12 drops of chamomile oil
2 tsp vitamin C powder (crushed supplement pills will be fine as it acts as a preservative)
1 tsp honey.
Clean jar/tub to store cream in with airtight lid
Put oats into a pan with water; boil until water starts to turn milky and thick.
Turn heat off. Add milk. Set oats to drain in muslin.
When cool enough to handle, give the muslin a really good squish and mush to get all of the sticky liquid out. I found that using the back of a spoon to scrape the gloop from the outside of the muslin helped.
Add Vitamin C Powder to the milk.
Set oaty milk fluid to one side.
Melt in a clean pan: 2 tsp of bees wax and 6 tsp of emulsifying wax.
When melted, add the Almond/Vitamin E oil and also add the chamomile oil. This must be done on a very low heat.
While this is melting, re-heat the milk oaty gloop. Do not heat too much or boil – just warm gently.
Keep both pans on a warm heat and pour a very small amount of the liquid into the oil.
Whisk as if your life depends on it! Keep doing this until you have no liquid left.
Add the honey. The honey causes the lumpy gooey mixture to become runny. KEEP whisking.
When most of the lumps have gone and the mix is shiny and thick, pour mix into a clean tub and allow to cool.
I’ve found at some points during this process the mixture may go from smelling sweet, to sickly, to sweet again. The end product is a sweet scent of honey, oats and almost newborn baby breath smell.
You will be left with a very thick cream that goes a long way. There may be some small lumps of bees wax left in the lotion, but it will melt at body temperature and glide nicely onto skin. The cream is non-greasy and extremely moisturizing – not to mention packed full of all the goodness of mother’s milk.
Store in the fridge.
Other recipes can be found with Google searches, but here is another easy Breast Milk Lotion Recipe.
7. For a milk bath: This goes for you or baby. Just as with the lotion, milk baths help cure dry skin and make your skin silky smooth. I do this with Diva a lot now that she gets scrapes and cuts everywhere daily.
All you have to do is pour an ounce or so of “bad” milk into a tub of warm water. Place baby, or you, in the water, and soak while you play!
8. To clear diaper rash and baby acne: Diva hardly ever had baby acne when she was little, nor has she had very many diaper rashes. I think this is because I’ve been rubbing breast milk on her face and bottom from the day my milk came in – sometimes accidentally when she popped off during a letdown. Oops.
Just pat the breast milk on the butt and face and let dry. I used to put breast milk on her butt every two or three diaper changes or anytime she had a big blow out diaper. In 18 months, we’ve had only one major diaper rash – also cured by breast milk!
9. To make soap: Just like making the lotion, breast milk can be made into soap for you and baby to wash in. Other family member and friends might like this too – that is if they are pro-breast feeding.
Jennifer Chait claims that “milk based beauty products date back to Cleopatra’s time.” It is also the perfect soap for your baby, whether they are allergic to regular soaps, or their skin just isn’t ready for harder adult soaps yet. Chait says that milk is ideal for skin care products, like soap, “because it contains essential proteins, amino acids, and vitamin A, which nourishes skin. Milk is also rich in lactic acid, which cleanses and softens.”
The Snap Mom Blog offers a great breast milk, honey soap recipe with pictures!
• 15 ounces coconut oil – to produce good lather (buy it in bulk here )
• 17 ounces olive oil – which makes a hard and mild bar
• 18 ounces almond, grapeseed, sunflower or safflower oil
• 12 ounces lye– also called 100% sodium hydroxide (find it here or at local hardware stores)
• 1 ounce Borax (only added if using lye)
• 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)
• 2 tablespoons raw honey (optional)
• 6 cups frozen breastmilk
*Copied from The Snap Mom blog website. Original can be found HERE.
METHOD (COLD PROCESS):
Combine oils (coconut, olive and safflower) in a pan. Bring temp up slowly (do not scorch the oils). Plug your sink, fill it halfway and fill with ice cubes. Put thawed cold breast milk in a sauce pan and place into the water. You MUST keep the milk cool when you add the lye to it or the lye will burn it. Slowly mix in the lye. Stir it constantly (you should be wearing your safety gear by now). Adding the lye should take at least 5 minutes. If you accidentally splash any on yourself, rinse immediately! Once combined, continue to stir the milk/lye mixture for 3 more minutes and then remove from the water bath (You will notice that the mixture has become a yellow). Add the raw honey and borax to your melted oil which should still be warm but not hot (115 degrees or so). Pour the milk/lye mixture into the pan of oil and stir constantly until it’s completely mixed. This mixture must now be whipped in a blender (2/3’s full at a time for safety sake). Run the blender (with the lid on) at whip speed for 60 seconds each time. Pour off into a clean pan. Repeat the blender process an additional time. This is when you will add your essential oils (I used lavender and it smelled divine!). Pour into molds. At this point I also mixed in lavender buds and espresso grounds for added scent and texture. Soap will saponify and be ready after 24 hours (if you aren’t using lye they will remain quite soft and need to be stored in the freezer). *If using plastic molds instead of silicone, pop in the freezer once hardened for about 5-10 minutes and they should come right out.
I’m missing a few pictures of using the blender and adding the oils, forgive me. Kids are distracting. If you change an oil in the recipe, you must always run the recipe through a lye calculator to calculate the new amount of sodium hydroxide that will be needed. Use only stainless steel pans – not aluminum To cure soap made with lye: cover with a towel and store for an additional 2-6 weeks. During this period excess water evaporates and the process of saponification will be totally complete. To store ‘bath bomb’ soap: keep in freezer Unless you are making your own breast milk soap or are getting the soap from someone you trust- we recommend you use caution when obtaining breask milk soap. Click HERE for more info on soap making Click HERE for a soap making essential oils guide Click HERE to read the difference between the cold vs hot process methods
10. For necklaces and other jewelry: Yes, you read that right. Breast milk can be made into a beautiful necklace to be cherished long after your baby is weaned. It is a little reminder of the bond you shared and the nourishment you provided to help that little body grow so big and strong.
I haven’t had one of these made just yet, mostly because I’m not sure what I want yet. Do I want a charm for a necklace or Pandora bracelet? Do I want a ring? Do I want earrings? So much to choose from with so many designs.
This process also doesn’t take away too much milk from you or baby and you can send it from the “bad” stash. Life’s Journey Jewelry Creations asks for anywhere from 0.5 to a full ounce of breast milk, though they say that 0.5 ounce can make 2-3 small pieces or 1 larger piece. It is all hand crafted using your milk, which you label on the bag with the order form.
They do this for more than just milk charms. They make jewelry from hair, umbilical stumps, placenta, flowers, and more, giving you a keepsake to last a lifetime!
I will be doing this soon.