Breast Milk Bath for Babies: Procedure and Benefits
Many new moms are surprised to find out that there are other uses for breast milk beyond simply feeding their baby. From lotions that help heal eczema and other skin irritations, to popsicles that ease teething pain, breast milk seems to be able to do it all!
Breast milk richly deserves the epithet of ‘liquid gold’. It is capable of nourishing the baby both inside and out. Breast milk contains 3 to 5% fat, 0.8 to 0.9% proteins, 6.8 to 7.2% carbohydrates and 0.2% vitamins and minerals. The fat content of breast milk includes fats that are primary ingredients of cosmetics like skin moisturizers, and these fats are highly beneficial for skin and hair. Therefore, a breast milk bath is very beneficial for babies.
What Is A Breast Milk Bath?
Sometimes the baby’s bath water is mixed with some quantity of breast milk. The water is then used to soak the baby in a bathtub and clean them the usual way. This bath offers notable benefits for babies.
BENEFITS OF BREAST MILK BATH FOR BABY
Cradle cap and Eczema relief
You can give your baby a milk bath for cradle cap or eczema! When I didn’t have enough breast milk stashed away to spare for a full on milk bath, I would simply rub a little bit onto his head while he was in the bath. Let it sit for a few minutes before washing it out. It was like magic, seriously!
Breast milk can ease the pain and help speed up the healing process of a diaper rash. Some moms rub breast milk directly onto their baby’s bottom in between diaper changes as well as bathing them in milk.
It should be noted that if your baby is suffering from a yeast diaper rash however, you might want to skip the breast milk and use the cream prescribed by a doctor.
Moisturizes the skin
Here are some of the components of breast milk that make it so wonderful for treating dry and irritated skin:
- Vaccenic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Oleic acid
These components moisturize and nourish damaged, itchy skin. You can’t beat it!
Acne, Bug bites and Cuts
If your baby is suffering from acne or has a bug bite or a cut on their skin, this bath may be just what they need. It will promote faster healing and aid in keeping the area from becoming infected or growing bacteria.
The linolenic acid present in breast milk has two variants namely omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The acid mitigates the damage to the baby’s skin due to sunlight.
Topical application of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids can bring down the inflammatory response of the skin damaged by UV light. It means a breast milk bath could help remedy any sunburns on the baby’s skin.
How to Make a Breast Milk Bath?
Here are the simple instructions of how to make a breast milk bath. No worries, it’s really easy! I like easy.
Step 1: Get a bag or two of breast-milk out of the freezer, fridge OR pump what you can.
Step 2: Pour enough breast-milk into the water to make the water cloudy. You don’t need much! I was feeling generous so I drew a large bath and used around 10 ounces.
Step 3: Soak as much affected skin as possible. Consider reclining in the tub! The more skin exposed to the breast milk bath, the better.
Step 4: After a good soak, gently pat skin dry.
Step 5: To lock the breast-milk in the skin, use a good skin moisturizer like Coconut oil.
Can you use expired Breast Milk for a Milk Bath?
Absolutely! Within reason, of course. If it smells absolutely rancid or it’s become moldy, of course it’s not good for even a milk bath. But if it’s past the safe date to feed your baby, (or you’re like me and you suffer from high lipase, and you forgot to scald your milk), you can absolutely use expired or otherwise undrinkable milk.
Remember, breast milk is good for 6 months in a regular freezer. If you find some milk that’s over 6 months old, it’s perfectly good to use in a bath!
How much Breast Milk to use?
It depends on the amount of water you have in the tub or sink. You want the water to be cloudy, and the more you’re able to add, the better.
It might have sounded strange to you at first. But knowing about its benefits, it is the best therapeutic bath you can give your baby every once in a while.
Also read: Diet Guide for Breast feeding mothers