There are many reasons why you may consider dumping your breast milk, such as heavy alcohol consumption, taking a medication that isn’t compatible with breastfeeding, etc. But before you decide to toss it out, consider these alternative ideas on what to do with breast milk instead of dumping it.
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What to do with breast milk instead of dumping it?
In addition to providing amazing nutrition for your baby, there are also non-nutritive benefits to breast milk as well. For example, from Nutrients:
“Breast milk is used in many cultures for skin irritations. Breast milk involves no risk of allergy, contains antibodies, epidermal growth factor (EGF), and erythropoietin, which may promote the growth and repair of skin cells. Human milk is a source of commensal bacteria that can play an anti-infectious, immunomodulatory role.”
Here are some alternatives for what to do with breast milk instead of dumping it.
Please keep in mind that this is not medical advice. Reach out to your medical provider with any questions or concerns about your baby.
1. Milk bath
Breast milk has long been used as a home remedy for babies with skin issues such as eczema, cradle cap, and diaper rashes.
One way to use breast milk on your baby’s skin is a milk bath.
Making a breast milk bath is easy – after washing your baby as you normally would, drain the water. Fill the tub with water again and simply add just enough breast milk to your baby’s bath water to make it slightly cloudy. Then allow baby to play in the milk bath for 10 to 15 minutes.
One caution – if you’re not feeding your baby your milk due to an allergen in it (for example, if you’ve stopped consuming dairy due to baby’s dairy allergy, but have frozen “dairy milk” you’d like to use), I would not recommend using that milk for a milk bath, either, because of the potential for a topical reaction. Please discuss all allergy concerns with your pediatrician.
2. Apply breast milk to sore nipples
Breast milk isn’t only for babies, it has healing components for you too!
Therefore, if you have sore or cracked nipples, you don’t have to wait until you can go to the store to start working on healing – you can apply breast milk directly to your nipples.
3. Homemade breast milk soap
Breast milk soap bars can be great for your entire family.
They are a great way to condition and moisturize the skin, leaving it feeling well nourished. Breast milk soap can be particularly beneficial for those who have sensitive skin, as it’s typically made with very few added fragrances and chemicals.
Here’s a short video showing one way you can make soap bars with breast milk:
4. Breast milk lotion
Another way to take advantage of the topical healing and soothing benefits of breast milk is by making breast milk lotion.
Breast milk lotion may help with sunburns, rashes, and minor insect bites.
Here is a recipe for breast milk lotion if you’re interested in trying it!
5. Breast milk jewelry
Breast milk jewelry is a great way to create a sentimental keepsake of your breastfeeding journey.
In most cases, you only need a very small amount of breastmilk (1-2 oz) to create this memorabilia. Some of the jewelry options are rings, earrings, and necklaces.
This is such a beautiful way to commemorate your breastfeeding experience between you and your baby.
6. Other potential benefits
Breast milk has other potential medical benefits.
For example, studies have looked at the preventative effects of colostrum on conjunctivitis (commonly known as pinkeye). Other studies have shown how breast milk can be incorporated into umbilical cord care.
As always, make sure to discuss with your pediatrician before using breast milk as a home remedy.
What do you think is the best option for what to do with breast milk instead of dumping it? Let me know below in the comments below!
- Ghaemi S, Navaei P, Rahimirad S, Behjati M, Kelishadi R. Evaluation of preventive effects of colostrum against neonatal conjunctivitis: A randomized clinical trial. J Educ Health Promot. 2014 Jun 23;3:63. doi: 10.4103/2277-9531.134776. PMID: 25077156; PMCID: PMC4114003.
- Pugh, L.C., Buchko, B.L., Bishop, B.A., Cochran, J.F., Smith, L.R. and Lerew, D.J. (1996), A Comparison of Topical Agents to Relieve Nipple Pain and Enhance Breastfeeding. Birth, 23: 88-93. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1523-536X.1996.tb00835.x
- Witkowska-Zimny M, Kamińska-El-Hassan E, Wróbel E. Milk Therapy: Unexpected Uses for Human Breast Milk. Nutrients. 2019 Apr 26;11(5):944. doi: 10.3390/nu11050944. PMID: 31027386; PMCID: PMC6567207.