Breast milk is best home remedy for infant diseases (& common infections)

Breast milk is best home remedy for infant diseases (& common infections)

Breast milk is often referred to as ‘Amruta/Amrita’, a Sanskrit word which literally means “life-giving nectar/nectar of immortality”. Breast milk not only helps in building your baby’s immune system but boasts of other health benefits too. With each passing day, doctors, researchers and moms are discovering many healing properties of breast milk. Apart from the well-known benefit such as providing immunity to babies, acting as a full-fledged nutritious meal for babies, etc., there are numerous uses of breast milk that you not have heard of.

How To Cure Common Infections And Diseases In Infants:

#1. Ear Infections

Ear infections are very common in children between the ages of 18 months to 6 years. A natural remedy for ear infection is to put few drops of breast milk into the ear canal. The antibodies found in the mother's milk aid in clearing the infection. Breast milk which is warm also helps in relieving pain. Recommended method of administration:
  • Put 2-3 drops of breast milk at the entrance of the ear canal,
  • Please do it carefully, drops should not put directly into it
You May Also Like:5 amazing facts about breastfeeding you didn’t know about breastfeeding

#2. Eye Infections/Conjunctivitis

Breast milk is often used to treat conjunctivitis caused by virus, bacteria and allergies. Though there are no studies that have confirmed this, it is believed that a particular antibody found in the breast milk called Immunoglobulin A, prevents the bacteria from attaching to the mucosal surface of the eye, thus limiting its growth and stopping the infection.
Recommended method of administration:
  • 2 drops of breast milk can be dropped into the eyes with a clear and sterilized eyedropper.

#3. Sore Throat

If your baby, whether a newborn or a breastfeeding toddler has a sore throat, the best remedy would be either consumption of breast milk or gargling with breast milk. The warm breast milk will soothe your baby’s throat and the antibodies in the breast milk will fight the infection causing microorganisms also. Recommended method of administration
  • Pump enough breast milk for gargling, for your toddler or just breastfeed your newborn.

#4. Baby Acne

Baby acne can be marked by tiny red bumps or pimples that develop on your baby’s cheeks or body. Typically, acne resolves on its own without any treatment. However, it may cause slight pain or irritation to the baby.

Breast milk not only soothes the acne but the fat content in the milk provides necessary moisturization to the skin also. Recommended method of administration

  • The best remedy for this is to gently rub few drops of breast milk on the acne.

#5. Common Cold

Cold, though common, causes severe irritation to infants, due to nose blockage and continuous nasal discharge. Breast milk gives additional antibodies to your infant to fight off the cold-causing virus. Recommended method of administration: -
  • Nurse your infant as often as possible, to transfer the required antibodies often.

# 6. Skin Rashes and Diaper Rashes

Breast milk is the best ointment for treating infant skin rashes, including diaper rashes. Breast milk not only soothes the rashes but also prevents it from spreading It is better to use breast milk to treat diaper rashes rather than using chemical-based ointments on the sensitive areas. Recommended method of administration
  • Express some milk and gently rub it on the affected areas, as and when necessary.
Also Read: 10 Most Effective Ways and Secrets to Avoid Spit Up in Newborns

#7. Cradle Cap

Cradle cap in infants is crusty or oily scaly patches that are formed on the baby’s scalp. Though it does not cause pain or itchiness, it can be very hard to remove. The best home remedy to remove this is, of course, breast milk. Breast milk softens the hard patches on the scalp. The soft patches can be easily removed during regular bath time. Recommended method of administration-
  • Express your breast milk and apply it on the scaly patches. Leave it on for some time and the scales will peel off on its own.

#8. Mosquito bites

Mosquito bites can cause slight swelling and a lot of irritation to children. The warm breast milk soothes the mosquito bites and provides immediate relief to the baby. Recommended method of administration
  • Rub few drops of the milk on the affected area.

#9. Fever/Flu

If your infant is down with a fever or flu, breastfeeding will boost your baby’s immune system to fight the infection. Also, it is easy on the stomach and provides the required nutrition, without causing distress to the baby. Recommended method of administration
  • Nurse your baby often.

#10. Diarrhea

Breastfed babies rarely suffer from diarrhea. However, if your baby is suffering from diarrhea, the best remedy to keep it hydrated is to breastfeed. Breastfeeding keeps your baby hydrated, and also prevents muscle weakness. Recommended method of administration
  • Just hold your baby and nurse it.

#11. Chapped Lips

Dry and chapped lips cause severe pain and irritation to the infants, and may even lead to difficulty in latching to breastfeed. Hindmilk, which comes later during the feed is rich in fats and hence, a good remedy for chapped lips. Recommended method of Use
  • Apply few drops of hindmilk on the baby’s lips every few hours for softer lips.
Also Read: Breastpumping Guide – When & How to Pump

#12. Sleeplessness

Though we all know that babies sleep a lot, sometimes due to various reasons like noise, bright lights or even due to the baby’s interest in playing, they might not go to sleep easily. Lack of sleep makes the baby cranky and fussy. The best way to help a baby fall asleep is to breastfeed. Breastfeeding releases sleep-inducing hormones in both the mother and the baby, resulting in a good night’s sleep. Recommended method of administration
  • Hold your baby and nurse him.

#13. Sunburn Relief

The skin of infants is very sensitive. They might get sunburns even if they are taken for a short stroll in the sun. Using chemical-loaded sunscreens or ointments for sunburn might not be the best idea for sensitive skin. Applying breast milk on the affected areas not only soothes the skin, but the antibodies present in it also helps in healing it faster. Recommended method of administration
  • Apply a few drops of the milk in the affected area immediately. Keep applying it till the sunburn is healed completely.
As you have read so far, breastmilk not only provides nutrition and hydration to your babies but has many other alternative uses to treat infant diseases. However, it is always best to consult the doctor if you notice any of the symptoms not subsiding within the expected time. Always trust your motherly instincts and decide if your child can get well with a simple remedy like using breast milk or if it would need a doctor’s checkup. Want to share your experience as a mom with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you