Creative Uses for Breast Milk | Can You Refreeze Breast Milk? Better Not!
When it comes to feeding an infant, no food is more perfect than breast milk, but what do you do if you have an oversupply of breast milk, either because your baby has decided to eat less for a few days or because you’re pumping more than you were thinking you would? Oddly enough, there are numerous things that you can do with breast milk, so if you need some ideas for a little creativity with extra breast milk, you’ve come to the right place.
What Is Breast Milk Made of?
The ingredients in breast milk change in order to meet the baby’s needs, but in general, it is composed of:
- Vitamins and minerals
- Lipids (fats)
- Antibodies (immunoglobulins)
Breast milk strengthens the baby’s immune system and provides all of the nutrients that they need to grow and thrive. If you end up with extra breast milk, there are a lot of things that you can do with it. You can always mix extra breast milk into baby food once the baby gets on solid foods, which works especially well with their cereal. You can also make a breast milk donation to a local breast milk bank, which can then be used by other moms who aren’t able to breastfeed themselves.
Other than that, what can you do with leftover breast milk? The answer depends largely on how much you have because one small bottle of leftover breast milk isn’t the same as having a dozen bottles of breast milk sitting in your refrigerator or freezer. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you can do with leftover breast milk, regardless of the quantity.
Medicinal Uses for Breast Milk
Because of the high antibody count in breast milk, it has numerous medicinal uses. If your child is at least a year old, you can make gummies out of breast milk and honey and give them that when they have a cough, cold, or sore throat. If they’re teething, you can dip a soft cloth in breast milk and rub it on the baby’s gums, or you can even make breast milk ice pops for them to suck on if they’re older.
Other maladies can be eased by using a small amount of breast milk. These include eye infections such as pink eye, diaper rash, baby acne, cradle cap, and eczema, not to mention minor cuts, bruises, and small wounds. Just put some breast milk directly on the skin and it will work wonders.
Cooking Uses for Breast Milk
If you can use goat’s milk or cow’s milk for various recipes, why not breast milk? Indeed, breast milk can be used to make cheese, popsicles, smoothies, oatmeal, cereal, ice cream, and even butter. In fact, you can even try breast milk soap, lotions, or diaper creams by finding recipes for these products and using breast milk instead of other types of milk.
If you choose to make items that need to be cooked, just use the same amount of breast milk as you would if you were using any other type of milk instead. It’s easy to do and lets you enjoy all of these products and more in a much healthier way.
Cosmetic Uses for Breast Milk
More than anything else, breast milk is great for the skin -- not just to ease rashes and dry skin, but also to get your skin healthier and smoother. If you try, you can come up with dozens of ways to use breast milk, including various skin treatments such as removing makeup, relieving swollen or painful bumps, or even using it on your stretch marks.
You can also use breast milk to:
- Use in a breast milk bath (combine with oatmeal for even better results!)
- Give yourself a breast milk facial
- Improve dark circles under the eyes
- Ease sore or cracked nipples
To be sure, breastfeeding moms have created some very unique ways to use their breast milk. Some, in fact, have even used it to make jewelry such as pendants and rings, allowing them to have a keepsake of their breastfeeding experience. If you look online, you can come up with a few more uses for breast milk so that you don’t have to waste it!
How to Keep Breast Milk Until You Need it
If you have lots of frozen breast milk in your freezer, keep in mind that it needs to be taken out and used within six to twelve hours (preferably six). Breast milk can keep for four hours at room temperature and four to eight days in the refrigerator. If your milk is frozen, you need to keep it frozen until you’re ready to use it. Once it’s thawed out, it should not be refrozen because the nutritional value of the milk starts to go down after a while.
When getting your breast milk ready for the freezer, you can either place it in resealable plastic bags or a baby bottle with a regular (not nipple) top on it. Once it’s thawed out and warmed up, simply pour the milk that’s in the bag in a bottle and attach a nipple to the bottle so the baby can be fed.
ConclusionIt is truly amazing what you can do with leftover breast milk, whether you have a little or a lot of it. Breast milk has cosmetic and skin uses, medicinal uses, and can be cooked with for both food and non-food concoctions. It is not only the perfect food for babies but has a lot of other uses as well.
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