Q: I have heard that breastmilk can be effectively used as a topical ointment to treat such ailments as ear infections and congestion by putting a few drops of breastmilk in the infant’s ears/nose. Please help clarify if this is true, as we prefer to use the most natural treatments available should our child get sick.
A: Breastmilk is amazing stuff! It has living disease-fighting cells in it, much as blood does (and is sometimes called “white blood” because of this). It also has other components that make it an arsenal against a lot of disease-causing organisms. Because of these properties, there are many anecdotal stories of using breastmilk as a topical treatment for various conditions, including eye infections. There has been no solid research on the effectiveness of using the milk in this way, however. Your health professional is still the best source of advice for medical problems, and continuing to breastfeed your baby will help ward off many infections.
By Melissa Clark Vickers
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Moms & Babies Huntingdon, Tenn.