Five surprising alternative uses for breast milk


Breastfeeding moms will know just how amazing breast milk is.

The "liquid gold" feeds your baby, keeping them content and allowing them to grow, strong and healthy.

Breast milk is full of essential nutrients and immune boosting properties, is ready on demand and is served at the perfect temperature in the perfect quantity for your baby.

It’s no surprise then that this life-giving milk is used for more than just baby food.

Many childcare workers suggest using breast milk to:

  • clear up a newborn baby’s sticky eye,
  • loosen up cradle cap,
  • soothe baby acne and 
  • clear a blocked nose. 

What might be surprising though is what some moms use it for! 

We did our research and came upon some pretty weird and wonderful ways to use the liquid gold.

So there’s no need to pump-and-dump if you’ve had a drink, or throw out expired or defrosted breast milk; instead hang on to every drop and use it for any number of treatments. 

Breastmilk to remove warts:

Place a milk-soaked cotton ball on the wart for a few minutes twice a day until the wart dries up and falls off.

Breastmilk as disinfectant:

It’s sterile, antiseptic, antibacterial, has healing properties and it doesn’t sting – why wouldn’t you use it to disinfect small open wounds? 

Breastmilk to soothe sunburn:

Pat the burn with a little milk to soothe and promote healing. 

Breastmilk as lotion or bum cream:

If you have quite a bit of milk available, this is a great option. Make your own breast milk lotion with this recipe:

  • 100ml fresh room temperature breast milk
  • A few drops of vitamin E oil
  • 100ml grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp beeswax
  • Add a drop or two of an essential oil for scent

Heat the oil and beeswax together in the microwave on low, for about 3 minutes, until the beeswax has just melted. Add the vitamin E oil then pour the breast milk, slowly, into the wax while whisking rapidly. The mixture should emulsify and thicken. Pour into small jars and leave to cool before using. The lotion will thicken as it cools.

Breastmilk in the kitchen:

If you’re in the kitchen and have some breast milk handy, a quick internet search will turn up recipes for breast milk ice cream, cup cakes, cheese, butter, yogurt, bread and more…

Maybe even a breast milk tart!

Delicious for babies and toddlers, but maybe let your friends and family know the special ingredient BEFORE you offer them a taste…

What our moms say

We asked some local moms and they shared their favourite ways to use breast milk:

  • “My dog had an eye infection... I put frozen breast milk on it to soothe before we could get to the vet. Even the vet said it was a great idea!” said Sophie. 
  • Mom Amri swears by breast milk as a cure for nappy rash: “I applied breast milk to the area at every nappy change and after two days the rash was gone.”
  • “I accidentally squirted hand soap into my eye... so incredibly painful! Rinsed with water and then my husband suggested breast milk! Wow, so soothing and helped a lot!” shared mom Genevieve. 
  • Anet told us, “I had a terrible eye infection a few weeks ago and after the first day that I used my milk in my eye it was sorted.”

One woman has taken this concept a step further: Professor Catharina Svanborg, an immunologist at Lund University in Sweden, is studying the effect that breast milk has on cancerous tumours.

Unlike chemotherapy and radiotherapy, it appears to be non-toxic to healthy cells while killing off unhealthy cells.

"This is a game-changing discovery for potential cancer treatments for the future,” she says. 

What do you think? Would you use breast milk for anything other than feeding your baby?

Please note! If you are able to donate breast milk visit:

Milk Matters (Cape Town)
Ithemba Lethu (Durban)
Or find your nearest milk bank here:

A number of State hospitals and a few private hospitals have their own in-house milk banks too. 

Share with us:

Share your stories of feeding your babies with us, and we could publish them. Anonymous contributions are always welcome.

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Read more:

IN PICTURES: Unveiling the stigma around breastfeeding this Women's Day

Takkies on breastfeeding a toddler: 'She now tries to whip out my milk machines in public'

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