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Got Extra Milk? 5 Ways to Put Your Breast Milk to More Good Use
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  • Breast milk is the best source of nutrition that babies need to thrive. And if you're blessed to have more than what your baby needs, you can spread that liquid gold to help more moms. Here are a few ideas to make sure your excess breast milk doesn’t go to waste.

    Donate your breast milk

    There are many babies especially preemies who are in dire need of breast milk. Share your blessings by donating to human milk banks. One mom shared with us her experience you'll need and how to prepare breast milk for donation (click here to read her story). You can also read here the opinion of a lactation counselor on the safety of a milk bank versus community-donated breast milk.

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    Freeze your breast milk

    The Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO)'s Gabay sa Nanay sa Tamang Pagpapasuso, breast milk in a freezer (store it in the far back where it is coldest) is good for three to six months, and it's good for a year in a chest freezer.

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    Dr. Teresa Maria Ribaño, pediatrician and lactation consultant at Makati Medical Center, shares her "Rule of Three's" when storing breast milk: Three hours, three days, three months. "If the milk stays in the room temperature up to 30ºC, it’s good for three hours," she explained. "If you put it in the refrigerator, it’s good for three days. If you put it in the freezer, it’s good for three to six months," she added.

    Excess breast milk can also be turned into popsicles! Use it to help soothe your baby's gum pain when he starts teething.

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    Use breast milk for medicinal purposes

    There has been speculation that breast milk can be effective for treating certain medical issues common in babies, such as nasal congestion and eye and ear infections. While Tanya Altmann, M.D., a spokesperson from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does recommend using a drop or two of breast milk to help loosen baby's clogged nasal passages, parents are being cautioned against using breast milk to treat sore eyes in babies.

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    In 2017, the Department of Health (DOH) stated that breast milk, even if it is freshly-expressed, is not a viable treatment for sore eyes. Sore eyes usually resolves itself within a few days, but if it persists for more than five days, parents are advised to seek their doctor's help since treating the infection might require the use of antibiotics.

    Can breast milk treat baby’s diaper rashes? There is a study that claimed breast milk may be used as hydrocortisone in treating acute diaper dermatitis, but that has not been proven. Many moms in Smart Parenting Village, however, said they tried it out, and it worked for their baby. (They washed the affected area with clean water, applied milk on the rash, patted it until it was completely dry, and then put on the new diaper.)

    Remember, consult your doctor first if you want to try this because it is possible the diaper rash may be caused by a yeast infection, which means that breast milk will not help.

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    Add breast milk to your baby's first solid food 

    According to the AAP, when you give your baby solid foods the first time, try giving your baby a little breast milk, then switch to very small half-spoonfuls of food, and finish with more breast milk. If your baby cries when fed, go back to exclusive breastfeeding before trying again.

    Babies as young as six to eight months should have two to three meals per day, according to WHO, along with frequent breastfeeding and depending on the child’s appetite. Even as you feed your child solid foods, his breastfeeding should continue, ideally until he’s 2 years old or longer.

    For breast milk recipes, check here and here.

    Make a keepsake of your breastfeeding journey

    Want to know how you can make DIY breast milk jewelry? A mom in Smart Parenting Village shared her technique, which involves a process that is easy to follow. Check out how she did it by clicking here

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    If you're planning on DIY-ing your breast milk bling, there are certain precautions for you to take, especially since making breast milk jewelry involves the use of resin, which is a chemical that needs to be handled very carefully. Take note of these tips:

    • Work in a room with proper ventilation, and, as much as possible, keep your children in another place while you are working.
    • Wear protective clothing and gear including disposable gloves and safety goggles. If you are sanding the resin to make it smoother, make sure to use a mask respirator. However, if you have asthma, it may be best not to make your breast milk jewelry DIY.
    • Whatever containers or tools you used to handle resin should not be used for any other purpose, especially for holding food.
    • Clean up any spills immediately.
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