A few days ago, I noticed some greenish-yellow gooey boogers in one of Goldie’s eyes. The eye was a little pink and watery and getting more and more eye boogies. Along with that, she started getting sniffly and snotty and very grumpy! I did a quick google search on her symptoms and got the opinions from a group of mothers on a facebook page that I belong to. Every thing pointed to a case of pink eye, or conjunctivitis. We just had the flu last month, and now this itchy eye business! I tell, you we rarely get sick around here! Both Art and I admitted that our eyes had been a bit itchy the past few days. Mine even had a little red patch. So, maybe we all had a very mild case of it? Conjunctivitis is extremely contagious.
Generally, conjunctivitis requires no treatment and will clear up on its own in 5-7 days. Occasionally it might need some stingy antibiotic drops. As we were only on day 1 or 2, I was not really looking forward to the next week, thinking I would have a grumpy, eye boogery, snotty baby. I email our doctor to see if I should bring her in (yes, EMAILED my doctor, he’s just that cool). He said to bring her in the next day so we could check her out. It never hurts to check out such a young baby, I suppose…
Now, as much as facebook can be a huge waste of time, it is also an amazing networking tool and an instant source of valuable advice. The mother’s group that I’m a part of has discussions on all things attachment parenting and baby wearing. Even for real medical questions, it’s seriously almost better than asking the doctor (disclaimer: always ask your doctor too)! All you have to do is post a question and within minutes you have multiple responses with practical advice and real life experiences that other mothers have gone through. I asked about Goldie’s eye… almost all the mothers said ‘Breastmilk in her eye!’. Oh, duh, why had I not thought of that before!
We all know that breastmilk is the best form of nutrition for a newborn baby. It’s specifically designed for human babies, it’s easy for them to digest, it’s free, it takes no time to prepare and virtually no clean up either (I say virtually because Goldie is a sloppy eater). It changes tastes with what the mother eats, and some would say that creates a baby with a more sophisticated palette who would be more inclined to try different foods when they get older. But, what many people don’t know about breastmilk is that it contains these antibodies and antioxidants and a whole host of other mysterious miraculous components! Even most woman, themselves, who are breastfeeding don’t even know how totally awesome breastmilk can be!
Breastmilk is said to be antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, and anti-protozoal. One thing in human breastmilk that rocks so much is a little protein called Immunoglobulin A (IgA). Go on, say it ‘I-M-M-U-N-O-G-L-O-B-U-L-I-N‘. Sounds sort of like a superhero, right? Well, it is! IgA is a little protein that works as an antibody and is in charge of protecting parts of the body with a mucus membrane (like the eye). IgA is also responsible for helping to line the gut of a newborn baby, who has very little immunity when they are fresh out of the womb. The IgA that coats the intestines of a baby, also creates a laxative, which helps that baby pass its first black sticky poo (meconium) and also helps prevent build up of bilirubin, which can contribute to causing jaundice.
Anyway, now you’ve had a little biology lesson…
So, I started squirting gallons of breastmilk in Goldie’s affected eye. Ok, not gallons, but enough to make her give me a funny face. She saw the boob coming near her and starting thinking, ‘Oh, that looks yummy.‘, but instead of the boob landing in her mouth it started spraying her in the eyeball. She did a few little cute lunges for it, and looked a little perplexed, like ‘Hey, mom, my mouth’s over here!’. But, she didn’t mind too much. When I was done hosing down her eye, I would laugh at her and she would join in for a giggle.
The green boogey eye thing cleared up within 24 hours! She still is snotting a little, but not as much. I emailed the doc and told him what I had been doing with Goldie’s eye and the milk. He replied that what I was doing was great and that he had forgotten about that trick! You can use breastmilk on almost anything that gets red or puffy. Rashes, cradle cap, scrapes, minor infections, etc. Even your own nipple! If you get a cut or crack, you can just express a drop and let it dry on there and that will help to fight off an infection. I’m not saying breastmilk is a cure all. If something seems really serious, don’t just spray a little breastmilk on there and hope it will go away. But, for the minor ailments, it’s definitely the way to go! I wonder if I’m the only one with a milky miracle cure story? If you have one, please share away!