Mum-of-two claims she cured her babies’ eczema by bathing them in her own breast milk

After reading about the unusual treatment online, Lizzie Dempsey, 27, from Southampton, Hampshire, decided to give it a go.

She mixed her milk with bath water in a bid to help soothe the patches of dry skin that had sprung up on her children George, two, and Isla, nine months.

The retail assistant claims that, despite trying a long list of lotions and creams, breast milk is the only thing that has managed to calm their symptoms.

Explaining how her husband Ashley, 29, a retail manager, helped give the youngsters their weekly baths, she said: “I would recommend it because it is a safe and easy way to help your baby’s skin.

“Some people might be a bit squeamish about it, but it is 100 per cent natural and we really enjoyed doing it.”

Lizzie told how George arrived into the world perfectly healthy in December 2015.

But when he was a few weeks, she spotted some patches of dry skin on his stomach.

Initially she tried to combat the problem – since confirmed as eczema, which causes the skin to become red, cracked and dry – with lotions and creams, but none seemed to work.

So, like many mums, she turned to social media for advice.

“I’m in some mums’ groups and when I asked about it, lots of members had tried breast milk baths and recommended them,” she explained.

“My midwife suggested it too, and when I was looking online, it constantly came up in searches.”

Then, when George was eight weeks old, Lizzie washed him in breast milk for the first time.

“It worked really quickly,” she said. “From there, I did it weekly.

THE BREAST MEDICINE From eczema to acne and ear infections, the weird and wonderful healing powers of BREAST MILK revealed

“I found it gave him super soft skin every time. I breastfed both kids and would express and freeze an extra supply for the baths.

“I would use around 6oz a time just added to plain warm bath water, and swirl it in, turning the water a soft white colour.

“Occasionally I’d add some lavender oil for a particularly relaxing bath at bedtime.”

After just a few weeks, little George’s eczema started to disappear.

Then, when her second child, Isla, was born in September last year, Lizzie soon noticed the infant suffered with the same skin complaint as her brother.

Having been breastfeeding her anyway, the young mum immediately decided to start giving her baths too.

“I did it weekly when Isla was a newborn,” she said.

“Then, as my milk supply decreased, I started to do it every fortnight or so.

“It really helped with her skin, and I knew there were none of the harsh chemicals that can be in some bubble baths. It’s 100 per cent natural.

“I also felt it was a nice way to continue with the breastfeeding journey. It was a really special thing to share together.”

As Isla reached six months, Lizzie’s milk supply began to drop, and the tot had to be supplemented with formula feeds to ensure she got enough food.

What are eczema and dermatitis?

Also known as dermatitis, eczema is a common dry skin condition.

Though common it is rare for two sufferers to experience the same symptoms and discomfort. It is a highly varied condition and comes in many forms.

Despite the fact it causes often unbearable itching, the condition is not contagious, and so cannot be caught from someone suffering a flare-up.

In mild cases, a sufferer's skin is dry, scaly, red and itchy.

But, in more severe cases there can be weeping, crusting and bleeding sores as a result.

The constant compulsion to itch can leave the skin split and bleeding and also leaves it open to infection.

“Unfortunately, that led to the end of our breastfeeding journey,” said Lizzie.

“Isla preferred the bottle, and we tried everything like drinking more water, drinking oat milk and eating lactation cookies, which are filled with milk boosting ingredients like flaxseed and nuts – but we couldn’t get my milk supply back up.

“I had a little bit of frozen milk left and we were able to give her one last bath at the end of April.

“I added some flowers for her last one and took some pictures, so we could treasure the memories. She loved them.

“I think it was calming for her to be in my milk. I always found her much more chilled after a milk bath than any other, and I think helped with our bond – although she did try to eat the flowers on her last one.”

According to a study from Iran breast milk is as effective as one per cent hydrocortisone ointment, often prescribed to treat eczema.

Nearly 82 per cent of babies treated with breast milk showed improvements after 21 days of treatment, as did 76 per cent of babies treated with the ointment.

The British Association of Dermatologist website states: "Complete emollient therapy is the mainstay of treatment for all patients with eczema – this means regular application of a moisturiser [also known as an emollient] and washing with a moisturiser instead of soap.

"These should be applied several times every day to help the outer layer of your skin function better as a barrier to your environment.

"The drier your skin, the more frequently you should apply a moisturiser. Many different ones are available, varying in their degree of greasiness, and it is important that you choose one you like to use.

"Moisturisers containing an antiseptic may be useful if repeated infections are a problem."

In April we told how a first-time mum uses breast milk from strangers on Facebook to feed her baby boy.

Meanwhile a mum sparked an online debate after comparing how breast milk and formula fight bacteria.

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