Vol 91, No 2 (2020)
Research paper
Published online: 2020-02-28

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Non-nutritional “paramedical” usage of human milk — knowledge and opinion of breastfeeding mothers in Poland

Karolina Karcz1, Julia Makuch2, Mateusz Walkowiak2, Igor Olejnik3, Barbara Krolak-Olejnik1
Pubmed: 32141053
Ginekol Pol 2020;91(2):79-84.


Objectives: The objective of this study is to understand knowledge, attitudes and practices of non-nutritional breast milk
use among lactating women in respect of skin diseases and other frequent ailments.
Material and methods: The study, in the form of a questionnaire, spread on social media, was targeted at breastfeeding
women. The questionnaire consisted of questions regarding the knowledge of non-nutritional usage of human milk, its use
in practice, subjective opinion on the observed results and inclination towards future use. Chi-square tests and c-Pearson
coefficients were used for statistical calculations.
Results: A total of 1187 responses were acted upon. In the study group, 879 women claimed to have knowledge of
non-nutritional use of human milk in respect of skin and most common ailments, whilst 688 of them claimed to use at least
one usage. The most frequently, breast milk was used for: care of cracked nipples, care of healthy skin, treatment of diaper
dermatitis and treatment of neonatal acne. A correlation between duration of breastfeeding (p < 0.05) and gestational age
(p < 0.05) and practical use of non-nutritional human milk was found.
Conclusions: The study showed a great enthusiasm of mothers in respect of using breast milk for non-nutritional purposes,
including the treatment of skin diseases and other common ailments. However, given the scant studies determining possible
concerns surrounding these methods, there is a requirement for parental education with emphasis on the need for
prompt medical examination and pertinent treatment.

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