How To Warm Up Breast Milk?

If you must work and have a baby, the possibilities are you have a breast milk bank in your fridge. In this article, we will describe how to warm up breast milk correctly and easily.

Heating breast milk is possible. This substance includes all the essential nutrients that a human being requires in its early stages of life. It protects against allergies and infections because it contributes to the formation of the immune system, improves the maturation of the central nervous system, promotes a good formation of the microbiota, and is essential for psycho-affective development.

Vitamins, amino acids, hormones, enzymes, growth factors, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, and water are observed in breast milk. Being such a complicated food, it is hard for another to grant the same advantages, according to research.

The World Health Organization suggests 6 months of restricted breastfeeding for babies. But, we do not recommend to keep it up to 2 years of life. With the modern rhythm, mothers who work or study have decided to have milk banks in which the substance is refrigerated to have sufficient storage and to be able to give it to the baby at any time.

Tips for defrosting breast milk properly

You can store breast milk suitably at room temperature for about 5 hours. Yet, it will keep for about 4 days in the fridge and up to 2 weeks in the freezer.

After this manner, it is common that the unknown appears about how to warm up breast milk to give it to the baby. It is expedient to do it as quickly as it is removed from the fridge so that the cold chain is not lost. If the product is frozen, it must be left for a few hours at room temperature so that it melts beforehand.

How to warm up breast milk?

How to heat breast milk in a bottle warmer?

The most favored method to warm up breast milk is the water bath, a method that consists of putting water to boil in a pot and submerging the container including the substance over it so that it melts on contact with boiling water.

It is very essential that the milk does not boil and that it is not infected with water. So it is excellent to keep it in an airtight and clean container. Likewise, it is important to stir it a little and take the temperature before giving it to the baby to avoid burning it. The product should be warm and not hot.

Can you heat it in the microwave?

Although it is a contentious issue, various sources indicate that it is better not to warm up breast milk in the microwave. In particular, there is a high chance of causing a burn or scald, as noted in a report by the California Childcare Health Program.

This is because microwaves do not heat evenly. Likewise, the wrong use of the appliance could have contradictory effects on metabolism. It causes a chemical change of the food that is not the same that originated in the other methods. Besides, if you do not clean your device perfectly it can lead to a proliferation of bacteria.

Nevertheless, for occasional use, the microwave is a quick and simple option to bail out. The most essential thing is to make sure that the milk has been at a proper temperature for the baby. It is better to shake it a little in the bottle.

If you don’t desire to microwave the milk you can heat the water in a container and then sink the bottle there. In this way, you will gain the same effect as the water bath. [1]

Can you reuse previously warm milk?

No. After heating the milk, we suggest you not to reuse it or to freeze it again. In the first place, it could lose its characteristics and be damaged.

On the other hand, it could have been infected with germs from the environment. If your baby only absorbs a little, it is better to throw out the remaining liquid. Likewise, milk that has been melted should be utilized in the shortest possible time; ideally within 12 hours.

Be careful with the containers to store the milk

The container utilized to store breast milk is vital to ensure proper maintenance. A “Manual for the extraction, storage, transport, and supply of breast milk” of the Ministry of Health of Colombia suggests not utilizing plastics because when exposed to heat they can discharge dangerous chemicals.

Preferably, we recommend you to use glass containers to store them in the fridge. In this way, you can avoid infection with dangerous microplastics that, in the long term, affect human health.

So now you recognize what primary care is to avoid complications. Heating breast milk is possible and can be a proper solution for mothers who, due to various occupations, do not have the chance of continuing breastfeeding as long as they would like.