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How to Reheat Breast Milk

Recommendations for Heating Breast Milk

If you are removing milk from the freezer, it is usually better to thaw it in the refrigerator if time permits. You can also thaw frozen milk by running it under warm water, or by immersing the container in a bath of warm water for several minutes.
 
According to the recommendations of the La Leche League, you should heat the milk for less than five minutes to a temperature of up to 98.6°F (body temperature) in warm water that is below 120°F. Try to avoid heating it for too long, as bacteria may start to develop. Also, do not heat the milk directly on the stove or boil it, as this can destroy valuable nutrients in the milk.
 
You can purchase electric bottle warmers and travel bottle warmers. These can help save some time and make it easy to heat breast milk safely. The travel warmers can come in handy for those moms on the go!
 
Keep in mind that some babies are happy with ice-cold breast milk. If your baby is fine with cold milk, then there is no need to heat it up. Some babies even prefer cold milk!
 

I'm in a Hurry -- Can I Microwave the Milk?

While this is a huge "no-no," many (if not most) mothers are guilty of microwaving breast milk at one point or another. However, doing this carries many risks.
 
If you overheat the milk in the microwave, it can destroy the milk's enzymes and immune properties. Also, microwaves do not heat liquids evenly, which causes "hotspots" in the milk that can scald a baby. Or, if you put the bottle in the microwave for "just a second" and get distracted, it could explode if it's left for too long.
 
In most cases, it's best to just be a little patient and warm the milk up properly. Since you've gone through all the work of expressing and storing the milk, it would be such a waste to damage the quality just because you were rushed. If you don't have time to warm up a bottle, you may find that your little one is just fine with drinking it at a sub-par temperature.
 
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