How to Warm Breast Milk
Warming stored breast milk is a personal choice, however, warming it to at least room temperature is important for smaller babies, who shouldn’t drink cold milk as it can bring down their body temperature. Older, larger babies can handle drinking chilled milk, though some babies do prefer warmed milk in a bottle as it mimics the warmth of milk directly from the breast.
An Easy, Safe Warming Method
Try warming your milk bottle to between room and body temperature under cool then warm running water. Be sure to keep the water away from the lid of the bottle so that it doesn’t mix with the milk. One method is to put the bottle in a bowl with sides lower than the bottle’s lid. Run warm water in the bowl. The warm water against the sides of the bottle warms the milk. Gently swirl the bottle, don’t shake, to get the milk in the middle of the bottle warm.
What should I know about warming and thawing my milk?
- Whether you’re warming chilled milk or thawing frozen milk, keep the heat low. High heat kills the live cells in your milk that help keep your baby healthy. Low and slow generally works the best, so try to plan accordingly!
- Frozen milk can be thawed in the refrigerator.
- Breast milk is not “homogenized” like the milk you buy at the supermarket so it may separate into layers. This is a natural occurrence and if it happens, simply give it a gentle swirl to mix.
Some Milk-Warming “Don’ts”
- Don’t warm breast milk in the microwave. It changes the composition of the milk and causes hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth and throat.
- Don’t heat the milk in a pot on the stove. High heat can make your breast milk too hot for your baby, and it destroys the antibodies your baby needs.
- Fresh is best. If you have just finished pumping, give your freshly pumped milk to your baby before thawing previously frozen milk.
Looking for a way to make milk storage easier? Try the Ameda Store n’ Pour Freezer Bags.
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