Are you a new mom who is breastfeeding their newborn?
You are probably wondering what to do with all that frozen breast milk. Knowing how to store and heat it up properly can be challenging. But don’t worry; we have all the answers for you!
Our goal is to provide your baby with the best start in life possible, including providing breast milk whenever possible. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on reheating breastmilk – so you can always provide your child with the nourishment they need. So, keep reading to find the proper way to reheat breastmilk.
Related: What Is Cluster Feeding and Is It Right for My Baby?
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Properly Prepare Breastmilk for Reheating
Reheating breastmilk for your baby can be a stressful undertaking — you want to ensure that the milk is warm enough and safe to consume. Preparing it correctly can help prevent specific bacteria risks, so taking a few precautions is essential.
Firstly, start by thawing the breastmilk in a bottle of warm water for about twenty minutes until the thick layer on top has disappeared. Secondly, using an electronic thermometer, check that the temperature of the milk is slightly above body temperature (around 98-100°F).
If warming in a microwave or double-boiler, do so in short increments and stir between each session to provide even heat distribution throughout. Lastly, never reheat twice, as this can create bacteria that could harm your baby. Ultimately, these steps will lead to safe and reassuring breastmilk storage and reheating for your little one!
There Are Special Bacteria in Breastmilk
Breastmilk is a unique and complex substance with many beneficial components for a baby's physical and mental development. It is rich in vitamins and contains various types of bacteria, which are essential for developing a baby's immune system.
The most common probiotic bacteria are Bifidobacterium bifidum, Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Escherichia coli. However, some bacteria can be destroyed when breastmilk is reheated after being stored in the fridge.
In addition, improper warming techniques, such as microwaving or using hot water, can cause these important bacteria to be destroyed due to their low tolerances for temperature changes. Therefore, it’s best to gently rewarm breastmilk by placing it into warm water and then testing it before feeding it to your baby.
What You Should Not Do When Reheating Breast Milk
Reheating breast milk can be tricky; it needs to be done correctly to preserve the nutrients while avoiding risks of bacteria growth. It is important to note that there are certain things you should not do when reheating breast milk.
Firstly, never allow the breast milk to come into direct contact with the heating source - whether it's the stovetop or microwave. Doing so may burn the milk, leading to a nutritionally bad batch.
Secondly, avoid reheating a meal more than once as this can create a situation where bacteria could quickly build up in the liquid and subsequently make your baby ill. Finally, never leave recently heated breast milk standing around for too long, as this increases the likelihood of spoilage and contamination. Reheating and feeding breastmilk carefully is essential for keeping your little one safe from harm.
Related: Formula vs. Breast Milk: What Choice is Right for Your Baby?
What’s the Best Way To Reheat Breast Milk
The best way to reheat breast milk is with a warm water bath. First, place the breast milk in a bottle or container, and then fill another container with warm water slightly higher than body temperature (98-100°F). Ensure the breast milk container is secure so it won't tip over.
Next, submerge the breast milk bottle into the warm water container and sit until it reaches 104°F – this should take about 20 minutes or so. Be sure to gently shake or swirl around the bottle periodically to evenly distribute the temperature. Lastly, you should check the milk's temperature with a food thermometer before feeding your newborn.
Do You Really Need To Use a Bottle Warmer When Reheating Breastmilk?
When it comes to reheating breastmilk for babies, the big question is whether or not a bottle warmer is necessary. It all depends on the situation and preferences of the parent – some parents find great convenience in using bottle warmers.
In contrast, others prefer to do it an alternative way, such as putting the milk into a bowl of hot water. Bottle warmers can be helpful because they provide a more even heating process that doesn't overheat around the edges.
Additionally, some bottle warmers allow you to control how quickly your milk warms so you don’t end up with too hot milk that could scald your baby's mouth or cause bacteria growth. Ultimately, it's up to each parent to decide if they feel using a bottle warmer would benefit their own circumstances.
What Should You Do With the Rest of the Breast Milk?
Once your baby has had their fill of breast milk, it can be an anxious time for a new parent to figure out what to do with the leftover. Some parents choose to freeze it for later use, while others opt to donate this life-giving liquid to another family in need.
Donating breast milk not only provides nourishment to those who may not be able to obtain it otherwise naturally, but it can also be a comforting reminder that someone is looking out for them in difficult times. Additionally, donating unused breastmilk ensures that resources are allocated wisely and that no extra goes waste.
Related: Why Does Breastfeeding Make You Tired? How to Keep Your Energy Up
Always Make Sure You Follow the Above Advice When Reheating Breastmilk
Reheating breastmilk may seem daunting, but following the above tips will be a breeze! Just remember to always test the milk before giving it to your baby, and never reheat more milk than you plan on using. These simple tips can help you ensure that your baby receives nutritious breastmilk while avoiding potential risks.