When you’re a new mom, there are so many things to worry about – like whether or not you’re doing everything right.
One of the most common questions that new mothers have is “can I microwave breast milk?” The answer, unfortunately, is no. There are a few reasons why you can’t warm up breast milk in the microwave, and we’ll discuss them in this blog post.
We’ll also dispel some of the myths about microwaving breast milk. So if you’re looking for information on how to warm up breast milk, read on!
Is it okay to microwave breast milk?
The short answer is no. Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby’s immune system fight off germs and viruses, so breast milk should be kept as close to its original form as possible when it’s being heated up.
When breast milk is microwaved, research has shown the proteins can break down and some nutrients are destroyed in the process, and it can be heated unevenly.
Why can’t you warm up breast milk in the microwave?
The breast milk microwave myth is one of the most common questions that new mothers have. The truth is, breast milk should not be heated in a microwave because it can destroy some of the nutrients and proteins.
Microwaving breastmilk can also cause the milk to be heated unevenly, creating ‘hot spots‘. These hotspots can be dangerous to your baby cause it can burn their mouth and throat.
t’s also a good idea to read the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) guideline on handling breast milk. The CDC also explicitly mentions not to microwave breast milk because it “can destroy nutrients in breast milk and create hot spots, which can burn a baby’s mouth.”
Does microwaving breast milk destroy antibodies and nutrients?
Yes. Microwaving breast milk can kill nutrients. When you microwave breast milk, the heat from the microwaves can cause changes in the milk’s composition and nutritional value. Some women wonder if they can warm up breastmilk by microwaving breast milk for just a few seconds.
While this may work in the short term (some antibodies will still be there), but the heat can destroy important nutrients and antibodies that your baby needs for optimal health.
In particular, microwaving can destroy some of the important enzymes found in breast milk. These enzymes are responsible for protecting against infection and helping with digestion.
Additionally, microwaving can also break down the milk’s proteins and fats, which can reduce its nutritional value.
Over time it can lead to problems with your baby’s immune system and health because the processed breast milk doesn’t have as many nutrients as fresh breastmilk does.
Microwaving breast milk for 10 seconds
Don’t microwave breastmilk for just a few seconds! This can cause scalding burns on your baby’s face or mouth and even lead to blindness if he accidentally touches the breastmilk while it’s still hot.
The best way to warm up breastmilk is by putting it in a bowl of hot water and letting the breastmilk sit there until it’s at room temperature.
Refrigerating warmed breast milk again
You can put breastmilk in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but you should never microwave breast milk more than once because this will destroy some of its nutrients.
Don’t put breast milk in the microwave. Microwaves don’t heat things uniformly, resulting in hot spots that can burn your baby. Microwaves are also thought to kill the nutrients and antibodies in breast milk.
What happens if you overheat breast milk
If you heat breastmilk up too much, it will start to curdle and the breastmilk may stop being effective.
Overheating breastmilk can cause bacteria to grow and spoil the milk. The milk will smell rank and have a sour taste. It can also cause the breastmilk to change its structure and make it harder for your baby to digest.
It’s important to never heat breast milk in a microwave oven because microwaves can create hot spots in the milk that can quickly cause it to spoil.
There have even been reported cases of breastmilk bottle teats exploding in the microwave.
Instead, for safety reasons, rather use a pot of simmering water or a bottle warmer.
At what temperature does breast milk start to lose nutrients and antibodies
Most experts agree that heating your breast milk to boiling point can make it less nutritious and destroy some of its beneficial properties.
Howver, some studies have suggested that when breast milk is heated to just 100.4°F (38°C)—slightly above body temperature—its proteins start to break down. This means that even when we heat stored breast milk it can lose important immunologically “active” and digestive components that benefit babies.
According to a research article by US National Institue of Health even bottle warmers can reach temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit) killing the beneficial properties of human breast milk.
So instead of boiling or microwaving breast milk, rather just let it warm up slowly on the stove or in a container placed in a pan of hot water. microwaving breast milk is not recommended, as it can cause hot spots that can scald your baby’s mouth.
How best to warm breast milk
The best way to warm breast milk is by putting it in a pot of simmering water or using a bottle warmer. This will help to keep the milk’s nutrients and enzymes intact.
How to warm up breast milk from the fridge
If breastmilk is refrigerated below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, then it will keep for up to three days. It can be kept at room temperature for about six hours before needing to be placed back in the refrigerator or freezer again.
To warm breast milk from the fridge: place breastmilk in a bowl of hot water and let sit until breastmilk is at room temperature.
If breastmilk has been refrigerated for more than 24 hours, then you should throw it away because the breastmilk will have lost some of its nutrients and antibodies by that time.
Steps to warm breast milk:
- Step one: Fill a pot with water and place breastmilk in the water. The breast milk should be at room temperature before you put it into the pot of simmering water.
- Step two: Bring breastmilk to a boil, then reduce heat so that breastmilk is kept at a gentle simmer for about ten minutes.
- Step three: Remove breastmilk from heat and let it cool to room temperature before giving it to your baby.
Or, you can use a bottle warmer – these are designed to warm breast milk evenly without creating hot spots. Bottle warmers usually have a setting for breast milk that will keep the milk at a safe temperature while it warms.
Some breast milk may be stored in the freezer. If you choose to freeze breast milk, it is best to do so in small batches that will be used within a month. Freezing breast milk can destroy some of its nutrients and antibodies. When you are ready to use frozen breast milk, you can thaw it slowly by placing it in the refrigerator overnight.
How long to warm breast milk in bottle warmer
It depends on the type of bottle warmer. For most, it will take three to five minutes.
Warming breast milk is important because it helps to destroy bacteria and keep the milk safe for your baby to drink. It’s also important to make sure that the milk is not too hot, or else your baby could get burned.
Most bottle warmers take between three and five minutes to warm a bottle of milk, but always read the manufacturer’s instructions before use. And never leave a bottle warmer unattended while in use.
Can you warm breast milk twice?
Yes, you can warm breast milk twice. The second warming will not harm your baby. But it’s not suggested to reheat breast milk more than that, since it can deplete important nutrients, enzymes and antibodies in the breast milk.
Warmth is important for breast milk because it helps keep the milk liquid and prevents it from clumping. When milk clumps, it is harder for your baby to digest and can cause her to spit up more. Warming your breast milk also makes it more comfortable for your baby to drink.
Can you microwave breast milk in oatmeal?
Yes, technically breastmilk can be microwaved in oatmeal. But it’s not the best way to heat up breast milk.
Microwaving breast milk too quickly can cause it to be overheated, have hotspots, and lose some of its nutritional value.
As we said earlier, you can rather warm breastmilk by placing it into a bowl of hot water or using a bottle warmer (which is designed to warm breast milk evenly without creating hot spots). You can then pour the heated breastmilk over your food and mix thoroughly before serving. Enjoy!
Conclusion – Can breast milk be microwaved?
The bottom line is that you shouldn’t microwave breast milk because it destroys some of the breastmilk’s nutrients and antibodies. It’s best to use breastmilk at room temperature. A better way to heat and warm up breast milk is to use a bottle warmer, or place the breastmilk container in a bowl of warm water so that it warms up more slowly.
If breast milk has been refrigerated for more than 24 hours, then you should throw it away because the breast milk will have lost some of its nutrients and antibodies by that time.
And besides destroying antibodies and nutrients, it could create hotspots and be too hot for your baby and burn them badly.
So given all of that I suggest not microwaving your breastmilk!
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