So you’ve amounted a large sum of breast milk in these sealed plastic bags because you’re producing way more than your baby drinks. Leaving them in the freezer can make them last longer. Taking them out and warming them to the right temperature for your baby can take a lot of time.
Microwaves cook things really fast, but can you use a microwave to heat up breast milk?
In this article, we’re going to answer that exact question.
Can you microwave frozen breast milk?
Warming your breast milk in a microwave is not recommended. For one reason, breast milk is partially made up of nutrients and antibodies. Microwaving breast milk will likely destroy these valuable components that help your baby grow and fight off disease. Also, microwaves are known to cook food unevenly. This may create what is called hot spots. If the breast milk is not properly stirred, it could burn your baby’s mouth.
Can microwaves destroy nutrients in breastmilk?
To further elaborate, when you are microwaving any type of food you are basically sending radiation into the food, generating a massive amount of heat that will likely destroy much of the nutritional value of that food. The results with liquids such as breast milk is no different.
Why is breastmilk such an important factor in infants? It’s because of breast milk contain some of the richest ingredients that can help nourish babies. Breast milk contains lactose, milk fat, proteins, nucleotides, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals. It contains a special lactoferrin protein that inhibits the growth of bacteria in the stomach. It also contains secretory IGA antibodies which help protect the infant from viruses and bacteria. And it also contains lysozyme which is an enzyme that breaks down E.coli and salmonella and at the same time it helps promote good intestinal Flora.
The way microwaves work is that they vibrate water molecules in your food. In this case, it would be the water molecules in milk. A scientific study performed in 1992 tested the effects of microwave radiation on human milk. They concluded that microwaving at high heat decreased the antibiotic factors that breast milk naturally contained. They came to this conclusion after discovering that bacteria was able to grow faster and without any hindrance on breast milk that was microwaved.
Breast milk is an important factor in the health and growth of your baby.
Can microwaves create hot spots in breast milk?
This issue would be immediately more pressing at the moment. Microwaves are known to cook foods unevenly. In fact, the actual rays of radiation remain static and don’t move around. That’s why your microwave has to spin your food around so that these rays can touch more areas of your food.
The disadvantage to these static radiation raise is that can potentially Focus all the heat within a centralized area in your food or liquid.
Microwaves can create what is called ” hot spots” in your baby’s breast milk. The danger in hot spots is that you really don’t know where exactly in the milk it lies. The rest of the body of the milk May either be still cold or lukewarm.
If you assumingly believe that the lukewarm milk is ready to be fed to your baby, then you may end up accidentally burning your baby’s mouth and throat.
This is yet another reason why we highly don’t recommend using a microwave to heat up breast milk.
Some milk bottles are not microwave safe
Another reason why you may not want to microwave your milk bottles is that some of your milk bottles may not be microwave safe. These bottles are sometimes not designed to be exposed to that type of heat that a microwave can produce.
Doing so, can emit and even leach chemicals into the milk.
There’s also a risk of Fire that can happen if you try to microwave something that is not meant to be microwave safe. In most cases, the bottle might melt right on the turning table.
What temperature should you serve breast milk in?
To avoid destroying any of the nutrients in your breast milk and potentially burning your child’s mouth and throat, the best temperature to warm your breast milk to is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit which is approximately close to or a little below body temperature. This temperature is not considered hot, but more like lukewarm water.
What temperature is too high for breastmilk?
With breast milk, the nutrients and immunological components begin to deter 104 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Studies have found that by the time you reach 122 degrees Fahrenheit, it was beneficial components in milk will significantly decrease.
It is important that you never warm your breast milk to 122 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to aim for 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit which is considered the typical body temperature.
Be careful with microwaves. Depending on what you are cooking in a microwave, sometimes it only takes 30 seconds for it to reach 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ways to thaw breast milk
There are actually several safe ways to thaw breast milk. The idea here is to make sure you don’t shock your breast milk with any intense heat that may damage the nutrients left inside your breast milk. The goal here is to protect and preserve those healthy components that live within the milk.
- Put your frozen bag breast milk into the refrigerator overnight
- Run some warm water from the sink into a cup, and place your milk bag into it
- Use a bottle warmer and set it to medium and place milk bag into it
- You can also turn on warm water from the sink and run it over your milk back
How long does breast milk last after being thawed?
Once you’ve thawed out once you’ve started out your breast milk from the freezer, your baby has approximately 12 to 24 hours to drink it as long as it is being stored in the fridge. Once the breast milk has been over 24 hours, throw it away. If you plan to leave out your breast milk after being thawed, then it is recommended that you throw it away after 4 hours. We don’t recommend you keeping any reheated milk more than 24 hours.
How can I tell when breast milk is at the right temperature
After warming up your breast milk one of the most common ways that people can tell if it’s at the right temperature is to use the drop test.
- Start by swirling your milk bottle gently so that the heat will be evenly distributed throughout the bottle
- Take your hand and turn it over so that the palm faces the floor And the back of your hand is pointing upward
- Grab the bottle of milk and try to let one drop from the mill fall on the top of your hand
- If it feels lukewarm, then it is ready to be fed to your baby
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