warming breast milk

Breast milk needs to be heated and thawed properly to ensure there is not bacterial growth.

  • Always wash hands and equipment with warm soapy water, rinse with hot water and air dry well or with a clean paper towel.
  • Never use a microwave to heat breast milk. A microwave can cause hot spots in the milk that can burn a baby’s mouth.
  • Warm cold breast milk that has been in the fridge by standing the container in a bowl of hot water not boiling. Before giving baby the bottle, test the milk by shaking a few drops on to your wrist, it is the right temperature when it feels warm. Be careful not to overheat breast milk as it can destroy valuable nutrients.
  • If breast milk is frozen, thaw it out by placing it in the fridge for slow thawing over 24 hours – it must be used within this time frame, if not throw it out, it cannot be refrozen.
  • Frozen breast milk can also be thawed and heated by running cool water over the container of breast milk, gradually warming up the temperature of the water. This will heat the breast milk to room temperature.
  • Breast milk that has been thawed out of the fridge using warm water will last for 4 hours in the fridge. After this time frame throw it out, it cannot be refrozen.


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