Can I microwave breast milk?


This article will answer the question “Can I microwave breast milk?”, and how to safely warm, use and store breast milk?

Can I microwave breast milk?

Yes, you can microwave breast milk but it is not recommended. Microwaving leads to hot spots in the baby’s milk due to uneven heating. This can burn the sensitive mouth and throat of your infant. For safely microwaving breast milk, you can try the following methods.

  1. Warm some water in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave. Remove the bowl from the microwave and place the milk bottle in it. When the milk is warm enough, mix the contents by either swirling it or inverting it 10 times.
  1. The second safe method for microwaving breast milk is to play with the time of exposure and quantity of breast milk. Heat the 4oz. of breast milk for 10 secs or less and 8 oz. breast milk for 20 secs or less at full power in the microwave.

How to safely warm breast milk from the fridge?

  1. Remove the milk breast milk container(sealed bag or bottle) from the fridge. Warm some water in a teakettle or a microwave. 
  1. Pour the warm water into a bowl or a mug and place the breast milk container into it. Let it be there for about 1-2 minutes or until the milk inside the container is warm enough. Transfer the warm milk to a baby container If It was kept in a sealed bag.
  1. If the milk is already in a bottle, close it with the nipple. Check the temperature of the milk by splashing some drops on your wrist. It should feel warm. 
  1. Give the bottle a gentle swirl to mix the fat that is accumulated on the top.
  1. Note: You can also perform this method by placing the baby bottle under the warm water from the faucet. But this will consume more time and water.

How to warm breast milk from the freezer?

  1. Frozen breast milk can be warmed using the same method as described above. However, you will have to keep it in the warm water for about 10-15 minutes or until thoroughly warm. 
  1. If you let the frozen milk thaw overnight, you don’t have to change the process.

Do you need a bottle warmer?

The jury is still out on the safety of heating breast milk in a bottle warmer. It allows you to evenly heat milk but the milk is at risk of overheating. 

Overheating destroys the key nutrients in the breast milk that are required by your baby for optimal growth and development. A bottle warmer can heat breast milk as high as 80°F (26.7°C). 

If you find it convenient to use a bottle warmer, your best bet is to use a thermometer along with the warmer to watch the temperature of the baby milk.

How to warm breast milk in a bottle warmer?

All you have to do is place the baby bottle in the heating section of the bottle warmer. For detailed instructions, you need to read the manual. It takes a few minutes for the bottle warmer to warm breast milk.

Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.

Can a newborn kitten drink regular milk?

How long can newborn kittens go without milk?

Can you reuse previously heated breast milk?

Reheating or restoring breast milk is a big no. Leftover milk has the baby’s saliva in it. The germs transferred to the breast milk via saliva can multiply and spoil the milk quality. Therefore, It must be discarded after 2 hours of feeding it to your baby.

How long can you let breast milk sit out?

Fresh breast milk can sit out at room temperature (up to 77°F or 25°C) for about 4 hours 

Breast milk that was frozen and thawed will only last 2 hours at room temperature. Never reheat or restore thawed frozen breast milk.

How to use and store breast milk?

It is recommended to store only 2-6 ounces of milk at a time. This can vary depending on how much milk your baby normally consumes in one sitting. 

Do not forget to label your breast milk before storing it. This helps to practice stock rotation or FIFO (First In First Out).

Breast milk has a shelf-life of up to 4 days in the fridge and 12 months in the freezer. For peak quality, use frozen breast milk within 6 months of storage. 

Past the 6 months timeline, milk becomes increasingly sour with a poor nutrition profile. Fresh milk should never be mixed in the already frozen milk.

Frozen breast milk saves you time and has a better nutrition profile than formula milk. But refrigerated milk is better in all aspects as it retains the maximum amount of nutrients and tastes better.


This article answered the question “Can I microwave breast milk?”, and how to safely warm, use and store breast milk?


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