How to Thaw, Warm, and Use Frozen Breast Milk

many breastfeeding parents choose to collect and freeze breast milk. It might be necessary if you have to transport or ship it, but it is more likely that you want to create a stockpile to have on hand for when you have to be away from your baby or when you decide to stop breastfeed. When the time comes, it ‘s important to know how to safely thaw, warm, and use your freeze breast milk .

Thawing Frozen Breast Milk

When you thaw freeze breast milk according to base hit guidelines, it maintains more nutrients and is less likely to spoil. Your bags or containers of freeze breast milk should have a pronounce with a date. Use the oldest container of breast milk beginning.

Defrost freeze breast milk by placing it in the refrigerator, putting it in a bowl of warm body of water, or holding it under quick run rap water. You should not thaw frigid breast milk at room temperature .

Do not use the microwave or place your breast milk in a pot of boiling body of water on the stave. once defrosted, you can warm up your front milk and use it immediately, leave it out at room temperature for up to four hours, or refrigerate it again for up to 24 hours .

These guidelines are for goodly, full-term infants and older children. If you have a premature baby or a child with a compromised immune system, talk to your healthcare provider about how to collect, store, and use your breast milk .

Defrosting Breast Milk in the refrigerator

Thawing front milk in the refrigerator can take approximately 12 hours, so be sure to plan ahead. You may want to place a full day ‘s worth of freeze summit milk in the electric refrigerator each night so that it will be fix to use the next sidereal day. To defrost freeze front milk in the refrigerator : 

  1. Remove the bag or bottle of the frozen breast from the freezer.
  2. Place it into the refrigerator.
  3. Wait until the solid frozen milk turns back into liquid form.
  4. Once the milk thaws, use it within 24 hours.
  5. Do not refreeze thawed breast milk that is left over after 24 hours.

Thawing Breast Milk in a Bowl of Warm Water

If you need to thaw breast milk promptly, you can use a bowl of warmly ( not hot ) water. This method acting takes approximately 20 minutes if you keep an center on the water system and change it a soon as it cools down. here ‘s how :

  1. Fill a bowl or pan with warm water. 
  2. Place the frozen container of breast milk into the water. Be sure to keep the water level below the cap of the breast milk bottle to prevent contamination.
  3. As the water cools down, empty it and replace it with more warm water.
  4. Continue to do this until the breast milk is no longer frozen.
  5. Once defrosted, place the milk in the refrigerator or continue to warm it up to feed to your child. 

Thawing Breast Milk Under Running Water

The fastest way to defrost breast milk is to hold it under a faucet of strong run water. here is what you can do :

  1. Start out holding the container (or bag) under cold running water.
  2. Slowly make the temperature of the running water warmer, but do not make it hot.
  3. Keep holding the container under warm water until the milk thaws.

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sometimes thawed front milk does n’t smell identical estimable. It can besides have a buttery, metallic sample . If this happens, it does n’t mean the milk is bad. The foreign sour spirit and taste are from an enzyme in the milk called lipase. Lipase naturally breaks down the fats in the milk during memory. It is still safe to give the milk to your baby, but your child may not drink it if they do n’t like the way it tastes .

Warming Up Thawed Breast Milk

You can give your pamper thawed breast milk right out of the refrigerator, or you can warm it up to room temperature or body temperature. If you choose to warm your breast milk, you can place it in a bowl of warm urine for a few minutes, hold it under quick run water, or use a bottle affectionate .

You should not heat breast milk in the microwave or in a pot of boiling water on the stove.​ ​It ‘s authoritative to warm your breast milk correctly indeed that you do n’t burn your baby ‘s mouthpiece and throat .

once the milk is affectionate, gently swirl the container to mix any layers that may become branch during memory. Check the temperature of the milk before giving it to your child. You can do this by squirting a few drops on the inwardly of your wrist. It should feel lukewarm or board temperature. It should not be hot or cold .

The Dangers of Using the Microwave and Stove

When thawing or warming a container or frozen milk, you should not use a microwave oven. The high heat from the microwave can destroy some of the healthy properties found in the breast milk. Microwaves can besides heat in an uneven means, causing hot areas within the summit milk. These hot spots can burn your baby ‘s mouth and throat .

Using the stave to heat breast milk is not recommended, either. When you place a bag or container of breast milk in a pot of boiling water on the stove, it can overheat. Overheating can destroy the nutrients in the milk and make it perilously hot for your child .

How to Safely Handle Warmed Breast Milk

You can prevent your breast milk from spoiling or becoming a engender ground for bacteria if you know how to handle it and use it safely. here are some tips :

  • Once you warm the breast milk, you can give it to your child right away or it can be refrigerated again for up to 24 hours.
  • You should not leave warm breast milk out at room temperature. 
  • You should not refreeze it.
  • If your baby does not finish a feeding, you should throw away the leftover breast milk in the bottle.  

A Word From Verywell

Whether it ‘s just a few bags in encase of an emergency or a unharmed stockpile of containers for when you return to work, it nice to know that your child can inactive have your breast milk even when you ‘re not available. How you thaw and use your freeze breast milk is angstrom important as how you collect and store it. Follow the guidelines to keep your baby and your breast milk as safe and healthy as possible .

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