After expressing or producing breast milk, most mums choose to store some for future use. Whenever chores, sleep, or other situations make it unideal to breastfeed, it is comforting to have a backup supply for your hungry little one. But sometimes, handling breast milk can be a bit confusing. You want to ensure you are feeding it in the right temperature, while preserving most of its health benefits.
If you are wondering how to start, here are ways to safely warm your breast milk:
Today’s world events entail parents to be more mindful when handling breast milk and breastfeeding equipment. Regularly sterilise or thoroughly wash your baby’s bottles, teats, and other parts that come in contact with the milk. In addition, make sure these items are completely dry and properly sealed before reuse. It is better to be safe than sorry in making sure nothing gets contaminated in between.
Defrosting, thawing, and warming
If the breast milk is frozen, defrost it for around 12 hours before feeding to your baby. This can be safely fed straight away. But if your baby prefers warmer milk, place a sealed stored milk in a bowl filled with warm water. Then, wait for a few minutes to bring it to body temperature. It is also not advised to refreeze milk that has been thawed, as this may cause further breakdown of its nutrients and risk growth of bacteria.
Testing the temperature
You want to warm—not boil—your breast milk, so refrain from using a microwave or a stove. This can cause uneven heating or scalding of the milk. You will have to wait until it cools down before it is safe. Otherwise, this could burn your baby’s mouth. To prevent this, always test the temperature with a few drops on your wrist first. This skin area is sensitive enough to gauge if the milk is too hot or too cold. A warm to neutral temperature would be good for your baby.
Overall, caring for your baby’s nutrition is crucial for health. Preparing, feeding, and storing breast milk can be overwhelming at the start. But, seeing your little angel healthy and happy in the end makes all the hard work pay off.