Quick Answer: Technically, you could heat breast milk in the microwave, but you won't want to after you read this article. There are two super important things to know about the hazards of heating breast milk in the microwave. We don't mean to cause alarm, but these must be considered for the safety of your baby.
Let's dive right into it...
Why Shouldn't You Microwave Breast Milk?
It's not that you absolutely can't microwave breast milk.
The biggest problem is that the microwave heats the milk unevenly.
Just like your lunch, breast milk can develop pockets of extreme heat.
The other big reason not to heat breast milk this way is to make sure that you're preserving the nutrients in the milk. microwave radiation causes the nutritional value of breast milk to deteriorate
There are still other aspects of microwaving breast milk that aren't ideal, but the two covered here are the big ones most people feel aren't worth risking.
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What If You Have No Other Options?
Sometimes life happens and you don't have access to anything other than a microwave. This is the kind of event that can arise when you're out at a restaurant.
If you find yourself in this situation, you still have options. Most likely, you're going to need to enlist the help of your server.
To heat the milk, you need hot water. Ask your server to heat a bowl of water in the microwave to a warm (not hot) temperature and bring it out to you. Once you've checked that the temperature is suitable, place the sealed bottle of breast milk in the water until it's warm enough.
This is usually a pretty easy task for both you and your server. If the restaurant is really busy, a few extra bucks on the tip will tell your server that you appreciate the help.
Searching for a quality microwave? See also: Best Microwave Toaster Oven Combo
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How to Heat Breast Milk
There are lots of ways to warm up breast milk that are perfectly safe and will preserve the nutritional content.
Here are a few:
- With the Stove Top:
- With Running Water:
- Invest in a Bottle Warmer:
After using any of these methods, shake the bottle to circulate the heat and always put a drop or two on your inner wrist to make sure it's not too hot before feeding your baby.
Further Reading: Can You Microwave Cardboard?
Bonus Safety Tips
There are still other safety measures to take into account when warming up breast milk, some of which you may already know:
- The ideal way to thaw breast milk from frozen is to pop it directly into the fridge from the freezer.
- It's not safe to freeze milk that's already been thawed.
- Fresh milk can live in the fridge for up to four days.