Breast milk is essential for the growth and development of a newborn baby.
Since I am a busy parent, I always look for ways to make breast milk available for my infant.
I also love it warm and ready for feeding without reducing the milk’s nutritional value.
One commonly used method of warming breast milk is the use of a microwave.
Yes, the method works, but is it advisable to warm breast milk using a microwave?
This question has bugged many parents but most opt to continue using it since it is a faster way of doing so when in a hurry or busy.
The Experts stand on microwaving breast milk
Can you microwave breast milk? No, most experts do not recommend this method of warming breast milk.
They mostly advise those with newborn babies to use alternative methods like placing the milk bottle in a container containing warm water.
Why microwaving breast milk is not recommended
Microwaving breast milk results in uneven heating of the breast milk. Some parts of the milk become hot very quickly compared to others.
Uneven heating of the milk creates hot spots that you may not feel when holding the bottle.
But these hot spots may put the infant in danger as it may cause some severe burns in your baby’s mouth and throat.
Even if you mark the required temperature of the milk after heating, some parts may become hotter because the microwaves heat is inconsistent.
In addition, microwaves cause the deterioration of the nutritional value of breast milk.
Breast milk contains various nutrients, which is why it is essential for the development and growth of an infant.
Because of these essential nutrients, the milk should be treated gently, including when heating.
However, you cannot achieve this gentle handling through heating on a microwave.
Due to the inconsistency when heating, most nutrients will be lost, and such s milk will lack some of the nutrients that are crucial for the growth and development of the baby.
The recommended way of heating breast milk
I have explained clearly the reasons why warming using a microwave is harmful and not recommended by experts.
Suppose you have been using that method and are now wondering which approach will maintain the nutritional value and keep the baby safe from burns.
In that case, you don’t have to worry as there are several recommended ways.
Below are some of the best and safest breast milk heating ways.
Heating in a bowl of warm water
This is the safest and most recommended way of heating breast milk for an infant. Below are the steps to follow.
- Step one is to fill a bowl or a ceramic cup halfway with water and place it in the microwave for around 2 to 3 minutes. Ensure the water you put does not spill above the ceramic cup when the breast milk bottle is placed in it.
- Next step is to place the milk bottle in the hot water container and swirl it around gently to ensure the warmth reaches every part.
- Take out the bottle regularly and shake it gently. All this time, you should do the wrist test. You should shake the bottle gently and carefully. This will prevent the milk from filling with air that may cause the baby to feel bloated due to having excess gas.
- Shake the bottle again after some minutes. You can invert the bottle around 10 times or swirl the contents of the baby bottle.
- Finally, check the temperature and feed the baby if the temperature is right.
Method 2. using a bottle warmer
This is another convenient way that is mess-free and acceptable by experts.
These battery-powered portable warmers give you different warming options and give the milk the desired temperature.
Chances of overheating are minimal, plus the milk is evenly warmed and ready for consumption.
So, Is It Safe To Microwave Breast Milk?
No, it’s not safe and when it comes to warming breast milk, microwaving should not even be an option as it brings about many risks to the baby, some of which may cause physical harm to the baby.
Make use of the microwave to warm some water and chose the safer way of placing the baby’s bottle with milk into warm water.
This way, the baby does not suffer burns and gets all the nutrients required for growth and development.