Being a lactation expert for the past fifteen years, I have seen several busy mommies pumping their breast milk for their kiddo to have it later on. In the current era, this practice is even more existent.
Most of the mommies ask me the question, ‘can you reheat unused breast milk more than once?’. This is a valid question because there are some scientific grounds to answer it. That is why you may hear both yes and no in response to this question.
If you also have such confusion in your mind and you are concerned about feeding your baby with the appropriately reheated milk, then relax and sit back. I have studied numerous scientific investigations to help you in this regard.
All you have to do is read this short review guide until the end to gain insight into the most critical and medically approved information. Let’s begin!
How Many Times Can You Reheat Breast Milk?
If you are into the practice of pumping your breast milk, then you must be concerned about its proper storage for later use. In this regard, you might be taking a lot of things into consideration.
Out of which safety of your baby angel is the first thing to go for. Just like, you want your baby to wear the cleaner clothes, play with the nice toys, in the same way, the preference of a mommy is to feed her baby with the safest milk.
This approach raises the question, ‘can you reheat unused breast milk more than once?’. This is very natural to think like this. The reason is that slight carelessness in heating breast milk can incur significant changes in its composition.
As a result, you may be exposing your kid to serious harm. Therefore, it is very integral to follow reliable guidelines for the storage and to reheat your breastmilk.
As far as this question is concerned, the simple answer to this query is that you can only reheat the unused breast milk ONCE. As you go through the researches, you may find some researchers suggesting that you may heat it more than once. However, we strongly recommend you not do so!
The reason is that reheating the breast milk more than once can be destroying the good bacteria. Consequently, your baby will not get the nutrients and good bacteria needed for growth and easy digestion. This is what should not happen.
Reheating the Unused Breast Milk Once
When we say you should not reheat the breast milk more than once, it has solid scientific investigation-based backing.
Firstly, it is highly recommended to feed the baby within a few hours when the good bacteria are alive, and they can benefit your baby by entering his stomach. Reheating the breast milk will be good after a few hours to nullify the external contamination entering the pumped breast milk.
Another important consideration here is if you reheated the breast milk and did not feed your baby at that time and after a few hours, you feed your baby with that milk; then, we must stop you from doing this. Don’t do this because the milk loses effectiveness after reheating.
All you have to do is to discard it. Otherwise, it will be affecting the health of your baby adversely. According to other researches, you should not exceed this time from two hours.
Also, if you partially fed your baby with the reheated milk and some portion of the milk is left, don’t think to store it for later use as you will not be able to reheat it in the light of the above discussion. Hence, it is better to discard the milk in this case too wholly.
Avoid Reheating Breast Milk – Some Specific Instances
If you are confused about the reheating of the milk and when to avoid it, you must read below to understand what we are trying to convey to you. These are the following instances when you should not reheat the breast milk you had already pumped. They include:
- You should always avoid reheating the breast milk if there are any slight signs of spoilage. If you left the milk in the wrong place and spoilage is due to improper storage, you will see the visible signs of its deterioration. In this case, you need to avoid reheating the spoilt milk either if it’s used or unused.
- You should also not think about reheating the milk in case your baby angel is sick. In other words, you should know the quantity to be heated. The reason is that reheated used milk will lose its immunologic aspects leaving your baby unbenefited. Instead, it can put them at the risk of the contamination
- If you have frozen the breast milk, then we do not recommend you reheat it. The reason is that thawed milk comprises a meager quantity of immune cells that are specialized for prevention of the contamination.
Can you reheat unused breast milk more than once?
The simple answer to this question is that you should not reheat unused breast milk more than once. Different medical researchers support the fact that reheating can negatively affect the good bacteria and adequate nutrients needed for the proper growth and development of the baby.
If you reheat the breast milk, it becomes devoid of these essential aspects and loses its immunologic value.
How should you store the breast milk?
Based on the results of the various lactation researches, it is strongly recommended to keep the breast milk in the refrigerator so that the uniform temperature ensures the growth of the good bacteria.
The effectiveness and good bacteria of the breast milk will remain intact inside the milk upon refrigeration. In case of feeding the baby, you can reheat the quantity as per your baby’s need.
After once reheating, how much hours frame is recommended for feeding?
If you have reheated the breast milk and your baby is not drinking it completely, it will remain fresh for the next two hours only. Some researches also suggest four hours time frame.
However, the authentic one is two hours as recommended by the CDC’s Human Milk Storage Guidelines that states, ‘use [leftover milk from a feeding] within 2 hours after the baby is finished feeding.’
The health of the baby angel is every mommy’s priority. Just like safety is important in terms of toys and other edible materials, breast milk pumping, storage, and reheating are the topics of the interest of different mommies. We hope this short blog has answered your question, ‘can you reheat unused breast milk more than once?’.
We strongly recommend you not to reheat the breast milk more than once for your baby so that he can derive the important nutrients and good bacteria for growth and development.
Don’t forget to share your suggestions and thoughts with us in the comments section. Thank you!