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Thread: warming expressed milk

  1. #1
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    Default warming expressed milk

    Is it safe to warm expressed milk by simply taking it out of the refrigerator and setting it out at room temperature?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: warming expressed milk

    I always heat it in warm water when i'm going to feed it and keep it in the fridge until i have to use it. Here is a link to the CDC's recommendations of handling breastmilk

    http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/rec...breastmilk.htm

  3. #3
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    Default Re: warming expressed milk

    Something that seems to work for a lot of moms is to set the frozen milk in a glass measuring cup or sturdy bowl full of very warm water (hot from the tap is good). This probably works best when using breastmilk storage bags. It thaws enough to transfer to a bottle in just a few minutes (use that time to prepare something else--a diaper bag, or yourself!

    Leaving the milk in the warm water a little longer will warm it for drinking. I know many daycares use a crockpot with an inch or two of water in the bottom to warm bottles from the fridge.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: warming expressed milk

    I realize there are multiple methods of warming breast milk from the refrigerator. I specifically want to know if taking it from the refrigerator and allowing it to sit out at room temperature is safe or if there are health concerns with this method. It is nice to have it ready at hand when needed as opposed to warming it once the baby expresses hunger.
    Thanks

  5. #5
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    Default Re: warming expressed milk

    I am curious about this too. I leave my baby at a babysitters all day while I work. I take her bottles out of the refrigerator in the morning and put them in her diaper bag. Should her babysitter store them in the refrigerator until she uses them or can she leave them out at room temp? I've heard the whole 10 hour thing at room temp, but I wasn't sure if that was for just fresh milk or not.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: warming expressed milk

    I'm wondering the same exact thing! I have a lot of milk in the refrigerator, but can I take that out and put it in the diaper bag for a shopping trip and then safely use it? I can't find an answer anywhere. Please someone help!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: warming expressed milk

    i don't think there are any guidlelines for that. I've pulled a bottle out of the fridge, let it sit until DD wakes up & when she didn't I put it back in the fridge to use later & it was fine! Try it & if you find that it smells or tastes spoiled don't do it again. Your DC should let you know right away if they don't like it!

  8. #8
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    Lightbulb Re: warming expressed milk

    This website suggests not thawing milk at room temp. It doesn't say why, but I would guess it is the same reason you wouldn't thaw meat at room temp.
    http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/pa/pa_storage_hhg.htm

    Thawing of Milk

    Milk may be thawed:

    * Slowly in the refrigerator. Volumes of 3 or more ounces (100 or more milliliters) of milk may take several hours to thaw.
    * Relatively quickly under running warm water or by placing it in a bowl of warm water. Be sure the top of the container remains above the water at all times. Do not thaw milk at room temperature.

    I do not have a supply in the freezer ( I probably should since I have run low at times). I do freeze milk that I have expressed on Friday if my daughter will be with me on the following Monday. I send it frozen and it is stored in the fridge until she is ready to eat it. Then, defrosted by warm water.

    I sometimes take a cold bottle from the fridge if we are going out for a few hours. I transport it with an icepack (sometimes). That way if my daughter doesn't eat it I just put it back in the fridge. I feed it to her cold now, but I used to warm it up by boiling some water and storing it in a thermos. I would then put the bottle in a cup and fill it with the warm water. It heated up in about 1 minute.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: warming expressed milk

    I've been wondering the same thing, and all I can find is guidelines for milk coming from the freezer or freshly expressed milk. It's so strange that there isn't info on milk coming from the refrigerator to room temp.

    Cynthia

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: warming expressed milk

    I'm sorry to have missed this - I think something was wrong w/my computer as today I'm noticing all sorts of messages I have missed!

    At any rate, I think the answers to your questions are here on La Leche Legue's page about storing human milk:

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/milkstorage.html

    The key here is to think of the room temp time as part of the overall "life" of the breastmilk. Any time it spends at room temp is going to shorten the overall length of time you can comfortably keep the milk (e.g., a bottle that's been at room temp for 8 hrs isn't likely to have an additional potential "up to 8 days in a refrigerator") Here is an interesting tidbit from this article (http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBJulAug98p109.html) about milk at room temperature:


    "Short-Term Storage when Refrigeration is not Available
    Lack of immediate access to refrigeration need not be a deterrent to expressing and storing human milk or dampen a mother's determination to continue breastfeeding if she returns to work. Research shows that human milk has an amazing capacity to resist bacterial growth, and can be kept at room temperature for up to ten hours. In a landmark study, mature human milk was expressed into clean, not sterile, containers, some stored at room temperature (19-22o C or 66 to 72o F) and some refrigerated for ten hours. The milk was then cultured to evaluate bacterial formation. No statistically significant difference was found between levels of bacteria in the milk that had been refrigerated and the milk stored at room temperature (Barger and Bull 1987)."

    I hope this is helpful! Again, I am sorry for the delay in getting someone to really ANSWER the question, I definitely overlooked this. The goal with these forums is to provide mothers a chance to support each other in meeting their breastfeeding goals, but we also want to give you easy access to La Leche League Leaders so you can feel confident that you are getting the information you need to continue on your breastfeeding journey.

    Best wishes!
    Karen Smith
    LLL Leader, IL

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