If you’ve thought of thawing breast milk from the freezer, you’ve probably wondered how to do it quickly and easily. The truth is, it’s very easy. But you need to follow the steps correctly to ensure the best results. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.
How do you Thaw Breast Milk?
Make sure your breast milk is safe for your infant before defrosting it:
- Breast milk can defrost in the refrigerator, usually taking 12 hours or more. Alternately, place the frozen milk bottle or bag under warm running water (maximum temperature: 37 °C or 99 °F). Don’t let defrosted breast milk sit at room temperature to defrost.
- Once completely thawed, previously frozen breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or at room temperature for no more than two hours.
- Never microwave or cook frozen breast milk in boiling water. These could erode its protecting and nutritional qualities and lead to hot areas that could scald your child.
- Breast milk that has been thawed and left at room temperature needs to be fed to your baby within two hours, or it needs to be thrown away.
- After it has thawed, never refreeze breast milk.
General Tips for Breast Milk Thawing
Breast milk can be easily thawed, but you must take the right precautions to avoid contaminating the milk. When it’s time to thaw breast milk, take into account the following advice:
- Unless there is a valid reason to use more recently expressed milk, use the oldest milk at your disposal. Breast milk’s content varies depending on what your baby requires; in some cases, fresher milk may be more nourishing.
- Breast milk should be defrosted by keeping the frozen container in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
- Place the milk carton under warm running water to quickly thaw it out. The frozen breast milk container can also be placed in a larger container filled with warm water.
- Breast milk should not be thawed in a microwave or with hot water. As a result, your baby’s milk can be less nutrient-rich and excessively hot for their mouths.
- Breast milk naturally separates into a fat layer on top of the remaining milk. Avoid giving the bottle a vigorous shake; instead, swirl it.
- Freeze milk in two to four-ounce portions to prevent wastage. By doing this, you can avoid defrosting more than your infant can consume in a few hours and thaw what you need.
- Fresh breast milk should be frozen immediately to prevent losing any unless you want to use it within four days.
- These are the guidelines for defrosting breast milk safely. Remember that if you don’t want to take the chance of overheating the milk, you can give it to your baby cold.
Breast Milk Thawing in a Bowl of Warm Water
Breast milk can be swiftly defrosted using a basin of warm (not boiling) water. If you keep an eye on the water and replace it as soon as it cools down, this procedure takes about 20 minutes.
- Warm water should be put in a basin or pan. This is how:
- Put the breast milk container that has been frozen in the water. Ensure the water level is below the breast milk bottle’s cap to avoid contamination.
- Empty the water and add more warm water when it begins to cool.
- Till the breast milk is no longer frozen, keep doing this.
- Once defrosted, store the milk in the fridge or keep warming it up before giving it to your child.
Can Breast Milk be Thawed at Room Temperature?
It is not advised to thaw breast milk at room temperature. However, there are rules for how to handle thawed milk once it has reached room temperature:
- Breast milk that has been defrosted and left at room temperature for two hours should be used.
- To avoid bacterial contamination, discard thawed milk within one to two hours of your baby’s first feeding.
- Breast milk that has already been thawed shouldn’t be refrozen. Little is known about this process and how it might affect the bacteria and nutrition of the milk.
Thawed Breast Milk Warming
Breast milk can be given to a newborn straight from the refrigerator after it has thawed or warmed to the body or room temperature. If you decide to warm your breast milk, use a bottle warmer, hold it under warm running water, or place it in a basin of warm water for a few minutes.
Breast milk shouldn’t be heated in a saucepan of boiling water on the stove or microwave.
To avoid burning your baby’s mouth or throat, it’s critical to warm your breast milk properly.
Before serving milk to your child, ensure it is at the proper temperature. Pour a few drops on the inside of your wrist to accomplish this. Gently stir the container once the milk is warm to combine any layers that might have separated during storage. It ought to feel comfortable or at room temperature. Neither extreme should be present.
How to Properly Freeze Breast Milk?
To properly freeze breast milk, continue reading:
- After expressing, freeze your breast milk as soon as you can.
- Breast milk that has already been frozen can be supplemented with expressed milk as long as the milk has first been chilled in the refrigerator. Frozen milk shouldn’t be mixed with body-temperature milk.
- Store your milk in tiny quantities to facilitate simple defrosting and reduce waste (less than 60 ml). Following defrosting, these can be blended.
- Verify that the containers you choose to store your breast milk can be used in the freezer.
- Some goods, including glass bottles, may fracture at extremely low temperatures.
- Because they are freezer-proof, prepared for use, and simple to label, Medela breast milk storage bags are excellent for keeping frozen breast milk.
- Breast milk expands when frozen, so don’t fill containers or bags more than three-quarters full.
- Keep frozen breast milk in the back of the freezer, where the temperature is most stable. Please keep it away from the walls of refrigerators that self-defrost.
How should Breast Milk be Kept in the Fridge?
To securely keep expressed milk in the refrigerator, abide by the following instructions:
- After expressing, put your breast milk in the fridge as soon as possible.
- Use clean breast milk bottles or BPA-free storage bags to keep your milk fresh. Due to the unpredictability of its long-term consequences, several manufacturers are phasing out BPA, a chemical that was once widely employed in plastic containers and coatings.
- If the milk you want to add has already cooled in the refrigerator, you can add small amounts of extracted milk to the same refrigerator container. Avoid mixing chilled milk with milk that is body temperature.
- In the back of the refrigerator, on the shelf above the vegetable section, is the coldest place to keep breast milk. Keep it out of the fridge door where the temperature fluctuates more.
How should Warm Breast Milk be Handled?
Knowing how to handle and utilize breast milk safely will help you avoid it going bad or becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.
4 Here are a few pieces of advice:
- The breast milk can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours after it has been warmed before being given to your infant.
- Warm breast milk shouldn’t be left out in the open.
- It would be best if you didn’t thaw it out again.
- If your infant doesn’t finish a feeding, you should discard the bottle’s remaining breast milk.
The Risks of Using a Microwave and a Stove
Use a conventional oven if you want to thaw or reheat a container of frozen milk. Avoid using a microwave. The microwave’s high heat can destroy breast milk’s beneficial components. Additionally, microwaves have the potential to heat unevenly, creating hot spots in breast milk. Your baby’s mouth and throat could get burned by these hot places.
It is also not advised to heat breast milk on the stove. Breast milk can overheat if put in a bag or container and placed in a saucepan of boiling water. The nutrients in milk can be destroyed by overheating, and it can become dangerously heated for your infant.
Why does my Stored Breast Milk Smell Strange?
Your defrosted or refrigerated breast milk may occasionally smell different. This is because an enzyme called lipase breaks down lipids and releases fatty acids, a process that aids in limiting the development of dangerous germs.
Some mothers claim that the scent of their refrigerated milk is soapy or rotten. However, if you adhere to all of the safe-storage recommendations in this article, it will be safe to use.
Labeling Storage Containers with the Date of Collection
When freezing breast milk, it’s important to label the containers with the collection date. The dates help to organize and identify breast milk for use. This can also help to avoid wasting milk.
Breast milk is best stored in a sterile plastic container with a tight seal. A hard-sided, clear plastic container is recommended if you’re planning to store breast milk in a freezer for an extended period.
Labeling your storage containers with the collection date is important because it allows you to use the oldest milk first. You can also use the date to track the number of days your milk has been stored.
It’s important to use breast milk within four days. Freshly pumped breast milk can last up to 48 hours. However, it is best to keep it refrigerated. Using it at room temperature for longer than this can cause it to spoil.
Some childcare centers require that you label your storage containers with the collection date. Depending on the care center, you may be required to have the bottles marked with the child’s name.
Is Thawed Breast Milk Safe to Freeze Again?
Regrettably, breast milk that has already been thawed from a frozen state should not be refrozen. La Leche League advises against using milk that has been completely thawed in the refrigerator if you can’t give it to your baby within 24 hours. Doing so “may bring further breakdown of nutrients and increases the danger of bacterial growth.”
How to Know if Thawed Breast Milk has gone Bad?
- Smell: The aroma of fresh breast milk should be mild and somewhat pleasant. It has gone rotten and shouldn’t be used if it smells sour or rancid. If thawed breast milk has turned sour, there are various methods to tell:
- Fresh breast milk’s appearance should be uniformly smooth and colored. It is spoiled and should not be used if it looks lumpy or has curdled.
- Fresh breast milk should be at or slightly cooler than room temperature. It can be spoilt if it is warm or has been out for a long time; avoid using it.
- Taste: The flavor of fresh breast milk should be moderate and somewhat sweet. It has deteriorated and should not be used if it tastes sour or rancid.
It’s crucial to remember that frozen breast milk can be used for up to six months before it needs to be thrown away. Also, keep in mind that milk should not be defrosted at room temperature; instead, it should be defrosted in the refrigerator or by running cold water over the container.
If you’re planning on feeding your baby breast milk, you may want to learn how to thaw it from the freezer fast. There are several ways to do it, and we hope this article will help you figure out the best method.
The most popular way to thaw breast milk is in a refrigerator. This can take anywhere from 12 hours to 24 hours. It’s important to remember that breast milk should not be thawed at room temperature. This can be a health risk.