Can you reheat breast milk more than once?

As a breastfeeding mother, you will run into a wide range of questions regarding the breastmilk you give your little one. And one of the most frequent queries for nursing mothers is if they can reheat the breastmilk?

If your baby doesn’t finish the bottle in one meal, it will naturally get at room temperature. If you decide to put it in the fridge, can you reheat it a second time?

Can you reheat breast milk more than once?

Reheat breast milk

Luckily, you can reheat breastmilk leftovers safely, without exposing your baby to any risks. However, you have to do it right to keep the standards as high as it is recommended for your little one’s health.

  • First of all, you should know that you can reheat the breastmilk once. If you reheat it more than once, it will lose a lot of its good bacteria and nutrients. You want your breastmilk to be rich in nutrients, so this is an important rule to follow! To be even more on the safe side, try to reheat the milk within four hours after your baby consumed part of it. Bacteria grow faster after this time frame due to your baby’s saliva that gets in the milk too, and you shouldn’t take the risk to reheat it later.
  • It is also essential to place your breastmilk in the fridge as soon as your baby stopped drinking it. Refrigerating it will help conserve more of its benefits until the four-hour time frame passes. If you leave the bottle at room temperature, the bacteria will develop faster. Simply replace the nipple of the bottle with a secure lid and put it in the fridge until it is time to reheat it.
  • Always check the quality of the breastmilk before reheating it. You should look for signs that indicate spoiled milk, such as a strong smell, or chunks of fat on the surface of the breastmilk. If you let the milk sit in the fridge, the layer of fat will rise on the surface, but it shouldn’t look like chunks. This fat layer should also mix with the rest of the milk in seconds as you are shaking the bottle. If this doesn’t happen, you might want to skip reheating the milk.
  • If your baby is sick or if you have a preemie, it is not recommended to reheat breastmilk at all. When the breastmilk is reheated, the first properties it loses are the immunologic ones. Therefore, it is not recommended for sensitive babies with health conditions. If this is the case for your baby, you are safer by giving them a bottle of properly stored milk that you heat up for the first time or freshly expressed milk.

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Can You Reheat Breast Milk More Than Once? 1

As you can see, you can reheat the breastmilk leftovers in the conditions mentioned above. If you do this correctly, you will avoid wasting breastmilk.

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However, you should also try to heat as much as your baby is eating the first time.

You should get used to their eating habits and be able to predict the quantity of milk they will enjoy in one milk, so you don’t heat up too much of it.

Can You Reheat Breast Milk More Than Once? 1

Key References

  • “Human Milk Warming Temperatures Using a Simulation of Currently Available Storage and Warming Methods”. Accessed March 13, 2020. Link.


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