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Heating expressed breast milk

6 messages
29/03/2009 at 08:23

I have decided to express some breast milk so the grandparents and my hubby can feed Isaac. 

I have two questions...

1: What's the best way to heat bottled breast milk?

2: How do you know it's not too hot or cold?

29/03/2009 at 08:26

Personally i would boil the kettle, pour the boiled water into a jug then stand the bottle in the jug for a few mins to get to the right temp.

As for the right temperature, when you express, put a little of the freshly expressed milk on the inside of your wrists and take note of the temp. Then when reheating, again put a bit of the milk on your wrist and try to get it to feel the same temp as it was when it was fresh. Its difficult, but as long as it isnt too hot it should be ok.

29/03/2009 at 11:22

Hello -

Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy and well done for breastfeeding! I can highly recommend expressing to give yourself a break, I started when my son was 2 weeks old and he's had an expressed bottle  almost every day since (he'll be 25 weeks tomorrow). I heat expressed milk the way Luce suggests, and check the temp by spraying a couple of drops on the inside of my forearm (or I did when I first started expressing, now that I've been doing it for 5 months I can just tell from the feel of the bottle but I wouldn't suggest that method for grandparents!). As Luce says, the main thing is that it isn't too hot, my baby certainly doesn't mind slightly cooler milk but then he's a greedy monster who'd eat anything! If it feels slightly warmer than tepid then that's fine but if its warm enough to heat your hand when holding the bottle then it's too hot.

 If you manage to express enough to freeze you can get freezer bags from boots - if you freeze the bags lying flat they defrost and heat to the right temp in less than a minute. The important thing is that you under no circumstances heat the milk in a microwave as it denatures the proteins and they don't know what longterm effects that will have on baby's health.

It took about a week for me to manage to express enough for a 4oz feed (the first few times I only managed the odd ounce), and I found it was easiest to do immediately after the first morning feed (one boob for baby one for bottle) but you'll find your own way. I can now manage to express 8oz in one sitting but I only do it once a day. I use a Philips Avent manual pump, but some people swear by Tommy Tippee and others prefer an electric one, have you decided what you will use?

Good Luck, it can take a while to get into a routine of expressing but you won't regret it! Some clever people even manage to to express at the same time as feeding but I certainly haven't managed that yet!

Hugs to you and your baby x

29/03/2009 at 13:47

Hey Luce and Curly Diamond thanks for your advice!

My first attempt at expressing breast milk was this morning.  I did it by hand and I've managed 3.5 ozs!!!  So feeling pretty pleased with myself  

I also have an Avent manual pump - but I'm not very technical and the blasted thing is all dismantled!  Even with instructions, I'm completed stumped, lol

Curly Diamond - why did you choose that login name?!?

31/03/2009 at 16:42
BEST WAY has to be put her bottle in a pot with heated water. No microwave takes ALL the nutrients out.
25/01/2010 at 15:59

I purchased an avent bottle warmer which is good and quick too. They dont cost that much, and could even get a cheaper one off ebay. They are not too technical either so should be ok for you!

Have to say I am struggling to find the time to express regularly as looking after and feeding my 4 week old takes up all my time not to mention milk. Im sure I'll get in the swing of it as curly diamond says. We deserve a break as breastfeeding is hard work but worth it.

Good luck xx 

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