Can You Microwave Breast Milk? Don’t Do That!

We use microwaves for all our heating tasks, from reheating leftovers to heating up beverages. That’s why many of us took it for granted that it’s viable to warm breast milk in the microwaves – is it though?

Can you microwave breast milk? What happens if you microwave breast milk? Does microwaving breast milk destroy nutrients?


In this post, we’ll explain if it’s okay to microwave breast milk, and break down all the myths about microwaving breast milk.

Jump to:
1. Can I microwave breast milk?
2. What happens if you warm breast milk in the microwave?
3. Tricks to safely warm breast milk

Can You Microwave Breast Milk?

“Can I warm breast milk in the microwave? Is it safe to microwave breast milk?” The short answer to these questions is no.

Breast milk is usually stored in fridges at the temperature of 0-4 degrees. When you want to use frozen breast milk, it could take hours for them to naturally thaw at room temperature.

So many would wonder if it’s safe to warm breast milk in the microwave, for it only takes seconds to warm up the breast milk.

However, microwaving breast milk is not a viable way to defrost or heat up frozen breast milk. There are risks and downsides of doing so.


What Happens If You Microwave Breast Milk?

There is still a lot of debate out there as to whether it is safe to microwave breast milk. And many are still wondering if microwaving breast milk will destroy nutrients and antibodies.

Now we’ll present to you the major risks of doing so, and explain in depth why it’s unsafe to microwave breast milk.

One massive risk of microwaving breast milk is that there could be hot spots in the heated breast milk.

We all test the breast milk on the wrist to see if it’s at the proper temperature to feed babies.

However, microwaves could heat up the breast milk unevenly, and chances are there will be hot spots in the heated breast milk, which is difficult to detect.

And the hot spots in the breast milk could scald your baby. That’s why it’s unsafe to thaw or heat frozen breast milk in a microwave.


Another major risk of microwaving breast milk lies in that it could damage breast milk’s nutrients and antibodies.

Experimental results show that, when breast milk is heated in a microwave at high temperature, the nutritional and anti-infective factors (type A immunoglobulin) in breast milk would be reduced.

How to Properly Warm Breast Milk?

Breast milk at room temperature or body temperature is suitable for babies. Follow the steps to safely and properly warm refrigerated breast milk:

  1. Soak the breast milk bottle in a bowl of lukewarm water that is under 50 degrees.
  2. Gently swirl the breast milk container from time to time, to ensure the breast milk heated evenly and any separated fat in the breast milk mixed evenly.
  3. Test the breast milk temperature on your wrist before feeding babies


What to note when using stored breast milk:

  • Expressed breast milk should be refrigerated as soon as possible.
  • Warmed milk placed at room temperature should be used within two hours.
  • When warming up stored breast milk, make sure the temperature is always kept under 40 degrees.
  • If the breast milk is thawed, never refreeze it.

Wrap Up

In this post, we’ve explained if it’s ok to microwave breast milk, and what happens when you microwave breast milk.

If you want to reduce the risk, you should avoid microwaving breast milk, and the method to warm stored breast milk we mentioned above is a better choice.

Hopefully, we’ve included all the info you want to know about microwaving breast milk in this article. If not, let us know in the comment section down below!

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