Why the microwave is strongly discouraged for heating breast milk

Given that we are busy parents, we are always looking for ways to make our lives easier with anything to do with taking care of a baby. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!

Due to the ease factor, we've probably all wondered at one time or another if it's okay to heat breast milk in the microwave. Unfortunately, this is not one of the shortcuts you should indulge in.

Heating breast milk in the microwave is not recommended for two main reasons.

Microwaves heat foods and liquids unevenly, and the hot spots a microwave can create in your baby's breast milk can burn their mouth and throat.

The microwave will heat your baby's breast milk beyond such a point, that it will begin to spoil or deteriorate its health properties. Since microwaves heat unevenly, even a short stint in the microwave can heat parts of the milk well beyond this point.

Let's take an in-depth look at why you should avoid putting your baby's milk in the microwave.

Why you should never heat breast milk in the microwave

Even if you've heard that you're not supposed to put breast milk in the microwave, you might be wondering if it's really as important as everyone says so.

The truth is, it's just not worth the risk. The loss of nutritional benefits goes against the whole point of giving your baby breast milk in the first place.

Here's why it's always best to avoid putting breast milk in the microwave.

Microwaves create dangerous hot spots in liquids and foods

Microwaves are an everyday convenience that most of us couldn't live without. What you've probably noticed using one is that after heating for a while, part of your food will be piping hot while the other half is still cold. Not only is it annoying, but it is actually what makes heating breast milk in the microwave unsafe for your baby.

Due to uneven heating temperatures, microwaves can trigger the so-called "hot spots" in your baby's breast milk.

You may feel that you'll notice if your baby's milk is too hot, but you probably won’t. This is because the outside of your baby's bottle may still be completely cold to the touch with areas inside that are hot.

Microwaves cause the components of breast milk to deteriorate

Hot spots are the main safety concern when it comes to heating breast milk in the microwave, but the nutritional value of breast milk is also compromised in the microwave.

It's not that you can't reheat breast milk at all, there are completely safe ways to do so, but a microwave will take breastmilk beyond the temperature at which breastmilk begins to lose the properties that turn it into your baby's superfood.

At what temperature does breast milk lose its nutritional benefits?

According to many studies, the nutritional and immunological values of breast milk begin to deteriorate 40 degrees Celsius, onward. The researchers go on to say that 50°C onward, the rate of deterioration of milk quality increases considerably.

Now, it's important to understand that because microwaves heat unevenly, it's very likely that parts of your baby's milk will also get hot.

Although microwaves will surely damage your baby's breastmilk, other methods (such as placing a bottle in a pot of boiling water) will also make the breast milk hot enough for it to deteriorate. 

How does breast milk go bad when it's overheated?

Given its living food, breast milk is affected by temperature. Strong scientific evidence shows that breast milk begins to lose its "superpowers" when heated above 40 degrees.

Here are the ways breast milk changes and deteriorates when it's too hot :

  • immunological and anti-inflammatory components such as SIgA antibodies, lactoferrin protein and lysozyme (protective of infections) are reduced
  • beneficial probiotic bacteria are destroyed
  • white blood cells are destroyed, in turn decreasing anti-infective properties
  • the fat content decreases, which is vital for infant growth
  • inactivation of digestive enzymes

As a parent who wants to give your baby the very best, in terms of infant nutrition, you can understand why it's so important to be careful not to overheat your baby's milk - in the microwave or otherwise.

Safe heating alternatives to the microwave

Microwaves are clearly not a safe way to warm your baby's breast milk and you want to be sure to avoid any practice that would heat breast milk above 40 degrees.

Anything below this temperature is fine and giving your baby milk at body temperature is ideal. Cooler than that or even cold are totally safe options if your baby likes it that way.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to safely warm your baby's breastmilk bottle while retaining all of its valuable properties.

Here are the best warming options:

1. With a bottle warmer

Bottle warmers are convenient, as the warming processes are simple. But you should always be careful to choose a bottle warmer that you can be sure will not overheat your baby's bottle.

Izybaby is our ideal bottle warmer to ensure the perfect temperature for breastmilk. Parents can choose from a range of different temperatures, including the perfect temperature.

This rechargeable on-the-go bottle warmer lets you warm your baby's milk anytime, anywhere, safely, with the knowledge that you're giving your baby breastmilk with the exact nutrient profile to thrive and stay healthy .

There are two other options you can use to warm breast milk safely if you don't have one.

2. In a luke-warm water bowl

When you're home, an easy way to safely warm a bottle is to put it in a bowl of warm water. With this method, you will simply fill a bowl with lukewarm water and place the bottle inside, until it reaches a lukewarm temperature.

What can be difficult with this method is knowing that your baby's milk stays below 40 degrees. To avoid heating it up, you never want to use hot water in your bowl.

3. Hold it under a hot faucet

The final method of safely warming a bottle of breastmilk is to hold it under a running hot tap. Just like when using a bowl of lukewarm water, you want to make sure the water that comes in isn't too hot.

You should be able to hold your hand under running water. If you have to pull your hand away, the water is too hot to warm your baby's breastmilk bottle.

Regardless of the option you choose, be sure to test your baby's breast milk by placing a drop on your wrist. It must be lukewarm.

Using the Microwave to Warm Breast Milk

In the end, while it's convenient, it's just not worth warming your baby's breast milk in the microwave even once.

If you have access to a microwave, that means you have access to hot water and there's no reason to risk ending up with breastmilk that has dangerous hot spots or nutrients. lost.

reliable portable bottle warmer where you can choose the exact temperature is your best choice.