Tips on Reusing Breast Milk

Hello everyone. J.E. Edwards wrote into the site with a question that stumped me: can breast milk that has been heated up in a bottle and given to a baby (that the baby has not consumed) be restored in the fridge, reheated and given again at the next feeding? I tackle this issue of reheating breast milk in today’s new video.Tips on Reusing Breast MilkThe general rule with breast milk, as I explain the video, is to freeze it when fresh. I advise freezing and defrosting breast milk in small amounts, especially when babies are young and drinking less. Yet despite your best efforts to estimate what your baby will be eating, it is likely that at the end of certain feedings, your baby will be nice and full and yet milk remains in your bottle. Throwing away this liquid gold is painful given how much work went into pumping, storing and defrosting it. So what can you do?

Reusing Breast Milk

As I explain in today’s video, experts fear that bacteria from the baby’s mouth enters the bottle during the feeding process and infects the breast milk, making it un-sterile. Also, the breast milk in question has been out of the refrigerator or freezer for some period of time. For these reasons, when asked, experts say don’t reuse this milk. I have to say, though, that as a practical matter I did reuse breast milk and my babies never seemed to have a problem. I go into more detail in today’s video. Take a look and let me know what you think and what you did.

Oh, and for more on the best practices for storing breast milk, check out this video with breast milk storage guidelines. Please weigh in with your thoughts, and thanks so much for watching CloudMom.