There has not been a lot of certainties made about the reuse of breast milk. However, for all due purposes- it should be relatively safe to store breast milk that is leftover and then to reheat it as long as some protocols are carefully followed.
When you prefer to reuse and reheat breast milk there are two important factors to take into consideration:
Leftover Breast Milk will have more bacteria contained in it then the milk that has been freshly pumped!
Can You Reheat Breast Milk?
Yes, you can reheat breast milk, however DO not reheat it in the microwave! You should instead boil the breast milk in a safe container on the stove in water. Additionally, you should also know that it is UNSAFE to reheat breast milk more than one time by using this method. Then the breast milk should be thrown away.
Reheated breast milk may lose some of its major health properties as well after it has been reheated. Even though this is the case it is still okay as long as you do not reheat it more than once and then make certain it is tossed out.
Also before proceeding to reheat breast milk you should also make sure that the milk is not soured. This assures that you are not reheating bad milk.
Best Breast Milk Storage Practices
Fresh breast milk possesses specific properties that help prevent bacteria from invading it. A study performed on this fact about breast milk demonstrated that breast milk actually had EVEN less bacteria after it had been refrigerated for several days. Additionally, the proper storage of breast milk within 2 days of expression- was proven to be 100% safe.
Here are just a few simple facts when in regards to reheating and storing breast milk:
Bacteria Present in Breast Milk Reduce When Stored Properly:
In normal circumstances, breast milk that is fresh has more properties that enable it to help boost your child’s immunity and also fight bacteria. However, milk that has been stored in a refrigerator will also increase its ability to fight off bacteria. Frozen breast milk has the least properties, nutrients, and is more prone to bacteria when reheated. However, breast milk is much safer reheated and used than if you were using formula to nourish your baby.
The Safety to Store and Reheat Breast Milk are Dependent On:
There are also other factors that need to be considered when choosing to store & reheat breast milk. This is the difference between storing it after it has been pumped or storing leftover breast milk that has been used through a bottle to feed the child. Freshly pumped breast milk is always the healthier and safer option. Use clean practices as sterilized bottles, pumps, and always wash your hands and make sure your storage containers used are also sterilized and very clean to insure the best and most safe outcome.
Lastly, If you baby has immunity issues or if he/she is sick then it is advised that you refrain from using leftover breast milk and reheating it.