Are Bottle Warmers Safe For Breast Milk?

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When it comes to feeding your baby, you want to do everything you can to ensure that they get the best nutrition possible. In fact, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of an infant’s life has been shown to be one of the strongest ways of protecting an infant from developing a variety of diseases in later life. That being said, not every situation is ideal for breastfeeding and many new parents may find themselves struggling with latch-on or other breastfeeding problems that make it difficult for their baby to feed. In these cases, bottle feeding may be necessary in order as anything else so that your baby gets the nutrients they need. However, are you aware that using bottle warmers could be dangerous for your breastfed baby?

Is A Bottle Warmer Necessary For Breast Milk?

When using a bottle warmer, you are exposing your baby to heat. This is actually detrimental to the health of your baby. When they are exposed to high levels of heat, their body temperature goes up, and this can lead to dehydration, increased risk of SIDS, or even brain damage. Many pediatricians recommend that parents hold their babies close to the body for the first six months in order for them not to be exposed to too much heat from hot water bottles. Additionally, bottle warmers aren’t necessary because a simple hands-free warming method will do just as well. If you decide that a bottle warmer is necessary for your baby, make sure that it is safe by checking the temperature and instructions before use.

What Is The Best Bottle Warmer For Breast Milk?

Perhaps the most critical question you should ask yourself before deciding on a bottle warmer is what type of heating mechanism will be used. Hot water or steam is generally safe to use as long as it’s not too much, but microwaves and other heating methods are not recommended. The method you should choose depends on the type of milk you need to warm up. If your baby needs cow’s milk, a microwave or stovetop may be appropriate. However, if your baby needs human breast milk (or formula), a pot with steaming water is the safest option.

In order to avoid any potential risk, it’s also essential to ensure that your bottle warmer has an automatic shut-off feature that turns off when the desired temperature is reached. This helps prevent any chance that your baby could ingest too much heat and potentially harm them in some way.

Can You Overheat Breast Milk In Bottle Warmer?

According to a study by the University of Alberta, bottle warmers may actually be dangerous for your breastfed baby. They found that when used with infant formula, heat from a bottle warmer can cause an infant to receive more than the recommended daily dose of vitamin D in a single feeding. This is significant because too much vitamin D can lead to rickets, which is a condition in infants where soft bones are not formed properly. Breast milk contains virtually no vitamin D, and therefore, using a bottle warmer will not increase vitamin D levels for your breastfed baby.

This study also found that if you use a bottle warmer to heat up breast milk and then feed your baby with it, the chances are high that they may suffer from “overheating” or hyperthermia. The increased heat could lead to hypernatremia or dehydration because the body loses more water than it takes in through the mouth due to sweating.

How Long Can You Keep Breast Milk In A Warmer For?

There is always a risk involved with hand-warming your baby’s bottles. Using bottle warmers can increase the risk of breast milk contamination, which has been shown to cause serious health problems in babies. It has also been shown that using warmer bottles may result in lower breastfeeding rates and a lower success rate for feedings, which can lead to an increased need for formula feeding.

But how long are you supposed to keep the bottle warm? According to experts at MD Anderson Cancer Center, it is recommended that you wait at least 30 minutes after warming your baby’s bottles before feeding them in order as anything else so that their immune systems develop properly and they get the nutrients they need.

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Jennifer Rock

Jennifer Rock

When I gave birth to my first boy, I was breast feeding so I didn't know about bottle warmers but with my 2nd birth I couldn't so I learned all there is to know about bottle warmers (and this gave my partner the chance to pitch in too).