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  • Is It Safe To Give Baby Cold Breast Milk? Experts Weigh In

    When a baby is hangry, can you feed her milk that comes straight from the fridge?
    by Kitty Elicay .
Is It Safe To Give Baby Cold Breast Milk? Experts Weigh In
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Breastfeeding moms who store frozen expressed breast milk are used to thawing the milk inside the refrigerator overnight, or warming the milk container first before letting the baby drink it. But have you ever wondered whether it’s safe for baby to consume cold breast milk straight out the fridge? It will definitely make things easier — especially during moments like in the middle of the night when your baby is hangry (hungry and angry).

    “The quick answer is yes, it’s safe,” Dr. Faith Buenaventura-Alcazaren, a pediatric specialist at Stratum Health Partners in Centuria Medical Makati, tells SmartParenting.com.ph. “However, the baby might prefer [milk at body temperature], which is the temperature when taken directly from the breast."

    But while some babies won’t mind a bottle of cold milk, they might have a surprised reaction when they drink it for the first time. “Sometimes very young babies need it to be warmer to prevent any loss of temperature because they can control their temperature well. But it’s okay to feed most babies cold breast milk,” shares Kristin Gourley, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), to Romper.

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    But while breast milk can be served cold, Dr. Buenaventura-Alcazaren notes that “It could be harder to mix the layered fat, since milk separates layers when stored.”

    That fat layer is important because it contributes to healthy weight gain and keeps her full longer, according to The Bump. So it’s something that you’d definitely want your baby to consume.

    If giving cold milk is unavoidable, you can also watch out for signs that your baby is comfortable drinking it. If they swat the bottle or turn their head away, it might be a sign that they prefer warmer breast milk.

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    Breast milk can also be served at room temperature. But when in doubt, it is still best to thaw the milk and warm it if needed, according to Dr. Buenaventura-Alcazaren. Warm milk may also benefit premature babies, as they may have trouble regulating their temperature due to low body fat, says The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

    When thawing milk, try this: hold the frozen milk container under running water and once thawed, place it in a bowl of warm water. It may be time-consuming, so it helps to plan the process.

    Remember: do not microwave breast milk. “Microwaving can destroy nutrients in breast milk and create hot spots, which can burn a baby’s mouth,” says the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention. Once breast milk has been thawed, it must be consumed with 24 hours (from the time it is no longer frozen). Never refreeze breast milk once it has been thawed.

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