Does Heating Breast Milk in a Microwave Oven Destroy Nutrients?

Microwaving breast milk immediately after pumping is a common way for mothers to quickly warm their milk.

The microwave oven is a ubiquitous kitchen appliance that is often used to quickly warm breast milk or formula for young children.

Microwaving can warm formula at high speeds, but breast milk should probably be warmed more gently because it is more susceptible to heat damage.


Does Heating Breast Milk in a Microwave Oven Destroy Nutrients?

Breast milk contains many active proteins and antibodies that may be adversely affected by heating in a microwave oven.

The effects of microwaving on lactoferrin, lysozyme and immunoglobulins (antibodies) found in human milk were measured using different approaches: enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), radio-immunoprecipitation method with gel electrophoresis, and electron microscopy.

Microwaving caused greater than 70% loss of immunoglobulin G when compared to control samples heated at 100 degrees C for 30 minutes in a boiling water bath.

In the same way, microwaves have been used to heat breast in a laboratory under controlled conditions.

The current microwaves used in most homes emit radiation at about 500 million hertz and the device is energized during each microwave cycle.

These two factors can cause changes in the chemical structure of molecules in food or milk, including lactoferrin and lysozyme, which could potentially affect their bioactivity.

For example, previous studies suggest that heating breast milk with microwaves can destroy 97% to 99% of microbicidal activity within 10 minutes, drastically diminishing its ability to protect a newborn from infections.

Other research suggests that microwaving human milk for 15 seconds followed by 60 seconds of cooling destroyed up to 99% of an initial bacterial load, but it also showed negative alterations in some minor components after treatment.

Can You Microwave Breast Milk in Oatmeal?

Yes. You can microwave breast milk in oatmeal.

Microwaving breast milk does not destroy any of the nutrients in it, nor does it harm you or your baby when consumed later on. Breast milk contains fatty acids and enzymes that protect your baby from infections and many different types of illnesses.

You should never heat up a bottle of breast milk in a container that is not designed to be microwaved and reused because this will cause harmful germs in the container to leach into the liquid and may cause your baby’s health to deteriorate or even kill him/her.

Microwave-safe bottles are readily available for purchase through various online retailers, although they may be slightly more expensive than regular bottles.

Microwaving Breast Milk for 10 Seconds:

Microwaving breast milk for 10 seconds will not have any negative impact on the nutritional content of your baby’s drink.

Some experts recommend heating the milk in a glass bottle in the microwave for about 15 to 20 seconds if you are using an older model or less powerful microwave oven; this is because some microwaves may be unable to reach the desired temperature in 10 seconds.

As long as you wait an adequate period between heating and then cooling off the milk to ensure that it is not too hot for your baby, microwaving breast milk will not cause any problems.

Why don’t you Heat Breast Milk in the Microwave?

Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with wavelengths that range anywhere from 1 millimeter to 1 meter.

They have been used for decades to heat human tissue, but microwaving breast milk may cause some problems.

When you microwave food in a container that is not designed specifically for this purpose, the metal in the container can heat up and cause the liquid inside to become too hot.

This is because microwaves are designed to heat up water molecules, which makes them effective at heating beverages and foods that contain lots of water.

However, this unique ability can also damage components of the milk, including proteins and enzymes that are necessary for your baby’s health.

At what temperature does breast milk lose nutrients?

Breast milk is known to lose some of its nutritional value when it is heated over 100 degrees Celsius.

Therefore, you should never microwave breast milk in a container that is not specifically designed for microwaving and then reheating the liquid inside.

What can happen if I microwave my baby’s breastmilk?

Microwaving breast milk could have negative consequences for your baby’s health.

Some of the potential problems that microwaves can cause include: Destroying essential enzymes and proteins in breast milk, which can reduce its nutritional value Warping the inner walls of a microwave-safe container to the point where harmful germs can leach into food or milk, which can cause your baby to become sick Decreasing the overall amount of fat in breast milk, which can prevent your baby from developing normally and gaining weight

How to Warm Breast Milk from Fridge?

You should heat cold breast milk in the bottle or bag it came in by placing this container in a pot of hot water on your stove.

You should never microwave breast milk from the fridge because microwaves heat liquids unevenly and can sometimes leave parts of them frozen.

Does Microwaving Warm up Breastmilk?

Microwave ovens heat liquids unevenly and can leave certain parts of the cold while heating other parts until they are scalding hot.

This may cause components in the milk to break down and lose their nutritional value.

For this reason, experts recommend that you always use a microwave-safe container when you reheat breast milk.

Can Warmed Breast Milk be Refrigerated Again?

Warmed breast milk can be refrigerated for a few hours.

However, you should never store warm breast milk in the fridge for more than a few hours because it will go bad rapidly when it reaches room temperature. You should always store freshly pumped breast milk in the fridge, but you should discard any that has been left out of the fridge for more than 2 hours.

Fastest Way to Warm Breast milk?

The best way to warm breast milk is to place it in a cup of hot water.

This will ensure that the liquid heats evenly without damaging any components inside.

Alternatively, you can also run the bottle underwater from your faucet before giving it to your baby or express some milk into a bowl and then heat this on the stove.

Can You Microwave Cold Breast Milk?

Cold breast milk can be heated in a microwave oven as long as you do it carefully.

You should never heat up cold breast milk from the fridge because the liquid inside will not have enough time to warm up and could become dangerous quickly.

Can You Microwave Breast Milk for Cereal?


You should never microwave breast milk for your baby’s cereal because microwaves heat food unevenly.

Instead, you can place the cereal in the cup or bowl along with some cold breast milk and then pour boiling water on top of it to warm up all of these components together.

If you are looking for a way to save time while heating up your baby’s breakfast, you can use pre-made rice cereals that already include hot water inside them.

Be aware that there are also some types of rice cereals that contain sugary ingredients that could pose health risks if given to babies too often.

Can You Warm Breast Milk by Using an Egg Beater?

This is not recommended since egg beaters heat liquid very unevenly.

You should only use a container specifically designed for microwaving breast milk to warm it up.

Can You Warm Up Breast Milk in a Bowl?

Yes, you can pour some boiling water over the bowl and then add the cold breast milk and cereal before stirring all of these components together. However, this will not save much time while warming up your baby’s breakfast compared to using ready-made rice cereals that come with their own hot water included inside them.

How Do I Ensure My Baby Does Not Receive Cold Milk When I’m Out and About?

If you are going out without your baby or know that your baby will be having someone else feed her, you should consider storing your expressed breast milk in a portable, insulated ice pack.

This will help to keep the liquid inside the bottle or bag at room temperature for several hours so that your baby can feed on it when she is ready.

What are Safety Precautions I Should Take When Heating Breast Milk?

Always carefully consider what type of container you use to heat up breast milk since some types of plastic may leach chemicals into the liquid.

You should only ever reheat breast milk in its original container or a specially designed microwave-safe bowl specifically designed to hold liquids.

Never leave microwaving breast milk unattended since the liquid could become dangerously hot very quickly. If you are using a microwave oven with digital controls, make sure that you are aware of how long you can heat up your breast milk for without damaging its components.

If you are heating up the liquid in portions, use a thermometer to ensure that it reaches at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit before giving it to your baby.

You should never ever give babies under four weeks old microwaved breast milk since their digestive system is still very fragile.

What Should I Do if My Baby Rejects Warm Breast Milk?

If your baby rejects warm breast milk, try warming it up on a gentle setting on the stove or using a larger quantity of warm water when preparing cereal with cold breast milk added first.

Make sure not to leave any water leftover on the bottom of the bowl after mixing the cereal, since leftover water can act as a breeding ground for bacteria.

You should also avoid feeding your baby cold breast milk directly after you warm it up in the microwave oven, even if she rejects warm breast milk.

Instead, try not to heat up her next meal before at least 30 minutes have passed so that her digestive system does not get confused when receiving both types of liquid straight away.


Milk from a human mother is not sterile, and it will always contain some bacteria.

In the study of bacterial activity in microwaved breast milk, heating caused a decrease in immunoglobulin G concentration that could potentially reduce the antimicrobial capacity of the milk.