Breast Pumping

In this section are a number of tips to prepare stored milk to give to your baby.  Remember – do not  warm your milk in the microwave or heat your milk on the stove.


  • An older, larger baby can handle drinking chilled milk. But milk needs to be warm for a tiny baby. If a newborn is fed cold milk, it can bring down his body temperature. For a younger baby, warm your milk to between room and body temperature.
  • Whether warming chilled milk or thawing frozen milk, keep the heat low. High heat kills the live cells in your milk that help keep your baby healthy.
  • Warm your milk to between room and body temperature under cool then warm running water. Keep warm water away from the bottle lid so that it doesn’t mix with the milk.
    • One way to do this is to put a bottle in a bowl with the sides lower than the bottle’s lid. Run warm water in the bowl. The warm water against the sides of the bottle warms the milk.
  • You can thaw frozen milk in the refrigerator. Use this milk within 24 hours.
  • Your milk is not homogenized like the milk in the store, so it may separate into layers and the cream may rise to the top. If this happens, just gently swirl it to mix.


  • Don’t warm milk in the microwave. It changes the milk and causes hot spots that can burn your baby’s mouth and throat.
  • Don’t heat the milk in a pot on the stove. High heat can make the milk too hot for your baby, and it destroys the antibodies your baby needs.

This is general information and does not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. If you have a problem you cannot solve quickly, seek help right away. Every baby is different. If in doubt, contact your physician or healthcare provider.