Bottle feeding breast milk question

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2005
Bottle feeding breast milk question
Wed, 04-04-2012 - 9:48pm

I work at a daycare and a mother is bringing in bottles of breast milk for her child, which makes me happy.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-10-2008
Wed, 04-04-2012 - 11:14pm
Yep, definitely true. I'm glad the mom is educated enough about breastfeeding to be able to pass that tidbit along. Here's some info:

Don't Shake the Milk

Linda J. Smith, BSE, FACCE, IBCLC

Why not?

Because shaking expressed mothers' milk (or boiling or freezing it) denatures the shaped molecules of the protective proteins, leaving only the pieces - the amino acids - the parts. Lactoferrin, lysozyme, and other protective components work their protection magic when they are in their original shaped molecular structure. Some components remain intact, even during freezing, shaking or heating. They not only protect the gut from many kinds of infection, but also prevent inflammation of the gut lining. Even broken up, the separate amino acids are still really good stuff and are digested by the baby as nutrients.

Imagine a set of pop-beads assembled into a necklace or bracelet. When the beads are acting as a bracelet or necklace, they are doing their job as protective elements. When you break apart the beads, you have in your hand many individual chunks of amino acids which are then digested.

Cellular components are also susceptible to damage by physical stress. After all, they are living cells.

With mother's milk, you get at least two functions for the price of one. With manufactured formula, you only get the individual beads, never the necklace or bracelet. And never the living cells.

So, please handle human milk gently, respectfully and kindly. It's far more than perfect food for babies - it's a living tissue and protective shield too.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Thu, 04-05-2012 - 6:53am

That's right. I'm glad you asked. It is also important that when warming it, it is warmed gently by placing the bottle in a container of warm water. Microwaving any bottle is bad, and can leave uneven hot spots. But microwaving breastmilk can likewise damage important components. Also excessive heat when warming should be avoided.

No doubt the mother may have other guidelines she asks you to follow for handling and feeding the expressed breast milk, but of course it is OK to come and check about anything else you are uncertain of.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-07-2005
Thu, 04-05-2012 - 7:12pm
Thanks so much for the info. I nursed both of my boys for 19 and 18 months each, so I thought I knew it all. LOL
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-21-2009
Fri, 04-13-2012 - 11:51am

Thanks for asking Valerie. She’s a lucky mom to find such a caring caregiver. Also, we usually recommend about “an ounce per hour” meaning if its 2 hours since the start of the baby’s last feeding we’d expect the baby to take about 2oz. If it’s 3 hours about 3oz.

Kathy Kuhn IBCLC ivillage lactation consultant Grammy to Brennan, Elias, Elianna, Tahlia, Makenna, Maura, Silas, and Charlotte