Have you ever tried to pour out refrigerated breast milk from a storage bottle, only for the fat to stick on the sides? For a mom who works so hard to pump breast milk, this can be a frustrating scenario, especially if you are dealing with low milk supply. Not only is this fat important for your baby’s weight gain and brain development, but it also keeps them full and controls their appetite. Unless you find a way to get it out of the bottle safely, you risk losing this precious fat. So, how do you get breast milk fat off the sides of bottles?
How To Get Breast Milk Fat Off The Sides Of Bottles
Shake or Swirl
When you get the bottle out of the refrigerator, shake it to mix the fatty layer with the rest of the milk. If you notice that most of the fat is still stuck, run some cold faucet water over the bottle then swirl the milk.
Some people say that shaking breast milk will affect its nutrients. However, that’s simply hearsay. There’s no documented scientific evidence of this claim. However, shaking vigorously for long will introduce air into the milk that will likely cause gas for your baby, so shake it gently and only for a few seconds.
Use a Baby Spoon or Spatula
Scrape the fat off the sides of the bottle with a baby spoon or spatula. Use a spoon or spatula that can easily fit in the bottle. The best ones are those made from smooth, soft silicone.
They get the job done without damaging the bottle. Wash your hands properly beforehand and make sure the spoon/spatula are BPA free and properly sterilized to keep the milk safe for the baby.
Use Your Hands
First, let the bottle sit out of the refrigerator for up to 10 minutes or until it reaches room temperature. Then hold it in your hands for a few minutes. Your body heat will melt off some of the fat. Swirl to mix the milk and fat.
Warm Faucet Water
Run warm water (NOT HOT) from the faucet over the bottle. Make sure the bottle is closed securely and that the water is only running over the area with the fat and not the cap area. This reduces the risk of the water getting into the bottle. Rotate the bottle until you notice the fat is off the sides.
You can also use the warm water bath method. Pour some warm water in a bowl/container. Then place the bottle in the container for a few minutes until the fat melts off the sides. If you don’t have warm facet water, heat some water in a pan on the stove but don’t get it at boiling temperature.
A bottle warmer can help get that fat off the sides of bottles. Check the specific instructions for your bottle warmer. The risk with using them is that they may melt the fat then go on to overheat the milk, killing its nutrients. If you must use a bottle warmer, keep an eye on it so that when the fat is off the sides, you can remove the bottle.
Don’t use a microwave to get breast milk fat off the sides of bottles. This may seem like an efficient process, but microwaves are known to destroy valuable nutrients in breast milk. Also, you can’t easily control the temperature in a microwave and may overheat the milk. Microwaves do not warm food evenly and will create hotspots that can burn the baby’s throat.
If you’re a new mom and haven’t experienced breast milk separation before, you might think there’s something wrong with your breast milk. Unless it smells bad, it’s perfectly fine. Spoiled breastmilk has s sour smell.
Just like dairy milk in a bottle, it’s normal for breast milk to separate when put in the fridge. Sometimes the fat layer is thin, other times it’s thick depending on the fat content in your hindmilk.
If you’re leaving your baby with a sitter or other caregiver, advise them not to discard the fat because baby needs it. Also, show or tell them how to safely get it off the sides of the bottle so that it can mix with the rest of the milk.