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Can You Thaw Breast Milk At Room Temperature?

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Breast milk is pretty incredible, but in order to preserve the properties that make it such a super food, you have to know how to thaw it correctly. Your freezer stash will be for naught if you don't thaw the milk properly, but can you thaw breast milk at room temperature or does it require a little more technique?

Although it doesn't take a genius to thaw breast milk, it's not as simple as setting a bottle of breast milk on the counter to get it at room temperature. You probably want room temperature breast milk for your baby to enjoy, but Medela noted that the best way to preserve the nutrients and properties of your breast milk is to actually thaw it in the refrigerator overnight so it's ready for the next morning.

But hey, who can remember to pop the frozen breast milk into the fridge? If you're in a hurry or if you simply want to skip double steps of thawing and then reheating to room temperature, you can try something else. KellyMom suggested holding the breast milk under running water and gradually increasing the heat to bring the milk to room temperature. Parents offers the same tip and also noted that you should never thaw the breast milk in a microwave to bring it to room temperature — if you can't wait for it to thaw in the fridge, hold it under running water.

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In short, you can't thaw breast milk at room temperature. You can bring it to room temperature while thawing, but it's unwise to leave it sitting out on a counter or in a diaper bag hoping it will thaw according to KellyMom. If you have breast milk in the fridge and want to bring it to room temperature, you can use the same method of warming it under running water, or you can either use a bottle warmer or place it in a container of warm water suggested La Leche League International.