How to prepare/thaw frozen breastmilk?

May 21, 2006
Hi all,

I have a quick questions to those mommies who pump and store breast milk for their little ones:

How do you prepare it? I've tried it before by letting it sit on the counter and it took too long. And when it was finally thawed it had little white specks floating around in it. So I was a bit apprehensive about giving it to him.

I've also soaked it in a bowl of hot water, and the same happened. So I'm not sure what's the "norm" for thawed breast milk.

(I store them in plastic bottles from the hospital)

Oct 24, 2006
I'm sure you'll get a lot of great ideas on this one! I returned to work for a month after having dd (planning to return but then decided at the last minute to take an early retirement, lol) and so dh and my sister took turns watching her during the day. I stored it in plastic bags (I had a Medela pump but can't remember if they were Medela or maybe Gerber bags?) with a air tight seal top. They would just run it under warm water until it was ready and then poured it into her bottle. I liked the bags just because they were disposable so less clean up than when I stored them in the Medela bottles that can be attached to the pump. I don't recall there being any problems with thawing it that way...We don't own a microwave (my mom is big on how it is carcinogenic so I'm kinda freaked about them too, lol) but I think it was recommended not to heat it that way was almost three years ago though so maybe someone else will chime in and give you better advice! :smile:
BTW, congrats on your cutie!


Hopelessly Addicted!
May 17, 2007
Everywhere but Home!
I bought a little bottle warmer at Wal-mart for $10 or so. I put the breast milk baggy or bottle from the hospital in the warmer full of water for about 2 min or so and then I have warmed up breast milk. Much easier than most methods especially in the middle of the night.


Aug 30, 2006
The floaty things are pretty normal. I stored my breast milk in the Lansinoh breast milk bags, then labeled on the front the date of the pump as well as the amount stored in each bag (since the milk will expand upon freezing). The bags store FLAT in the freezer, which helps with space. I was fortunate enough to build 3 months supply of extra breastmilk by the time DS was 6 months old (yeah, I know, I'm really half-cow), so I needed all the space I could get!

As far as thawing, I would just put the bag in a mug of hot water. The bags thaw more quickly than bottles, you'll see the fatty layers settle out. Just shake and pour into a bottle. One nice thing about the Lansinoh bags is that they are pretty thick and sturdy. They can each hold up to 10oz comfortably. I didn't like the Medela bags because they only hold ?maybe? 6 oz without busting out at the seams when frozen. The bags also don't freeze flat, and I never found them that much more convenient than pumping into bottles and pouring that into bags. The Gerber bags look like the Lansinoh bags but are much flimsier. There were MANY times when I would thaw a Gerber bag and see milk leaking into my mug. The Lansinoh bags might cost a wee tad more than the Gerber bags but not by much. I bought my Lansinoh bags at or other online venues that offered no sales tax and free shipping.

If your tap takes too long producing hot water, I actually recommend the Zojirushi electric water pot.
You have hot 208 degree water ANY TIME without ever needing your kettle again. I used it for EVERYTHING... thawing breast milk, sterilizing my breast pump materials, sterilizing bottles, helping myself to a cup of tea/cocoa, blanching vegetables.

Good luck!


Feb 13, 2007
If you're not in a rush, you can move frozen breastmilk into your refrigerator until it thaws. Otherwise I do like everyone else and run the bag under hot water. I've also used bottle warmers (I used the AVent for both my boys) without a problem. The white stuff is fat, it should dissolve if you swirl the milk around. You actually want to make sure the white stuff doesn't stay in the bottle/bag - you lose precious calories/nutrients that way. Good luck!


Enjoy Life
Jul 8, 2007
We will never forget
I pumped and stored my milk in medela baggies ,then put them in the freezer,when time to feed i took one out out it an cup of not too hot water, put in the bottle and feed.