Why Can't You Shake Breastmilk

Why Can’t You Shake Breastmilk

Wondering why can’t you shake breastmilk? 

When you shake milk, whether breast milk or cow’s milk, it naturally bubbles up. This is due to the presence of protein or lipase.

As your pumped bottle fills up, the more lipase in your breast milk, the bubblier it will appear.

The best technique to blend milk after the expression is perhaps one of the most common pieces of advice given to women who express milk.

After expression, human milk separates and must be re-mixed before feeding. And the guideline is rather strict: never shake, always swirl. 

Proteins are denatured when shaken—swirling aids in the removal of fat globules adhering to the container’s side. Cells are damaged by shaking.

Do you ever have second thoughts about some of the things you’ve heard about breastmilk?

This article debunks 9 of the most frequent fallacies regarding breast milk including why can’t you shake breastmilk. 

What’s more this article explains the distinctions between swirling and shaking breast milk bottles and some research on why both are safe and good for your baby.

Why Can’t You Shake Breastmilk?

Breast milk is made up of living cells that external factors might damage. When you aggressively shake breast milk, the molecules are denatured.

As a result, the proteins are broken down into smaller pieces, exposing your baby’s intestines to infections and inflammation.

Yes, proteins that have been denatured will no longer function effectively, although some proteins, such as those found in breast milk, are considerably more difficult to denature than others.

To break down the protein molecules in breast milk, you’d need to use force, similar to what you’d use to whip heavy cream.

Breast milk has a varied nutritional profile that meets the demands of your infant.

White blood cells, antibodies, and stem cells defend them from sickness and infection, and macronutrients, micronutrients, and hormonal growth hormones support their development.

The fat component may float to the top because breastmilk is not professionally treated or homogenized.

At the same time, denser proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins settle to the bottom, resulting in a translucent layer.

Breast milk should never be shaken when reconstituted; instead, it should be swirled—shaking damages the nutritious value of breast milk.

This is false, and there is no scientific evidence to back up the claim that shaking can harm breast milk.

1. If The Baby Does Not Drink The Bottle, The Remaining Breastmilk Must Be Discarded

Wrong! If the baby doesn’t finish the milk, fresh breastmilk can be securely stored at ambient temperature for up to 2 hours after a feeding.

It can be stored in a cooler bag with an ice pack for up to 4 hours or at the back of the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Breastmilk that has been previously frozen spoils more quickly than fresh breast milk after feeding, but it can be safely stored at room temperature for up to 1 hour, in a cooler bag with an ice pack for up to 2 hours, and at the back of the refrigerator for up to 2 hours.

If breastmilk has been heated, it must be utilized immediately or rejected at the next feeding.

Heated milk must be consumed immediately or at the next feeding.

Experts recommend swapping out the teats between feedings for any type of previously-fed milk.

For additional information about breastmilk storage, see here.

 2. All Breast Pump Accessories Must Be Sterilised After Each Use

There are many various points of view on this, and you should always follow the advice of your healthcare professional.

If your kid was born prematurely or had a medical condition, you’ll almost certainly be requested to disinfect breast pump parts every time they are used.

It’s fine to sterilize once a day if you have an older, healthy infant. Sterilizing them too regularly might wear them down, resulting in a loss of suction when operating your pump.

You don’t need to sterilize regularly unless your care provider has given you special instructions.

Always disinfect components before using them for the first time, and then wash them in warm soapy water and air dry them after each use. 

3. Your Milk Supply Is Reflected In The Amount Of Breastmilk You Pump

It’s easy to detect a difference in the volume of milk expressed while pumping because milk collection bottles have measuring lines on them.

Many mothers are concerned that their supply is dwindling due to such diversity. This is not the case for various reasons:

First and foremost, if you’re used to nursing, you may realize that a pump is ineffective compared to bub.

To acquire enough milk for bottle-feeding, many mothers need to pump for far longer than they would if they were nursing.

Second, it’s fairly typical for mothers to have an oversupply of milk during the first few weeks of breastfeeding (the first 10-12 weeks).

4. Shaking Breastmilk: Facts and Fictions

Many mothers believe that it is preferable to swirl breastmilk rather than shake it gently.

They’ve heard that shaking breastmilk denatures, or breaks down, its protein molecules, lowering its nutritional value. However, this is a widespread misunderstanding.

The truth is that there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that shaking or swirling breastmilk reduces its nutritional value.

Shaking breastmilk changes its appearance but does not break down the protein molecules or reduce its nutritional content.

However, some proteins, such as those found in breastmilk, are considerably more difficult to denature than others.

Also read: Protein Shake While Breastfeeding


Now, you know why can’t you shake breast milk. Simply place a daily packet into your baby’s breastfeeding bottle and shake it.

Before feeding, give the bottle a good shake for at least 5-10 seconds to ensure that it dissolves completely in the breastmilk.

The powder is less likely to dissolve completely if you merely swirl the bottle.

Clumps and jams at the bottle nipple are almost always the results of not shaking the bottle hard enough.

To help, add a little hot water and vigorously shake for 5-10 seconds.

There’s no need to be concerned about destroying the nutrients in your milk. It’s important to remember that shaking breastmilk does not destroy its nutrients.

Related Post: How To Label Bottles For Daycare?

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it permissible to agitate breast milk?

It’s not good to mix freshly produced breast milk with already cooled or frozen milk because it could rewarm the earlier stored milk.

Freshly expressed milk should be allowed to cool before being combined with older, previously chilled, or frozen milk.

Is it possible to shake breast milk in a bottle?

Is it better to swirl or shake breast milk? Since breast milk is not homogenized, it will separate, causing the cream to rise to the top.

Gently swirl the container before giving to reintroduce the cream.

However, do not vigorously shake the bottle because this will break up the proteins that are so important for the stomach lining of the baby.

When you shake your breast milk, does it bubble?

When you shake milk, whether breast milk or cow’s milk, it naturally bubbles up. This is due to the presence of protein or lipase.

As your pumped bottle fills up, the more lipase in your breast milk, the bubblier it will appear (especially when combined with a forceful letdown).

It’s better to gently swirl the bottle instead of shaking it aggressively to mix it.

The latter method is far more likely to inject air bubbles into the mix, which might cause gas in your baby.



Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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