One way to prevent
overfeeding of your baby is to let your care provider know that
it's OK for them to save and reheat a bottle that your baby has
There is a small body of evidence
demonstrating that this is OK - really just one unpublished
thesis, and the experience of the many moms who have done it. If
you're not comfortable with this, then don't reheat bottles.
However, in my totally biased opinion, I think it's OK to do -
once. When the bottle goes around for the second time, I would
say toss it. And never reheat milk that was previously frozen.
Thawed breastmilk has lost many of the living immune cells that
prevent contamination, and should be treated more like formula
in terms of preventing bacterial growth.
Your child care provider may be
reluctant to reheat a bottle - they've been trained in
formula-feeding, and it's absolutely true that formula can very
easily become contaminated, and it has nothing to prevent the
growth of bacteria. However, breastmilk is very different - in
addition to the living immune cells that actively attack
bacteria, it also contains numerous anti-bacterial enzymes. In
short, it's good stuff.
Here is the
evidence from Ruth Lawrence, MD and Jan Barger, RN, MA,
IBCLC - summarized nicely at kellymom.com