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Sterilising bottles for breast milk - always necessary?

(11 Posts)
mazbomb Sun 15-Feb-09 16:04:45

It has been suggested to me that because of the antibodies in breast milk, as long as bottles and expressing equipment are cleaned in hot, soapy water and rinsed thoroughly, it is not necessary to sterilise them. Is this true? Haven't risked it myself but am interested to know.

thisisyesterday Sun 15-Feb-09 16:07:39

I never sterilised a bottle for my breastfed baby.
Many people (inc microbiologists) believe that there is no need to sterilise bottles.
In this country we are lucky enough to have clean houses and clean water and a wash in very hot soapy water ought to be more than enough to clean a bottle. or in a dishwasher.
bear in mind your breasts aren't sterile!!! lol

ruty Sun 15-Feb-09 16:17:28

yes as is impossible to sterilize breasts i think this is entirely adequate. Didn't stop me sterilizing spoons and feeding bowls when ds was a PFB. DD's spoons just get a quick rinse under a hot tap blush

theowlwhowasafraidofthedark Sun 15-Feb-09 16:22:09

hmmm, not sure - I guess if there is bacteria in the bottle before milk goes in then the warm temperature of the milk (whether formula or breast milk) will cause it to multiply.
I could be wrong though.

CherryChoc Sun 15-Feb-09 20:31:49

I think what theowl said is correct - but I never store milk in bottles, so I just wash them immediately before use and don't worry about it.

mazbomb Wed 18-Feb-09 21:58:36

Thanks everyone, appreciate the feedback

laumiere Wed 18-Feb-09 22:20:18

A friend assumed BM was safe in unsterilised bottles and her child was hospitalised with gastro-enteritis as a result, so it's not infallible.

snottymcgrotty Wed 18-Feb-09 22:30:42

There was a study done (absolutely no idea where though sorry blush) which showed that a bottle of expressed breastmilk had fewer bacteria a period of time after having been left out than it did initially as the breatmilk contains antibodies and antibacterial "stuff". Sorry for the really rough info, will try to find my source of information - brain not functioning as normal due to snotty cold & cough ! Was told by senior sister, when DD1 in SCBU that I didn't need to sterilise the expressing equipment or bottles for storage, they just needed washing in hot soapy water and air drying (as in leaving to drip dry NOT dry with cloth).

snottymcgrotty Wed 18-Feb-09 22:37:27

laumiere I thought gastroenteritis was usually viral rather than bacterial ? Do they know for certain it was due to her bottles not being sterilised ? (I'm not saying it wasn't, just wondered how they knew it was down to that) <<starting to worry about DD2 now !>>

laumiere Wed 18-Feb-09 22:44:09

Couldn't give you the exact ins and outs snotty, that was what she said the hospital told her. It freaked me out enough to make sure I rinsed my EBM bottles with boiling water.

Odd though, when DS1 was in SCBU (he was 9 wks prem) we had to sterilise all of our expressing gear.

LoveaDAISYcal Wed 18-Feb-09 22:59:29

I never sterilised pump with DD nor am I doing for DS2, but I do store it in sterile bags, but decant it into unsterile bottles to feed.

If I'm pumping for DH to feed later then I don't bother sterilising the collection bottle.

A MNer called RTKangamummy had twins who were in SCBU and was told not to bother sterilising. She has done many threads on it if you want to search for her posts.

and lol at breasts being unsterile. Bearing in mind that by the end of the day my cleavage normally smells like 18month old cheddar, a few bugs on the inside of a bottle are health food by comparison!

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