Storing Your Breastmilk
By: Kristy Kemp (Owner Of Breastfeeding Mama Talk)
Breastmilk is what some like to call, "Liquid Gold" so it is important that you properly store your breastmilk as it's a living substance. I will be including information from LLL, Lansinoh, and real life mamas from my Breastfeeding Mama Talk page.
Some Quick Tips-
- Always be sure to date your stored breastmilk.
- Store milk in 2-4 ounce increments to prevent wasting any milk.
- Immediately refrigerate/freeze milk after it is expressed.
- Put the bags in a cup or Ziploc to defrost because sometimes the bags crack as they freeze and the milk will leak when it defrosts.
- Make sure you let all the air out of the bag and store flat.
- Swirl don't shake when thawing.
What kind of Storage Containers should I use to store the milk in?
- Freezer Milk bags that are designed for storing human milk.
- glass or hard-sided plastic containers with well-fitting tops.
- Ice cube trays- each square is about an ounce so you can pop out exactly what you need to thaw. Just don't forget to make sure the trays are BPA free, and cover them in the freezer. You can also buy ice trays specifically designed for breastmilk which are 1 oz per square.
How do I store the milk?
- Lay the bags on a flat surface to freeze... tip from The Toasty Mama - the bottom of a freezer is not always flat. There is often ridges. I lay mine on a box of frozen pizza so they freeze without lines.
- My favorite way to store pumped milk in the bags would be using The Milkies Freeze by Fairhaven Health. It's unique first in first out design makes getting and storing your milk fast, easy, and convenient.
containers should not be filled to the top - leave an inch of space to allow the milk to expand as it freezes.
The milk you store in bottles: I would suggest using Eepples Milk Charms to time & date.
- Always make sure to have clean hands before starting to pump or store.
- Sanitizing tip FOR the working/pumping mama FROM a working/pumping mama- I have to pump at work. I bought myself a little caddie to Cary my dirty bottles, bottle brush, and dish washing soap. People at work would use my bottle brush to clean paint brushes! And all my soap would be gone in a day. So I bought this caddie, billed out a tote box and I put my pump and caddie in the tote in the locked office I pump in. Nice, neat, clean, and no one uses my stuff!!
The Milk Saver from Fairhaven Health- it collects your leaking breast milk when you nurse, allowing you to store extra breast milk effortlessly.
Real Tips from real Breastfeeding Mamas at Breastfeeding Mama Talk
Hover over each pic to see the tip with the pictures.
Do you have an over supply of milk? Check out this tip from one of our Breastfeeding Mama Talk mamas-
I have a major oversupply, so I donate my extra milk. In the beginning I was pumping an extra 30 ounces a day in addition to exclusively breastfeeding my son. I have it to a much more manageable level now--roughly an extra 10 ounces a day which can still take up freezer space pretty fast. I figured out that roughly 70 ounces of milk in the Lanisoh storage bags (frozen flat) fit nicely inside a Gallon Freezer Bag (I buy the generic Wal Mart brand). They store very compact in the freezer this way. I hope this tip will help some other Mamas. I use the Medela steam bags to sanitize parts, bottles, etc... To save time, I have two in rotation. I wash and sterilize in batches. When one bag is in the microwave, I'm washing parts and prepping the next one so it can go right in. Saves time!!!