Best breast milk storage option?

Astrid - posted on 08/10/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I am pregnant with my second child and was able to breastfeed my first daughter for a year without pumping. Unfortunately, I will have to return to work after 3 months and want to continue giving my baby breast milk.



Does anyone have suggestions for the best form of breast milk storage? Bags vs reusable? Companies?



Thank you,

Astrid

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Donna - posted on 09/08/2009

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I used the Lansinoh storage bags, too.

Add the milk to them, then store them FLAT on their side in the freezer until they actually freeze. After that, they will take up less space UPRIGHT and stacked front to back (so you use what's in front first).

I just kept them right on the door of the freezer, upright, dates where I could read them, and then just kept re-filling the door area from more storage on the bottom shelf.

Lucy - posted on 08/13/2009

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Good on you for planning to keep up the breastmilk! The approved breastfeeding storage bags are the only way to go. I used Medela but any of the brands should be fine. The problem with ice cube bags is they are not rated to the correct standards for storing milk, only water obviously, and they are NOT sterile unless you are sterilising them at home with steam or boiling water (in which case they would melt). Hospitals use food grade plastic bottles as it is the cheaper option as they are reuseable. If you are planning on expressing at work then transporting the milk home I would use bottles as they are less likely to spill while being transported. Just make sure you have a good quality cooler bag with proper ice blocks to keep the milk cold on the way home. Also check out the Breastfeeding Assoc. website for the guidelines on heating and using stored breastmilk.

Laura - posted on 09/08/2009

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Lansinoh bags are superior to the Medela bags. I've used both and NEVER had a problem with the Lansinoh bags; the Medela bags broke on me all the time. I did use some of the Medela storage bottles (the 2.5 oz ones), since these were much easier to send with my son to daycare. The problem is that these plastic bottles start to wear out after multiple uses (about 10 or so, they start to crack). Hope this helps!

[deleted account]

I pumped for 3 months when I had my son, as he was in the NICU, and did not latch properly because he had to use a bottle for so long to measure how much he was eating.



I pumped and then poured the milk into a bag. I tried both the Gerber and the Lanisoh bags, and found that I liked the Gerber bags better. They are less expensive than the Lanisoh bags, and they are smaller. I only stored 2 ozs. in each bag, because I tried freezing 4 ozs. once or twice when I first started, and found that that took waaay too long to thaw and then I didn't use it all before it went bad.



For pumped wilk I would be using later in the day, however (after he came home) I either left it out in a capped bottle (as it can be left out for several hours) or, if I wouldn't be using it for a long time, I put it in a bag in the fridge.



For me, the bags were easy because they can just be warmed very quickly under warm water running from the faucet, as opposed to a bottle, which takes much longer. They also stored easier than bottles, and since I was producing way more than he was eating, I had a lot to store.

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Heather - posted on 09/08/2009

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I used the Lanisoh freezer bags. I never had a problem with them. Both my boys were in daycare at 6 weeks and the bags held up exceptionally well, I never had breakage issues with them. I did not have a problem with milk production, quite the oposite actually. I found the Lanisoh bags to be superior with my issue. I produced 16-24 oz per pumping and actually was giving the excess to Le Leche group. Good luck and go with what works best for you. Try several out and see. :)

Laura - posted on 09/08/2009

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I used the rules:
1. Refrigerate milk up to 7 days
2. Standard freezer for up to 3 months
3. Deep freezer for up to 6 months (some sources say up to 1 year)
This is really a consensus from a number of sources (Mother's guide to breastfeeding, What to Expect, etc). I never had a problem with these rules. The only time I had milk go bad on me was when I was trying to transport it for a number of hours (as when I was out of town and trying to take it on a plane, etc). If your child suddenly acts like he doesn't want the milk when he has formerly been really great at taking it- taste the milk.

Connie - posted on 09/08/2009

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I froze my breast milk, which is what the hospital to do when my baby was born prematurely and didn't nurse for a month. It supposedly will stay good for up to 1 yr. (I think).

Julie - posted on 08/14/2009

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For anything that would be frozen I used both the Medela (great and stand up, but very expensive) and Gerber (reasonably priced, easy closure, nice thickness) bags . I also used some a friend gave me when she stopped pumping, but they had a funky closure that was very awkward to use.

For pumping for the next day or two, I also used extra bottles. Any I had – freebies, ones he was no longer using, or true extras.

I pumped three times a day at work for ten months (‘til my son was 14 months). Having a comfortable, dedicated place to pump is key. Marking off the time on your calendar is helpful (I timed my pumping sessions with my babies schedule.) Using a pumping bra makes all the difference! I used the Easy Expressions bra and found it worth its weight in gold. Being able to rest my head on my arms, read, type, eat, and even exercise made pumping so much less of a clock-watching chore. Good luck!!

Leslie - posted on 08/13/2009

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I pumped for almost a year, I used the Lansinoh bags and they worked the best. I would fill 6 and put them in a gallon freezer bag by date and pull them out of the freezer as needed to thaw. In a regular freezer breast milk is good for 3 months in a stand alone freezer is good for 6 months.

Heather - posted on 08/13/2009

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I love the Lansinoh storage bags. I freeze them immediately and my milk will stay good for over a month. I try to get them as flat as possible and with as little air pockets as I can. Once they are frozen I stack them on their sides in a cardboard box int he freezer (like an empty Toaster Strudel box or something). I like them VERY much. I have had the occasional issue with leakage when I defrost them but it's few and far between. (Target regularly has them on sale as well.)

Virginia - posted on 08/13/2009

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I tried every bag out there because I had problems with the milk going bad in the freezer (not because it had been in there too long). I found that the Gerber bags were the best bags for the least amount of money. The Medela bags were great in that they attached to the pump, but I found them to be prohibitively expensive. When you're pumping, don't go more than 2-3 hours between pumping sessions. I made the mistake of going too long between pumpings early on and it caused me great supply issues. Good luck to you!

Lisa - posted on 08/13/2009

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I have tried Lansinoh and Medela. Both work well, but I think Medela is a little more expensive.

Leigh - posted on 08/10/2009

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I used the platic ice cube bags, they're cheap & in most grocery stores, & the sterile, cause you don't ever have to touch the 'milk' with your fingers.

Mary - posted on 08/10/2009

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I've used the Medela storage bags, and they've worked great....I've especially liked that they are made to fit directly onto the pump, so when I have to pump at work, I use the bags, zip them shut, and they go right into the fridge/freezer when I get home.

[deleted account]

I use the Lansinoh storage bags. I like them, they don't leak. My friend also uses then and she said when you move them around while they're frozen they may split at the seams from banging against each other. You probably wouldn't freeze them until you got home so I don't think that would be a problem. We don't have lot of storage space so it was easier to use bags then the bottles.

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