Learning how to store breastmilk in freezer bags is necessary for every mom. After all, breastmilk is baby’s best food containing all the nutrients he needs for growth and development.
This miraculous liquid also changes and adapts to the needs of your little one as he grows. Nevertheless, formula milk cannot beat the nutrition of breastmilk. For this very reason, you must know not only how to collect but also store breastmilk.
But for busy, working mothers, feeding their babies each time might not be possible. That’s why they store their milk in freezer bags and keep it in the fridge, so it stays fresh for his next feeding session with a nanny.
Tips for Pumping Before Storing Breastmilk
Even if you’ not always available to breastfeed, worry not. Here’s a guide for you.
- Do it before you miss a feeding or between or after nursing baby.
- Collect breastmilk daily for a couple of days to store enough milk.
- Before planned work return, pump milk everyday for up to six weeks. At work, pump at least every four hours or during his feeding schedule.
- On some occasions, you may want to feed baby on one breast, while pumping on the other.
How to Start Pumping Breastmilk
If you’re a new mother, you might need some time to get used to pumping and feeling comfortable. To start, here are some tips:
Wash your hands well and sit in a comfortable position.
You can practice pumping with your hand or by a pump. And if using a breast pump, read on the maker’s instructions before expressing and collecting milk.
It might take up to 30 minutes to express milk from a breast, but only up to 15 minutes if collecting milk from both breasts at the same time. If you have twins, double time and use both breasts.
“The more you pump the more breastmilk you collect.”
What Type of Containers to Use for Storing Milk
- Glass container
- Hard plastic bags
- BPA-free breastmilk bags, which are especially designed and made to store your milk
What Not to Use :
Never use disposable bottle liners due to high risk of contamination. One reason is that they’re not durable, so there’s leakage tendency.
How to Store Breastmilk in Freezer Bags
Before storing breastmilk, note that you should also learn how to store and handle milk properly using the following guidelines.
- Buy a good breastmilk bag made with high quality and food grade materials.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before collecting and handling milk.
- Do not add newly pumped milk to already frozen breastmilk.
- NEVER FORGET THE DATE! Label each freezer bag with the date and time.
- Do not reuse breastmilk bags.
- Do not store milk from a used feeding bottle. It is unsafe.
- Ensure that no milk will go to waste by storing only in small batches.
- Store the breastmilk in the freezer immediately.
- Feed baby with the oldest stored breastmilk first.
- Do not fill the freezer bag fully because milk will expand, so leave at least an inch of space for it.
Store your milk only up to two weeks if using a refrigerator with a freezer compartment.
If yours is a combination of freezer and refrigerator with separate doors, you can store milk for up to six months.
On the other hand, you can store it for up to a year if using an upright or chest freezer.
Where to Store Breastmilk in the Freezer
Keep it in the middle for consistent temperature, not on the sides where it can fluctuate. Remember, breastmilk should not be refrozen, so thawing it partially won’t be good, and that will happen when stored on the sides of the freezer.
More Storage Tips
- Include your baby’s name on the label if he’s in a daycare setting.
- If collecting and storing milk in the office or work with a common refrigerator, you should label the freezer bag with your name. You should also label it properly to ensure it won’t be mistaken for regular milk by your colleagues.
See more: best way to store breast milk.
What If I’m Not Storing Breastmilk in the Freezer
When not planning to store breastmilk in the freezer, you can keep it at room temperature only up to eight hours. Use containers to prevent milk from going bad. Never store it in a place where the temperature is more than 77 degrees F. Keep it cool using a wet towel. You can also keep it in insulated bags and use cold packs that touch the container. Do not open the bags when unnecessary.