Just wanted to pop on here and share with ya’ll my breastmilk storage method.
I am so relieved and blessed to be able to start casually building a freezer stash for baby Heidi. With the twins, all my milk stayed in the fridge because I was literally always pumping for the next day, and I was never able to get ahead.
This time around is so different. With one baby and a four-month maternity leave, I have not had to stress about pumping at all. I almost exclusively nurse Heidi and use a haakaa on the other side to collect about an ounce of milk from each feed.
We do give Heidi one bottle of pumped milk at bedtime from what I collect in the haakaa all day. The girls really wanted to help feed baby sister, so this is our way of letting them do that. Plus Daddy can help with the bedtime routine, which speeds things up when trying to get three kiddos to bed. This leaves me with one pumping session right after the girls go to bed from which I am building a humble freezer stash.
Every post I see about freezer stashes proudly displays stacks and stacks of flatlay breastmilk storage bags. I couldn’t bring myself to buy dozens and dozens of disposable (and expensive bags), so I started looking for alternatives. I wanted to share what I’ve been doing because I haven’t seen a lot of ideas floating around for alternatives.
First off, I use this Dr. Brown’s formula mixing pitcher to collect fresh milk in the fridge. The neat thing about this pitcher is that it has a mixing rod built in, so I can keep the milk well mixed (instead of the fat accumulating on the sides). It also has measurements on the side. Another idea is to use the pitcher from your l&d hospital stay. Unfortunately I did not get one this time around and have misplaced the one from when I had the girls. Breastmilk is good in the fridge for up to 5 days, so I just accumulate milk over the course of several days in there. The one thing to note is that you can’t mix warm and chilled breastmilk, so I let the bottles or haakaa cool in the fridge before dumping it in the pitcher.
Once I have a good amount of milk accumulated, I will freeze it. I use silicone ice cube trays similar to these (I got mine at Target) to portion out and freeze the milk. The trays I have are 1/2 ounce per cube. I used to have a tray specifically for breastmilk that was hard plastic but it was difficult to get the frozen milk out and warped in the dishwasher. The silicone one is nice because the cubes just pop right out.
After the milk is frozen, I pop the cubes out into a gallon freezer bag. Yes, this is still a plastic bag, but it’s just one (cheap) plastic bag compared to dozens. So far all of the milk I have frozen has fit in the one freezer bag (I expect about 50 ounces to fit comfortably in the bag). Once full, I’ll label with the dates and store away for later use. To use I plan to dump whatever amount of cubes I need out into a pitcher or mason jar in the fridge for thawing. Or in a pinch I could put an exact amount in a bottle for warming.
I’ll admit it’s more of a process and doesn’t store as compactly as the flat breastmilk bags, but I am happy so far with not having another consumable product on my weekly grocery list.
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I am pregnant with my first child and have been reading pregnancy related blogs for past 6 months and never once did I come across an idea – so simple yet effective that I am surprised. This is an absolutely win-win idea, not only in terms of money but also from environmental cost. Thankyou a ton