Are you a new mum? Then, storing breast milk must be a daunting concept to embrace. While it’s not rocket science, doing it correctly without waste and spoilage takes a few lessons. So, if you’re wondering how to get it right on the dot, you’ve come to the right place!
So, how do you use breast milk storage bags? What are the best brands to look into?
Take a look at everything from breast milk storage options to storage quantity, refrigeration tips, and using such bags effortlessly.
I’ll also teach you seven insider tips to do it right, and ways to pick the best storage bag.
Ready to find out? Scroll away …
The Best Ways To Use Breast Milk Storage Bags
Every mum has a unique way of storing the breast milk safely. Some techniques are good while others are, well, worse than bad.
We’ll talk about the best bags and what to avoid so that you don’t end up with expensive mistakes.
Regardless, check this video for a quick fix: How to Store and Defrost breast milk! Helpful TIPS!
Types of storing breast milk safely
Typically, there are two types of bags for storing mother’s milk nowadays.
● Disposable bags
These pouches are made without any toxic materials. Generally, they’re pre-sterilized, made for one-time use, and come with volume markers.
● Reusable storage bags
Commonly made from food-grade silicone, reusable bags for storing maternal milk are durable and washable. Furthermore, they can even be sterilized just as clean-up pump parts and baby bottles.
How much breast milk should I put in a storage bag?
You should always store maternal milk in small amounts, such as 60 ml to 120 ml in each bag.
Why is that? There are two reasons.
Firstly, milk in smaller bags takes less time to thaw.
Secondly, you don’t need to use or freeze the milk again when it’s in smaller amounts. Hence, it’s excellent for single-use purposes like preparing for a babysitter!
How to use breast milk storage bags with a pump?
Whether you’re using an electric or manual pump to express milk, it’s easy to transfer the expressed milk into a storage bag. Get one if your breast pump doesn’t come with a collection bottle already. Also, it’ll save a lot of mess in the future!
Moreover, get a “The bökee” too (available on Amazon.com). That’s an excellent way to multitask with the baby in one hand while you’re storing milk.
Once you’ve collected the milk, transfer it into a storable bag. Also, make sure to label the date and time of collection before refrigeration.
Can I pump directly into a storage bag?
Yes, there are breast milk storage bags to pump directly into the bag. These have specialty spouts and a free-standing design to help you with the process.
How do you store breast milk without a breast pump?
If you’re opposed to manual or electrical breast pumps, you can express milk with hand. Although, it can be a tad bit inconvenient. Regardless, it’s a better option than a pump because you end up stimulating more milk too.
Additionally, you can wear milk catcher cups inside your bra to save all the milk you’re leaking throughout too.
How do you store breast milk in the fridge?
Storing breast milk in the fridge is easy.
- First, pump the expressed milk into a safe bottle.
- Next, pour it into a storable bag.
When doing so, keep in mind to label the milk with the date and time of collection. Also, share the medicines you were taking at that time on the label.
Can I store breast milk from the same day in the same bag?
No, you shouldn’t add fresh breast milk into a pouch of refrigerated breast milk.
This is because fresh milk is often warm, and combining it with cold one would create reactions. Hence, try to warm up the cold version first before mixing them both.
However, I’d advise against mixing two differently-collected milk to prevent spoilage of both.
7 Tips To Use Breast Milk Storage Bags
Having some clarity about the dos and don’ts of storing your breast milk in bags is a good way to keep it safe and fresh.
Hence, the following will teach you the ABC of storing breast milk in food-grade bags.
#1. Should I remove air from breast milk storage bags?
Yes, you should always remove any trapped air from stored bags of mother’s milk to prolong its freshness.
Moreover, the bubbles in the milk often lead to a freezer burn that interferes with its quality. Besides, it can also cause digestion problems in your baby.
The trick for avoiding bubbles in bags is to pour it down slowly. You can also lay the pouch flat on the counter to slowly remove the air before sealing.
#2. How to use Lansinoh breast milk bags for storage?
Lansinoh bags make it easy to freeze and use stored maternal milk to the final drop.
If you’re struggling, this video from their official channel will show you how exactly to use their bags for storage to thawing:
#3. How to thaw and use frozen breast milk from storage pouches?
Thawing mother’s milk from bags meant for storage isn’t like brain surgery.
Here’s a stepwise guide for doing just that:
- Quick method: Place the milk storage pouch in a bowl of lukewarm water for two hours at room temperature.
- Slow method: You can place the pouch in a water bowl for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- Using milk after thawing
- After thawing, make sure to use the stored milk within 24 hours.
- NEVER refreeze the thawed milk pouches.
- You can reuse stored milk from the freezer within 4 months (or six at max!).
#4. Can you reuse bags used for storing breast milk?
No. While most reusable bags for breast milk storage are good to use after a good wash and clean, the same doesn’t apply to disposable bags.
Hence, you must discard bags for one-time use after storing milk once.
#5. How to wash reusable bags for breast milk storage?
Following the proper steps to cleanse reusable pouches for storing maternal milk is crucial.
Most importantly, it prevents the milk from spoilage. Moreover, the same extends the lifespan of reusable bags.
Here are two ways to do it:
- Place the bag in an inverted position on the highest rack of the dishwasher.
- Do not seal the bag.
- Start the steam sterilizer.
- Hand Wash
- Rinse remnants of the milk from the bag with warm water.
- Place the bag in a soapy solution.
- Rinse again.
- Use a soft scrub or soft-bristled bottle brush cleaner to reach inaccessible parts of the bag.
- Rinse again with a steam sterilizer or warm water.
#6. What other things can I do with bags used for storing maternal milk?
With most of the world trying to cut down on plastic waste as much as possible, you can repurpose your disposable bags for many more things other than storing maternal milk too (same thing for unused bags).
For instance, use them to store smoothies, fruit juices, punches, soups, or fruits.
In case you don’t want to use them for food storage, feel free to use them as a protective pouch for leaky medicine bottles, toiletries for travel, or to protect your phone during rain.
#7. Can you use breast milk bags to store baby food?
Do you have extra leftover bags for maternal milk storage? First things first, Don’t throw them out!
And YES, you can use breast milk bags to store baby food to substitute them for household zip lock bags. In addition, you can also stock solid baby food in a sterile environment as you do for breast milk.
How To Pick the Best Breast Milk Storage Bag?
Selecting the right bag for storing mother’s milk is easy if you know the discernable qualities that make one better than the other.
Firstly, decide if you want plastic or silicone. In short, make a choice between disposable and reusable bags.
Secondly, find out the durability of the bag.
Lastly, find out if the blag can lay flat. It will help you save space in the freezer after filling the milk.
Additionally, here are some more things to add to your checklist:
- Food grade
- Double seal
Start Using Storage Bags For Breast Milk Safely
Stocking breast milk is an excellent idea to ensure your baby is fed later by you or another person. Moreover, it’s a great alternative for working moms.
Besides, storage bags are so durable and straightforward that you don’t even need to double bag them. The best thing is, you can lay these pouches flat in the fridge separated by a sheet of kitchen roll to prevent them from sticking to one another.
But, how do you know how to check if your stored breast milk has gone bad? The trick is that spoiled human milk will taste just as sour as any other milk.
Medela bags are great because you can pump directly into the bag. However, Kiinde’s twist cap model is better for sophisticated moms. Although Dr. Brown’s bags are excellent if you love labeling and better quality while Nuk n’ Seal is absolutely leak-free.
Nonetheless, I suggest to go for Junobie, Zip Top or Haaka reusable bags if you want a reusable option.
Regardless, Lansinoh is one of the best pick because it can do everything others do and then some!
And you! What’s your favorite?
- La Leche League International: Hand Expressing
- Medium: How to Clean Reusable Breast Milk Storage Bags
As the founder of Container FAQs, my goal is to provide readers with in-depth information on the containers used in daily life and related subjects. Don't hesitate to reach out to me if you have any suggestions for articles you would like to see on my blog.