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Thread: Freezer stash for future weaning plans

  1. #1

    Default Freezer stash for future weaning plans

    Hi all

    I'm new here - have been trawling through this section of the forums for the last week or so, it's been fantastic as I haven't found as much "mum to mum" information on expressing and storage anywhere on the net (all in one place at least).

    I'm in the process of creating a stash of EBM in my deep freeze. I currently have 5.5lt (I think that's about 186oz?) which I've been accumulating over the last month or so. I hand express as I don't own a pump.

    My bub is 8 months old, and I feel so blessed that our bf relationship has been successful (I honestly take my hat off to all of you exclusive pumpers, what a huge effort), however, DH and I hope to start ivf again around 1 year, which means I will have to very regrettably wean. DD has a cows milk protein allergy, which will mean she will likely have to go onto Neocate formula, as she can't have soy until 2+. I hope to feed her frozen EBM for as long as I can.

    My questions of all you lovely ladies is:
    a) what would be a reasonable amount to have in a stash
    b) does anyone know if the additional extraction of milk (1 expressing session on top of 5 feeds) would be preventing AF from returning? Most of my bf friends had AF back around 6 months
    c) do I need to check periodically for lipase issues
    d) am I ok to store meat etc in the deep freezer? The milk is stored in cubes in ziplock bags, then double bagged and put in a plastic storage box.

    Sorry for the length, thanks for reading if you got this far!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Freezer stash for future weaning plans

    Welcome to the forum!

    After a year, it's hard to say what a "reasonable" stash would look like. Are you hoping to meet all your child's "dairy" needs or just some of them? How much formula would you want to use? Whatever the answer, you absolutely want to check periodically for lipase. Your milk should be fine stored with other items in the deep freeze. Just don't throw a dripping raw chicken on top of your stored milk and everything should be fine!

    Any time you remove milk from the breast, by nursing, pumping, or hand expression, you boost your prolactin level. The higher your prolactin level, the lower your estrogen level. They lower your estrogen level, the less likely it is that you will have a fertile cycle. So yes, that one additional hand expression session could be keeping your fertility away. But I don't think it's particularly likely. No matter what the experience in your circle of moms has been, the average time until return of fertility for a mom who is nursing is about 15.5 months. 6 months is actually fairly early to have your cycle back, and you should not expect at at this point. You mentioned that you are nursing 5x per day and expressing once. That seems like very little nursing for an 8 month old baby. Is the relatively infrequent nursing your baby's idea, or have you tried to put her on a schedule?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Freezer stash for future weaning plans

    Thanks for all your help MommaL Sorry for the late reply, I locked myself out a couple times and the realised you sign in up the top of the screen (probably shouldn't admit that - makes me sound a bit blonde).
    I'm hoping to meet at least 2 weeks of her dairy needs, which really doesn't sound like much. I'm going roughly by 600ml per day, but I've heard it can be up to 1 litre (this is once she's over 1).
    No nursing schedule, but she's usually around 3 hourly, sometimes more, sometimes less. She's recently dropped her 930pm feed too, so she has a pretty decent sleep at night. What would be a usual amount of feeds for an 8mo?
    That's good to know about the 15.5 months for a return to fertility. I wish it were sooner but at least I won't be burning through my opks and getting frustrated that my body isn't ovulating yet! I think I just have super fertile friends, lol.
    I'll make sure I keep checking for lipase too. I'm starting to get a bit precious about my stash and would be very upset if I found a big portion was unusable!!
    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Freezer stash for future weaning plans

    Usual number of feeds for an 8 month old would be in the 6-10 range. In the US- and I'm guessing you're in the UK?- the recommendation is that breastmilk be the baby's primary source of nutrition until around the first birthday, which generally means that the baby needs to nurse at least 8 times a day, with many babies nursing far more than that.

    That 15.5 month figure is just an average. Some nursing moms will get their periods back within a few weeks or months of birth, many will go many months without a fertile cycle, the absolute average breastfeeding mom will get her cycle back at around 15.5 months (and she will still be nursing at this time!), and some moms will go longer than that, with a few not getting their fertility back until the baby is completely weaned.

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