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Thread: Breast milk storage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Breast milk storage

    Hi,

    My baby is ten weeks old, and is doing a great job breastfeeding despite a little oversupply issue. I've been pumping a bottle per day, because I'll be going back to work soon and want him to keep drinking my milk. I've been storing it, though, in regular plastic bags, whihc I've read is not okay. Do I have to throw out that milk? It would be a waste, but I don't want to feed my baby something unsafe! Is it okay to feed him that milk, but start using special breast milk bags from now on? Before I start work, too, I want him to get used to taking a bottle.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Tonawanda, NY
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    I haven't done any research to determine whether or not regular plastic bags are safe, but I also don't think I would use them... Bags made specifically for breastmilk storage are sterile and I don't think your typical ZipLocks are. If I were in your shoes, I probably wouldn't feed that milk to my daughter simply because of that reason. I use the Lansinoh brand bags and they are great. I got some Avent brand bags in a gift set and I have yet to use them, but it seems they would work just as well.
    Lisa & David Est. 9/3/11
    Madeline 12/31/13

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    I have also read those regular bags are not good for storing milk. I'd definitely throw them out and start using sterile ones as what PP have mentioned. I'd rather waste the milk than risk my LO's health.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    Hi there! I won't weigh in one way or the other on whether you should throw that milk away. The thought of throwing milk away makes me physically ill! It's like liquid gold (unlike you I had an under supply issue the first 8-10 months). What I will say is this: a lot of moms have a conception that they need to have stored milk. I started work with very little stored milk. Thinking mathematically, you actually need just enough milk for day one. You send him to caregiver or wherever with that milk, and while you are away, you are pumping enough to replace that. And then you just send to to daycare next day with exactly what you pumped the day before, and so on. Baby and you figure out a system so that whatever he needs will be what you pump, and if it's not enough he'll be able to nurse plenty morning and evenings. At least that is how it worked for me. For a time I did galactalogues like fennugreek and goats rue but found that supply and demand really is the magic formula and to just add a nursing session or a pump if I'm not making enough. Good news is that it eventually should work out. A baby needs 1-1.5 ounces for every hour away, so 8 hours needs 8-12 ounces. I would err on the side of 12 ounces. And also read up on how to bottle feed a breastfed baby to talk with your caregiver. Lots of moms find their caregivers, while well-intentioned, claim they need WAY TOO much milk (my friend said her baby needed 20 ounces for an 8-9 hours period which is off the charts, and more of a formula type amount, but breast milk is super concentrated.)
    Having a freezer stash is nice but I found it just sat there and was only used if I dumped some milk accidentally or things got spoiled. I eventually had to "rotate stock" and now, with DS 17 months old, I still have a few bags and not sure what I'll do with them (milk-sicles? mom's yogurt?) The bad habit of getting into is using the milk when you don't make enough - i.e., dipping into freezer stash and then you are simply telling your body to make less milk when you so that, and thereby working yourself into a deeper hole.

    So anyway, if you do decide to toss the milk you have it won't set you back when starting work at all.

    Here's an article from mayo clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-li...e/art-20046350
    We , , , and with my little monkey, born 9/30/2012.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    Thank you all for your advice! Here's my problem: I live abroad, and have yet to find breast milk storage bags where I live. How many times can the bags be reused? I have family coming to visit soon and plan to have them bring me a stock, but I'm not sure how many to ask for. Can I just keep reusing the same bags time and time again? In any case, it sounds like I should indeed just toss the milk I've stored - and that will be fine, even if it is rough! Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    They are supposed to be single use only. Can you get a good supply of baby bottles to store your milk in? I know they take up more room in the freezer, but you can boil and reuse those. Like PP said you don't need a huge freezer stash, just enough to get through your first day back at work (I am trying to save up a little more than that in case I have supply issues, but not a ton).

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    Thanks! I've ordered some storage bottles, so should be set. It will be sad to throw out my stash of milk, but oh well! Thanks for all this advice!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Tonawanda, NY
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    You can buy both bottles and bags online if you want. I recommend Amazon.com.
    Lisa & David Est. 9/3/11
    Madeline 12/31/13

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    1,501

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    nevermind
    ~Sylvia~

    Wife to Nick, m. May 2005

    Mommy to Gabriel (b. January 2007, 8lbs. 15oz.), nursed 18 months.

    Isaac (b. August 2009, 9lbs. 1oz- naturally), nursed 22 months, through PPD/PPA and emergency gallbladder surgery.

    and Corban (b. March 2012, 11lbs. 6Oz.- naturally in the water), my NICU baby, still nursing strong at age 2!


    Daughter of God

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    171

    Default Re: Breast milk storage

    Good luck! Your LO will gradually take the bottle.

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