If you are looking to build a breast milk freezer stash, it is important to learn the guidelines on storing breast milk in the freezer. When you first start breastfeeding and pumping, it can be overwhelming. I have been there, mama.
In this article you will find:
- Quick tips on storing breast milk in the freezer.
- How to increase breast milk supply to start saving more milk.
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Quick Tips for Storing Breast Milk in the Freezer
When you first start breastfeeding you should also begin pumping.
Now, in the beginning you aren’t going to yield very much because your body is just beginning this wonderful process. But it won’t take long before your body is in overdrive and you have lots of milk on your hands. No need to feel overwhelmed.
When storing breast milk in the freezer: it is important to date AND time the bags.
This is because the milk you pump in the morning will have more foremilk than the milk pumped later in the day. You need to later mix them together to create a more balanced meal for your baby.
You don’t want your baby to get a whole bottle of foremilk, unknowingly. It will cause gassiness, fussiness and excessive spit ups.
Remember the 5-5-5 rule.
When you immediately pump, that breast milk is good at room temperature for 5 hours. You will then need to have it refrigerated or on ice packs.
Breast milk can be kept in the refrigerator for 5 days. It is typically recommended to allow room temperature breast milk to get refrigerated before adding it to other refrigerated milk.
And the final “5” is the freezer. Breast milk can be kept in a standard freezer (meaning not a deep freezer) for up to 5 months.
5-5-5 is the easy way to remember it!
Stock up on Lansinoh Breast milk Storage Bags (view on Amazon).
This is probably the most popular brand to use and for good reason. The quality and double ziplock seal keeps your precious breast milk safe for months in the freezer. The capacity for each bag is 6oz.
My favorite part of these bags is they can stand upright so this makes filling them easier, or if you want to store them in the refrigerator that way. They also promote the “easy pour spout” which can be helpful, but I do still use a funnel when pouring into bottles.
Use a breast pump flange as a funnel when pouring your milk into the bags.
This makes for easy pouring and low risk for spilling. Also one less dish to wash than if you used a regular funnel.
Use these plastic storage containers from Amazon (view) to keep your bags organized in the freezer.
The Lansinoh bags fit perfectly in them, holding about 13 bags. They are actually ice cube bins that I discovered a better purpose for! I was on the hunt for a better way to keep all of my breast milk organized and when I came across these I was super excited!
When you want to use a frozen bag of breast milk, you simply take one out and refrigerate it overnight.
Or if you need it sooner put the bag in a bowl of warm water. It really only takes about 7 minutes to thaw!
How to Start Storing Breast Milk in the Freezer
Building your breast milk stash is hard work. Once you start to see your supply get bigger and bigger it feels so rewarding to look at it and say, “I did that!”.
Key tips to remember when storing breast milk in the freezer:
- Start pumping from day one
- Dating and timing storage bags is important
- 5-5-5 Rule for breast milk storage
I hope you found these quick tips helpful! Happy pumping, mama!
Have you tried out the storage containers I recommended? I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
- Breast Milk Freezer Stash: How to Pump and Save More Milk
- How to Increase Breast Milk Supply FAST!
- Tips to Pump More Breast Milk
- What to do when Your Milk Supply is Unequal
- Power Pumping
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