Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Pumping/Freezing Question

So I'm finally at the point where I feel like I have a little time to pump, plenty of milk so why not start freezing some for that futuristic night where I get to sleep all night & Steve can get up & feed August. I have some storage bags & a deep freezer but I've never done this. So, ladies - how much milk do you store in each bag? What's a good amount? I usually just have enough time to pump for a few minutes - about 3-4oz...the bags don't say how much they hold but are gradiated (is that the right word?) to 6oz. Does that seem like a good amount? I've never used frozen breast milk so don't know how it is when you thaw it etc. Any advice would be appreciated.


Cello Mama said...

I found I was better off freezing smaller amounts. For one, smaller amounts thaw faster, so they are easier to get ready. I also found I had less waste, because if Pete got a bottle ready and they wouldn't take it, it was just 2-3 oz, not 6-8.

From what I've read, antibodies in the milk stick to the bags more than rigid plastic containers. When Kate was briefly in daycare, I used plastic containers to avoid this. With Elizabeth, I figured since she took a bottle so seldom it didn't make much difference. I liked the Lansinoh bags best. They seemed to seal up well and Pete said they were pretty easy to work with in terms of pouring, etc.

Cello Mama said...

As I've thought about it, I did have a few larger bottles frozen for when it had to totally replace a feeding. Pete never did night feedings, but would do a bottle before bed when I was at orchestra. If I nursed right before I left he would just do a few ounces. If I didn't have time, then he would take out a bigger bottle. Even my big ones were usually 5oz or so tops.

Sarita said...

Ditto Laurie. I freeze about 4 oz in a bag, simply because it is faster to defrost in an "emergency", and so we didn't waste a ton if they aren't very hungry. I like the lansinoh bags too.

This quick reference card from is great.

Once I go back to work, we'll use the milk I pump the next day, so I won't do much freezing anymore.

Gina said...

Yep. Freeze in amounts you think you will use up; nothing sadder than having to throw away hard-won breastmilk if they don't drink it. I pumped for over a year for work, but didn't have a deep freeze so never had a huge supply; just used the milk from that work day for the next day.

Remember that anytime you skip a regular feeding (overnight, etc) you likely have to pump or will be rather uncomfortable, or risk decreasing milk supply. Pumping and stored milk is great for times away, but then you pretty much have to pump when you are away to keep things moving along. La Leche League online or Kelly Mom online are great resources. Good luck!

J. said...

Highly recommend this! Agree lansinoh bags were best in small amounts. When the kids started going to bed and sleeping through the night, I kept the 10-11 pm feeding by pumping. It is a precious commodity, that's for sure...I just found an old bag the other day still in the freezer. Is it sad that I didn't throw it away (yes, nostalgia, but also need to coordinate with the garbage pick up)

carrster said...

Thanks for all the great comments! I have the Lansinoh bags (leftover from Dahlia - leftover from the triplets...)....I will plan on doing about 3-4oz - perfect!

feisty said...

I would freeze 4 to 6 oz in one bag. Big-E quickly wanted 6 oz at a the 6 oz bags were nice too. remember to thaw them in warm water (NOT the microwave, as i read it can kill antibodies or something)

remember to be careful with the bags so that nothing spills!!! glad that you are having success and the milk is plentiful!!! will save sooo much money on formula!

Holly said...

i'm a little late to the party (was up your way this weekend). as you know, all i did was pump and freeze, pump and freeze for 5 freaking months. Of course, Claire never breast fed so we're a bit odd and did end up freezing in larger amounts. We used the biggest bags for when she was older. We had a deep freeze specifically for milk so we could stash it for a much longer period.

the lansinoh bags worked the best and I experimented with some of the cheaper options but the seals just didn't work well. Nor did they stand up as well when I was transfering from the bottle to the bag.

good luck!