I will be getting back to work in a month’s time. That means I will be away from baby for hours on end. Exclusive direct feeding is no longer an option. Time to start storing some liquid gold.
Expressing breast milk is not something new to me as I have been pumping milk with my second child. I found manual breast pump most efficient for me. I particularly like Avent. Purchasing breast pumps locally is pretty expensive, with items retailing at double to 3x the prices in the U.S. Good thing hubby went to Chicago last August and we were able to purchase all baby products online (thank you Amazon Prime trial period). In addition to manual pump, I also purchased electric double pump which I plan to use in the office, to save time. For travel and home use, the manual pump is the champ. It is compact and very effective in extracting milk.
Properly storing breast milk is very important in order to preserve its nutritional value. Of course, fresh milk is best. However, I would like to store as much milk as I can so that when I no longer have milk, I can continue providing baby my breast milk. If done correctly, frozen milk can last up to one year!
Frugal Way of Storing Milk
Freezing breast milk is a breeze. But it can get pretty expensive, even if you use those pre-sterilized breastmilk storage bags. I initially used Lansinoh storage bags. They’re really good: thick and has double zip locks that seals the milk in. It costs around $0.14 per bag. Pretty reasonable, right? Actually, it can be pretty expensive considering that I may be storing hundreds and hundreds of bags (fingers crossed) for the next two years.
An alternative, one which I actually prefer, is to buy nursing liners and seal the bag with a heavy duty sealer. It costs way much cheaper at around $0.07 per bag. I bought mine cheaper because of a sale.
Initially, I was not space conscious, so I simply sealed the bags and put them in the freezer. As the milk accumulates, however, I realized I need to store the milk efficiently so they can all fit in the freezer.
Best way to save space is to squeeze excess air from the bags and lay them flat to freeze. This will prevent bags from bulging, which makes stacking difficult. Once the milk is frozen, stack the bags neatly into a single pile. This is also a great way to ship breast milk since stacked frozen milk stays frozen longer.