Best Breast Milk Storage Bags For Keeping You Milk (2018 Guide)
Let's face it: breastfeeding is awesome, but it's time consuming. So, I can’t think of anything more frustrating than when you’ve pumped and pumped, and you’ve had to dump out milk because it has gone bad.
Part of the reason the milk becomes unusable is because it wasn’t stored properly. As a new nursing mom, I quickly learned the ropes when it came to making sure I was efficient with my milk and I used only the best stuff available to keep my milk fresh and full of nutrients for my son.
Read on to learn all about breastmilk storage bags, why you need them, and some tips for keeping your milk safe and superior.
What Are Breast Milk Storage Bags?
Not all moms nurse directly at all times. Some moms choose to pump their milk, and store it to be used at a later time from a bottle—this could mean the milk is placed in the refrigerator for immediate use, or put in the freezer for later use.
Breast milk storage bags are pre-sterilized bags that can hold various amounts of milk. They are BPA free, so you know that your milk is being kept in something safe when it comes in contact with your baby. And, they are easy to seal up, store, and pour out when it’s feeding time.
They should not leak, and they should preserve all the essential goodness that breast milk has to offer your baby. Each bag should be used only once, and you may think that not being able to reuse the bags will become costly (don’t even try to wash them out!).
Luckily, there are some great bags on the market that are not only easily to fill and seal, but are also very affordable!
Breast Milk Storing Tips
Now that you are aware of some awesome storage bags, here are some helpful storing tips that may help you stay organized and make the most out of your milk.
Stay clean. Before expressing or pumping milk, your hands should be washed thoroughly. You don’t want to track germs or bacteria into your milk.
Store in small batches. Some moms go on a pumping tangent, but they end up not using all of the milk within a certain time frame because the batches that they pump out are too large. It’s always best to go for smaller amounts so not a single drop gets wasted!
Always keep it cold. Don’t wait to put your milk in the fridge. The longer it sits out, the less fresh it is. Pop it in the fridge immediately to stay on the safe side, pushing it toward the back of the fridge (optimal temperature for storage is about 39 degrees Fahrenheit).
Freeze it wisely. You should only be putting breast milk in the freezer if you know it will not be used within 24 hours or so. Also, keep in mind that your milk will expand, so be mindful not to fill the storage bags all the way to the top if you know you’re going to pop them in the freezer toward the back.
Develop a system. Many moms can’t open their fridge and see bags of milk everywhere. Many develop some kind of organizational system to stack or lay the bags neatly. They also use a permanent marker to label/date when the milk was expressed or pumped to ensure the milk is nothing but fresh and safe to serve.
Know when to toss it. Milk shouldn’t be used any later than 4 hours if you’re keeping it out at room temperature, or more than 4 days when kept in the fridge. Milk that is frozen is good to go up to 9 months. Anything later than that, it’s time to toss it!
How To Thaw Frozen Milk
Many new nursing moms have hesitations about freezing their milk. Trust me, if you have a high quality storage bag (like the ones reviewed above), you don’t have to worry about freezer burn, leaks, or low quality of your milk. When you are ready to use your frozen milk, you can thaw it out in a few different ways!
Go for the oldest first. You want to date every bag that you place in the fridge or freezer. And, when thawing out milk, always choose from the oldest milk first. This will ensure you won’t waste any that you pumped.
Place it in the fridge. Many moms simply plan ahead and place a frozen milk storage bag in the fridge overnight. This way, it’s ready to go the next morning when you need it! Just be sure to give yourself at least 12 hours for it to defrost.
Dunk it in warm water. I had a few friends who would place a bag in a cup of warm water, allowing it to thaw out slowly, but effectively.
Place it in a bottle warmer. Total disclaimer! You have to thoroughly read your bottle warmer’s instructions. If it allows you to thaw out a milk storage bag, then go for it! Some will and some will not. This is a quick and easy way to thaw out frozen milk.
Best Breast Milk Storage Bags
Probably the most popular option with parents, Lansinoh’s Breast Milk Storage Bags (click here to check the price on Amazon) are generally sold in bulk and are completely BPA and BPS free, so you can always have peace of mind that your milk is coming in contact with completely safe plastic.
The bags are a great alternative for parents who don’t have a lot of fridge or freezer space (bottles take up a lot of room!) and want something more compact. Each bag is also pre-sterilized so you know that your milk will always be of the highest quality for your tot. The bags are easy to carry, easy to handle, and easy to fill.
If you choose to freeze them, all you have to do is place the bags under warm tap water to defrost the milk. Every bag is puncture resistant, so you know you have something durable and strong on your hands (the last thing you need is a leak!). The set comes with a special dispenser, so the bags also stay organized and are simple to store and access.
Parents also love that the bags have a patented click and secure feature that eliminates leaks and ensures not a drop of milk goes to waste!
Another great baby brand, NUK features sturdy and superior breast milk bags with their Seal 'n Go brand (click here to check the price on Amazon).
Designed to be very strong, the bags can be used in the fridge or freezer. They are 100% leak proof as they feature double zipper seals (which helps eliminate the risk of freezer burn).
Each bag is self-standing so you can position them as you please to accommodate space in your cooling unit, and you can rest assured that when you place the open bag on your counter top that it won’t topple over and spill.
The bags also have an oxygen barrier that allows your milk to remain very fresh and filled with nutrients until you are ready to use each bag. Every bag comes pre-sterilized for safety, so you don’t have to waste time washing or cleaning them before filling.
All bags have easy to read lines which help you fill it to a desired level and it holds approximately 6 ounces maximum. Simply toss the bag after using it, it’s that simple and easy.
#3. Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags
Medala is a name parents can trust when it comes to babies and breastfeeding, and they offer easy to fill and store breast milk bags (click here to check the price on Amazon).
Simply pump or pour your milk directly into each bag. They have an easy to connect adaptor for Medela breast pumps, making sure every last drop of your milk gets placed and stored successfully in the bag. Each bag boasts an oxygen barrier so you know your milk is being preserved and protected.
They come with an easy to close zipper top, and because the bottom allows each bag to stand up on its own, you don’t have to worry about spills and unsteady bags on your countertop or in your fridge.
The bags are BPA free and have easy to read lines so you can fill each bag as you desire based on your baby’s needs.
Dr. Brown understands the needs or nursing and bottle fed babies. So, their bags (click here to check the price on Amazon) are designed with nothing but convenience and ease in mind.
All bags are self-standing, so you can count on them not spilling your milk. They are also clearly labeled for accurate measuring, and are pre-sterilized for ultimate cleanliness and safety.
Parents love that there is also a space for them to write on the bag so they can date when the milk was expressed in order to ensure nothing but freshness for their child. Don’t fret about spills on the go, or within your cooling unit because each bag has a double zip feature.
Parents also remark about how high quality they feel the bags are because they are ultra-thick and feel very sturdy to the touch. Each bag can be thawed by rinsing them under a stream of warm water, or by placing them in a bottle warming device (just be sure to read your warmer’s instructions).
The world of breastfeeding can be new, frustrating, and even confusing at times to new moms. One thing that will really help you enjoy giving your baby breastmilk is using the right storage bags.
It makes life a whole lot easier, the process of nursing more enjoyable, and it gives you total peace of mind that your baby is getting a fresh, safe, and nutrient packed drink each and every time, whether you’ve placed your milk in the refrigerator or the freezer.