Breast Milk Storage

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Jenni Beth's picture
Joined: 03/03/11
Posts: 1407
Breast Milk Storage

I don't know if any of you other mama's have to pump like I do because of work...but I have been researching products to store my milk and this is the one I have chosen. I thought I would share, just in case anyone else is looking for something similar.

I chose this because:
1. I like the rack you can put in your refrigerator to make sure first in comes first out
2. You can attach it to any pump
3. You can attach any standard nipple to it
4. The containers can be frozen
5. You can go from pump, fridge/freezer, to feeding baby without transferring containers
6. It seems easy enough so it won't overwhelm dad
7. You can buy extra containers as you need them (it already comes with TEN!)

http://www.mothersmilkmate.com/

Nikerz20's picture
Joined: 04/18/09
Posts: 673

Jenni they look like such a great idea for working mums!

We will be using the freezer storage bags, as I only see myself pumping once a day.

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

That looks pretty cool. I think I'll probably just go with the Nuk bags though. Early on I try to get a decent stash - at least with Evan I way WAY over produced early on. So we're hoping to get a chest freezer anyway so in the 12 weeks I'm home I'm hoping to put away 100oz or so in the deep freeze. Then I just rotate. Whatever I over-pump I freeze and whatever I use I take out of the freezer to rotate through so I don't waste anything. I just use the Nuk bags freezing about 4oz a bag and I label them by date so I can keep track. And I learned the hard way (b/c I'm a dope!) to freeze them LAYING down to take up less space LOL

Jenni Beth's picture
Joined: 03/03/11
Posts: 1407

It looked simple enough for Matt to be able to use. That was priority #1! Biggrin

lily0624's picture
Joined: 03/21/07
Posts: 591

did you buy it already? if so, hold off on opening it until the baby is here. i spent oodles of money on pumps and storage stuff and i think i pumped like 3 times before giving up. i exclusively breastfed instead - no bottles or anything (by the time i wanted him to take a bottle he refused! little stinker)

wait til you have a better feel of all that before buying or opening packages. just my opinion though!!

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

If you work like I do (and I think Jenni) you have to pump.....Evan was never huge on the bottle he ate minimally when I was gone but he did eat and I had to pump regardless or I'd have been exploding all over the office LOL

sweetsriracha's picture
Joined: 03/29/11
Posts: 1318

How neat, Jenni. Thanks for sharing the fruits of your research - seems like a pretty cost effective option, too!

Jenni Beth's picture
Joined: 03/03/11
Posts: 1407

Yes, I will have no choice but to go back to work full time. So I have to pump. I wish I could take a whole year off but I just simply can't go that long without insurance and we can't make it off just Matt's income. I will make BFing and pumping work. I'm super determined! Biggrin

I'm obsessive about finding "the best" products, as you can probably tell with my "Bottle" thread. Biggrin I do enjoy reading reviews and such about different things and trying to determine the best, most cost effective option.

lil96's picture
Joined: 03/27/06
Posts: 573

looks pretty neat, but I am a bit skeptical. Mainly because I had a can dispenser once and after a while it was annoying Lol but maybe because I was trying to put 12 cans in at a time, where as pumping it would be 1 maybe 2 bottles at a time. after you use it, you will have to give us a review of it!

Joined: 11/01/07
Posts: 650

"Jenni Beth" wrote:

Yes, I will have no choice but to go back to work full time. So I have to pump. I wish I could take a whole year off but I just simply can't go that long without insurance and we can't make it off just Matt's income. I will make BFing and pumping work. I'm super determined! Biggrin

I'm obsessive about finding "the best" products, as you can probably tell with my "Bottle" thread. Biggrin I do enjoy reading reviews and such about different things and trying to determine the best, most cost effective option.

Jenni-looks like a great find. I came back to work after 12 weeks (and will this time) and pumped til DS was 14 months. You sound determined and you will be able to do it! From my experience you may want to buy some of the freezer bags as a back up. They will be a bit cheaper and if you pump before you go back to work you can deep freeze it for up to 12 months! I pumped alot of milk before I returned to work and had a good supply. Another tip...buy your pump as late as you can before birth, most only have a 12 month warranty (at least that was the case 3 yrs ago)

sugspop's picture
Joined: 02/22/07
Posts: 1418

I will be pumping again too, after I go back to work! I am so happy that I get 3 months off this time though, instead of 6 weeks. I'm pretty sure I have a bunch of medela bags leftover from DS, So I will start with those but will definitely refer back to this when I run out!

brady_bunch_plus_one's picture
Joined: 11/27/04
Posts: 399

Looks simple.I pumped exclusivley with my daughter.I actually nursed her for a few months then stopped and we had horrible trouble with the formula so I actually went throught he process of relactating to be able to give her BM.She refused to latch back on after a month on the bottle so I pumped.And it was HELL! But I did it for about 6 months.I found since I was the one doing most of her feeds anyways the gerber bags worked well for us.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

**lurker** looks cool I nursed and pumped while working full time thru four kids-- if you are determined you can do it!

I liked the Avent Via system-- same general idea (pumping straight into the containers and they go from pump to freezer to bottle without pouring milk...) GL!

MelanieP's picture
Joined: 09/25/09
Posts: 882

Looks great!!! I am sure it will all work out for you guys!

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I pumped with DD because I had to return to work after just two weeks, but I'm hoping that I'll just be able to be a SAHM with this baby so I won't have to worry about pumping... fingers crossed lol!

Jenni Beth's picture
Joined: 03/03/11
Posts: 1407

"Starryblue702" wrote:

I pumped with DD because I had to return to work after just two weeks, but I'm hoping that I'll just be able to be a SAHM with this baby so I won't have to worry about pumping... fingers crossed lol!

TWO WEEKS?! Holy cow.

I'm taking 6 (MAYBE Dirol weeks. I so wish I could stay home with him longer.

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

*lurker*

I BF’d exclusively with DS1, introduced a bottle (expressed BM) way too late (but it worked), and then when I went back to work I pumped 2-3 times a day. Everything was great.

Then DD came along, and I was worried we’d have trouble – and we did. From day 1 she was very opinionated and stubborn (still is unsurprisingly!). I tried to do everything right. We never had any luck with a bottle – never. And I was determined and so was DH (nothing like having a baby that won’t eat for 10 hours straight to make you determined to try to get her to eat!). She never took a bottle. I pumped for a while because it was obvious that she was hungry, but we just couldn’t get much into her. DH and I tried bottles of about 15 different sorts, syringe feeding, cup feeding, and about 10 other things. He finally managed to get her to drink from a cup at about 7.5 months, but it was very inefficient and she wouldn’t drink more than about 1-2oz in the whole day (and it would take hours). I ended up not pumping long (which was really nice because it’s such a pain), and DD would just attack me when I got home.

So, I guess that’s the long way of saying, sometimes even the most determined parent can’t convince a baby to take a bottle! Wait until baby takes a bottle consistently before opening up the storage system (looks great)!

Another thing, I found that the NUK bags were really nice because they thawed a LOT faster than a bottle. There few things more frustrating than trying desperately to thaw milk while baby is screaming their head off because they suddenly realized how hungry they are.

JuneorJulyBaby?'s picture
Joined: 10/20/08
Posts: 2479

:lurk:

That looks really nice but I just wanted to let you know the Dr. Brown's bottles also fit Medela breast pump horns and you can do the same thing with them, esentially you are just paying for the storage rack.

brady_bunch_plus_one's picture
Joined: 11/27/04
Posts: 399

"JuneorJulyBaby?" wrote:

:lurk:

That looks really nice but I just wanted to let you know the Dr. Brown's bottles also fit Medela breast pump horns and you can do the same thing with them, esentially you are just paying for the storage rack.

I could be wrong but I think the storage rack is one of the main reasons she is choosing this.She wants to make sure the oldest milk is used first and this will help make sure that happens. ( not knocking your opinion just pointing out I think that is something she feels is benefical to her) The rack would prevent a sitter from just grabbing a bottle of milk not really paying attention.I could be wrong but I think most regular mouth bottles will attach to the medla pump as well.

mellen's picture
Joined: 08/11/10
Posts: 43

I used Lansinoh bags. They are special zip lock type bags. I would freeze them flat in sheets and date them. Then i would store them upright in a small plastic box with the oldest ones in front. They were super easy to thaw and didn't take up too much space. Freezing and thawing in a container takes a lot longer and is a real pita. Tried ice cubes with a similar result. At one point I had 100s of ounces in the deep freeze and it was the only way to go.

OliveOly's picture
Joined: 08/03/08
Posts: 158

I pumped for an extensive time after DS and have a medula double breast pump which I absolutly LOVE and pumped into bottles and than the leftovers each day I put into medula bags and froze. I also used the Lan...bags, I liked the medula bc they had a sticky part that attached to the pump and I could pump directly into it and than freeze. It was confusing to determine which bottle was the "freshest" and I used post it note labels with the date. I saw in my parents or family fun magazine that Medula now has bottle caps for their bottles that can be dialed to the day so you know which bottle to use first.
I actually donated almost 13 gallons of breastmilk after it was all said and done. I just could not throw it away i worked hard to make, pump, and store the BM. There is a company out in CA that concentrates BM done into a formula for babies in the NICU.

ourfirstblessing's picture
Joined: 01/07/07
Posts: 1094

:lurker:

i think the system looks really cool but i too would wait to open it until you get to know your pumping and your babies eating habits. I pumped quite a bit (even though I stayed home) so I would be gone a little bit here and there and dh could do feeds. Both of my kids early on only took about 2oz feedings every few hrs. If you freeze the full 4 oz in the bottle and then heat it all up, all 4 oz has to be used or tossed. so, dh will still have to thaw the whole bottle and dump it into a diff. bottle to heat it up so you don't waste any of your precious stash (did i make sense lol?) If your pumping while at work and working on getting a stash rather than just keeping up with babies needs you are likely going to need qutie a bit more than 10 bottles (just a thought)

With ds1 i pumped while we were trying to figure out some feeding/reflux/allregy issues and had over 100oz (with him nursing) within a month, so for me, having the bags rather than bottles worked better. You can freeze the bags laying flat, date them and then place them in a gift bag (they are perfect size) with a slit cut in the bottom so the oldest goes in first and comes out first. you still thaw the whole bag but just need to use within 24 hrs. here's the video that someone shared with me that i went off of

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4nr7hxToiY

whatever you chose, it's great that you researching and figuring out what will work best :). my dh is pretty clueless and was able to do the milk bags pretty easily.

also, i would highly suggest a steam warmer like this http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Deluxe-Bottle-Pacifier-Cleaning/dp/B00186ZQUO/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1311013152&sr=8-5 it warms with steam and is much faster than heating up water and placing the bottle in the water yadda, yadda. sorry i got long winded Smile

Jenni Beth's picture
Joined: 03/03/11
Posts: 1407

"ourfirstblessing" wrote:

:lurker:

i think the system looks really cool but i too would wait to open it until you get to know your pumping and your babies eating habits. I pumped quite a bit (even though I stayed home) so I would be gone a little bit here and there and dh could do feeds. Both of my kids early on only took about 2oz feedings every few hrs. If you freeze the full 4 oz in the bottle and then heat it all up, all 4 oz has to be used or tossed. so, dh will still have to thaw the whole bottle and dump it into a diff. bottle to heat it up so you don't waste any of your precious stash (did i make sense lol?) If your pumping while at work and working on getting a stash rather than just keeping up with babies needs you are likely going to need qutie a bit more than 10 bottles (just a thought)

With ds1 i pumped while we were trying to figure out some feeding/reflux/allregy issues and had over 100oz (with him nursing) within a month, so for me, having the bags rather than bottles worked better. You can freeze the bags laying flat, date them and then place them in a gift bag (they are perfect size) with a slit cut in the bottom so the oldest goes in first and comes out first. you still thaw the whole bag but just need to use within 24 hrs. here's the video that someone shared with me that i went off of

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4nr7hxToiY

whatever you chose, it's great that you researching and figuring out what will work best :). my dh is pretty clueless and was able to do the milk bags pretty easily.

also, i would highly suggest a steam warmer like this http://www.amazon.com/Munchkin-Deluxe-Bottle-Pacifier-Cleaning/dp/B00186ZQUO/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1311013152&sr=8-5 it warms with steam and is much faster than heating up water and placing the bottle in the water yadda, yadda. sorry i got long winded Smile

Thanks for the advice! I don't think I'm going to go with the bags just because I don't trust my guy to not spill any. Handling a bottle would be so much easier for him. We also don't have a deep freezer and I'm reluctant to put my milk in our regular freezer since it gets opened so much (Matt is addicted to Lean Pockets and eats them every day!). I know it is best to store the milk when it stays at a constant temp. We'll see how it goes. I have high hopes that this will work for us!

I do have a steam warmer on my registry and hope I get one! I used one when I baby sat an infant and it was awesome.

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

I liked having a stash in my freezer -- it was helpful especially towards the year mark when I stopped pumping enough for him. I didn't have a deep freeze though so I just laid down bags at the back of my freezer, dated them clearly and rotated them so we always used the last in first. Early on I way over produced and would have 4+ oz every work day left over and it's dump or freeze so I froze it (he didn't take bottles at all if I was home so if I had extra there was no use for it). Then by like 10-11 months I would be 2-4oz short every work day so that stash paid off. I never had a problem if I was home but I made it that long and I was glad not to have to use formula on work days (not that it would have been horrible or anything I was just glad to not have to stress to pump enough every day and still feed BM). Just odds and ends to think about - really every mom has to figure out what works for them and sometimes the best plans get all totally changed when reality hits! I for one had no plans for BF'ing I didn't know if I'd like it I simply thought it was dumb to pay for formula when my body made better stuff for free LOL So I decided to try it but didn't even own a pump b/c I wasn't sure I'd stick with it. Evan weaned at 14 months and mostly b/c I wanted to get preg again and my body was wonky while nursing when it came to ovulating Smile

Jenni Beth's picture
Joined: 03/03/11
Posts: 1407

I have a feeling I'll end up having to freeze too, Katie. I want to make sure I have enough pumped so Matt can feed him while I'm at work. We're fortunate to only need a sitter one day a week. I so wish I was able to take a year off and stay home. I've heard that some of those bags can leach nutrients out of breast milk though so I'm wary of them.

kmm123's picture
Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1839

One day a week is nice! We do daycare 3 days a week. Evan didn't go until he was 9 months though. This baby will go at 3 months Sad Sigh. I'm lucky it's only 3 days but I wish I could take a year too. I haven't done a ton of research on storage and nutrients....I kind of operated on the theory that MOST of his milk came directly from me so on the three work days it would be ok.....maybe that was just me making myself feel better!! I like my daycare and they will both only go 20-24 hours a week total...and I do like my job and the balance of having both but it's so hard sometimes!