Pumping or expressing can be an excellent choice if you want to provide breast milk as nourishment for your infant but can’t always be there to breastfeed them. According to the CDC, you can store fresh breast milk up to four hours on a counter, up to four days in the fridge, and up to six months (or even a year) in the freezer under proper conditions. Storing breast milk is a highly personal choice, and there are multiple ways you can do so safely. Here are four solutions to help you design a plan that works for you.
Affordable storage-only bags Amazon
If you prefer to pump or express milk into a bottle and then transfer it to a storage bag if needed, these BPA-free bags are a quality choice. Each bag holds about 6 ounces and is designed to stand upright in your fridge or freezer. You can also lay them flat if you’d like to stack them. When you are ready to use one, cut off the top with a pair of scissors to access the inside of the bag, which has been pre-sealed to keep it sterile.
Pump directly into the bag with an adapter. Amazon
You’ll pay more for the option of pumping directly into these storage bags, but saving a step can help you conserve valuable time as you adjust to life with your infant. Purchase an adapter for the type of pump you use, and connect the adapter to your bag by twisting it to the cap. The threaded cap helps protect against leakage and the BPA-free and phthalate-free bags are pre-sterilized. You can also use an adapter to add a nipple to the pouch to turn it into a bottle for your little one.
4.7-ounce and 9-ounce sizes. Amazon
If you would like to wash and reuse your breast milk storage containers, these plastic wide-mouth bottles can go in the top rack of your dishwasher. They’re compatible with various Avent and Spectra breast pumps, shields, nipples, and caps for both storage and feedings. You can write on the silicone top with a ballpoint pen or dry erase marker to keep track of freshness or give information to a caregiver—and then “erase” for future use with soapy water.
Works with multiple pumps. Amazon
If you wish to minimize the use of plastic for your infant, the body of these six-ounce storage bottles is glass and the lids are BPA-free. The food-grade borosilicate glass containers can be boiled for sterilization (only when empty). The wide-neck is compatible with pumps including Spectra and Philips models, and this set of six comes with a converter for use with narrow-neck pumps. You can also turn these storage bottles into feeding bottles with certain types of nipples. Please note that if you are freezing breast milk, you cannot store more than 5 ounces in each bottle due to expansion.