So you finally have got into the breastfeeding groove, yay! Your baby is latching, your milk is flowing, and it is finally time to start working on building up that freezer stash. Finding the time to pump on top of caring for your little one can be super time consuming. If you are anything like me, the thought of being hooked up to the pump multiple times a day just seems completely unappealing. That’s okay though I found a super easy and convenient way to build up your freezer stash without wasting any extra time during your day!
So let’s first go over why you would even want a stash and how to keep it, then we will get into the nitty gritty of actually collecting the breast milk!
Why build a freezer stash in the first place?
There are so many good reasons to have a freezer stash of breast milk:
- To have milk readily available for when you are away from your baby
- So your spouse can help feeding your baby
- To have on hand in case you experience a drop in your supply
- To have on hand in case you get sick and require medications that are unsafe while breastfeeding
- To mix into cereal or other foods when you first start introducing solids
- To mix with cows milk or other milk to slowly transition off breast milk
If you are a breastfeeding mom or planning to breastfeed you need to check out my post on HOW TO SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS BREASTFEEDING.
How should I store my Freezer stash of breast milk?
There are a few different options to store your breast milk in either plastic containers, glass containers, or bags. Personally, I like to store mine in bags as they freeze nice and flat and are easy to stack so they don’t take up much room. I also love this handy container to keep my freezer organized.
How long can I keep frozen breast milk?
In a regular freezer breastmilk can be kept for up to 9 months if stored correctly and at the back of the freezer.
In a deep freezer breast milk can be stored for up to 12 months.
How Do I use Frozen Breast milk?
Thankfully this is pretty simple! Remove the breast milk and let it thaw in the refrigerator or set container/ bag in warm water to thaw.
Once thawed, store in the refrigerator and use within 24 hours.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s get into the good stuff and get you building your stash the easy way. You won’t have to waste any extra time during your day either.
The easiest way to build your freezer stash
When I first started breastfeeding, I noticed that every time my baby would latch I would leak milk ON BOTH SIDES. After soaking through multiple breast pads a day I realized I was wasting so much milk.
As a breastfeeding mom, we all know how important that liquid gold was so it practically killed me to see it just being thrown out all the time. That is where I came up with these tips to collect extra breast milk and build up my freezer stash!
Use a Haakaa
This little silicone miracle worker totally changed my life when it came to making a freezer stash. Seriously, it’s the best! Just put it on while you breastfeed and it collects all the milk you would have wasted. Yes, it is that easy! I would get 3-4oz per feed with this on. Now think of how often you feed a newborn in one day – that is a ton of milk!
Use milk catchers
So I don’t know about you but often I would get random milk let downs when I wasn’t breastfeeding. If I even thought about my daughter or heard her cry – yep, leaking milk. The milk pads were great at catching it so it wasn’t a huge deal but again, wasted liquid gold. So I started using milk savers. They are basically little catchers that you wear in your bra that catch milk. I was getting about 6 ounces/day from these little guys!
Maintain or Increase your supply
If your supply is low, you are going to have an awfully hard time getting enough milk to feed your baby and then freeze some. But don’t worry there are some simple things you can do to increase your supply that won’t waste your entire day:
- Drink a TON of water – water bottles help!
- Eat Foods that help with supply (oatmeal, smoothies, lactation cookies)
- Make sure you are getting enough calories
- Skin to skin contact and lots of it!!
- Make sure your baby latches correctly during feeds (THIS post tells you what to look for)
- Make sure your baby empties your breast completely during feeds
- Talk to your healthcare provider about supplements if your supply is low
- Relax!! being stressed can actually lower your supply
- Increase the demand for milk if your supply is low (breastfeed more or add in pumping)
That’s a Wrap!
There you have it! Very simple tips you can implement to build and store your breast milk freezer stash without tying yourself up all day.
Do you have any tips to build a breast milk freezer stash? I would love to hear them in the comments below!