As a new mum, you may have a lot of questions about breastfeeding and storing breast milk. In this article, we’ll answer what you want to know about breast milk storage bags. We’ll also answer common questions most mothers have about storing breast milk. But first, let’s talk about our own innovative and clever Cherub Baby Thermo Sensor breast milk storage bags.
What You Need To Know About Breast Milk Storage Bags
Breast milk storage bags are a must buy for every parent looking for an easy solution to store, freeze, warm and serve breast milk to your baby. They are BPA and BPS free and come pre-sterilised so you can start using the breast milk storage bags straight away. Breast milk bags can be easily re-sterilised and re-used, saving you time and money.
With Ziplock technology the breast milk bags are leak proof and can be frozen, defrosted and sterilised again and again. Breast milk storage bags allow you to express and store breast milk at your leisure and convenience.
Another advantage is that some bags come with a thermosensor which is a clever indicator that lets you know when the milk is at the correct temperature to serve your baby.
But What Is Expressing Breast Milk?
Breast feeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby and give him or her the best start in life. But there may be times when it’s not possible to breast feed. Some reasons may include:
- your baby is premature and not sucking well,
- if you or your baby are in hospital and you can’t be there for every feed,
- maybe you have to go back to work, and your baby is in daycare or with a babysitter,
- you want a night off from feeding, and it’s dad’s turn to take the night shift,
- your breasts feel too full and uncomfortable.
The best solution to these times is to extract and store your breast milk. The process of removing milk from your breast is called expressing.
How Do You Express?
There are three ways to express your breast milk:
- by hand,
- with a manual breast pump,
- with an electric breast pump.
Whichever method you choose, make sure you are warm, comfortable and in a private place. Listening to some relaxing music or reading can help. Make sure you have fluids on hand, and give yourself plenty of time – especially when you’re first learning to express. Some mothers find it easy to express their breast milk, but don’t be discouraged if at first you only manage a few drops. With practice it will get easier and you will produce more milk to store.
How Do I Store My Breast Milk?
Breast milk can be stored in the fridge or freezer using sterilised containers or special breast milk storage bags. That’s where the Cherub Baby breast milk bags come in. They are easy to fill and seal, and easy to store. Don’t forget to label the breast milk bags with the date you expressed your breast milk before you put them in the fridge or freezer.
Read our article for more tips and advice about breast milk storage here.
How Long Can I Store My Breast Milk?
You can store freshly expressed breast milk:
- at room temperature (no more than 25ºC) for 6 – 8 hours,
- in the fridge (4ºC or lower) for up to 72 hours (at the back where it’s coldest),
- for 2 weeks in the freezer department inside your fridge (-15ºC or lower),
- up to 3 months in a freezer compartment with a separate door (-18ºC or lower),
- or up to 12 months in a deep freeze with a constant temperature of -20ºC.
What Temperature Is Best For Serving?
Frozen breastmilk should ideally be defrosted in the fridge, and can be stored for another 12 hours. Don’t re-freeze breastmilk once it has thawed. If you need the milk in a few minutes, defrost it under warm, running water, or place it in a bowl of warm water. Never use a microwave to warm your baby’s milk. It’s likely to cause heat spots which may burn your baby’s mouth. Use defrosted, warm breast milk straight away and throw way any that is not used in the next feed.
Some babies will happily drink cold milk straight from the fridge, while others like it warmed up. Our Cherub Baby Thermo Sensor breast milk storage bags not only allow you to store your milk in a 100% BPA free breast milk bag, but the colour change key on the milk bag tells you when your breast milk is at the correct temperature to serve your baby.
How Much Milk Can I Store In The Freezer?
How much milk you store will be entirely up to you. Some mothers choose to have large quantities on hand, whereas other mothers may find they can only express small amounts. Whatever you choose make sure you store your breast milk in small, manageable quantities. Our Cherub Baby reusable breast milk storage bags come in a convenient 210ml size, and come with name and date label areas so you can keep track of your supply.
My Frozen Breast Milk Changed Colour. Is It Still OK?
Breast milk will change colour at different stages. It’s quite normal for early breast milk to look kind of orange and the mature milk to look slightly blue, yellow, or even brown when refrigerated or frozen. What you eat as a mother can also influence the colour of your breast milk. When your breast milk gets defrosted, it may separate into different layers. If this happens, just swirl it gently to mix it up again. As long as your breast milk has been properly stored then it’s safe to use.
How Do I Clean My Breast Milk Storage Bags?
While the reusable aspect of Cherub Baby breast milk storage bags is a favourite feature, some parents are unsure how breast milk bags can be safely cleaned and reused. These breast milk storage bags are in fact super easy to clean. Just like your baby’s bottle and teats the breast milk storage bags can be hand washed in warm soapy water to remove any milk residue, then left open in a steamer steriliser.
IMPORTANT: Breast Milk Bags are dishwasher safe, but again should be left open in a steamer steriliser to make sure they are sterilised completely.
Healthy WA (n.d.). Expressing and storing breastmilk. Perth, WA: Department of Health. Retrieved 26 July 2018
Jones F 2011 (3rd ed), Best practice for expressing, storing and handling human milk in hospitals, homes, and child care settings. Human Milk Banking Association of North America.
Author: Cherub Baby Australia
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