How Many Breast Milk Storage Bags Do I Need?
On this Page:
- Why use breast milk storage bags?
- Disposable or re-usable breast milk bags?
- What is the best way to fill breast milk bags?
- How Long Can I Store My Breast Milk?
- Can I use breast milk bags for long term storage?
- Using breast milk bags for emergency only?
- How many breast milk bags do I need?
As a new mum, and if you are not able to breastfeed, you may be considering the different ways to store your breast milk. However, if you decide to use breast milk storage bags, you may be wondering just how many breast milk bags do I need? In this article, we will give advice about how to use our storage bags, how to store them and some tips about how many you will need.
Why use breast milk storage bags?
While breastfeeding is usually the easiest and most efficient way of feeding a young baby, situations may arise that means that you are not able to breastfeed exclusively. These circumstances may include one of the following reasons:
- your baby is pre-mature 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.
While you may be unable to breastfeed, you are still able to express and store your breast milk. Even if they are breastfeeding, some mums prefer to store some breast milk, just in case of emergencies. But what is the best way to store your precious breast milk?
Breast milk storage bags have become the simplest and most effective way to store breast milk. They provide an easy solution to store, freeze, warm and serve breast milk to your baby. Plus you don’t have to worry about them leaking. So if you are already asking yourself the question ‘Do I need breast milk storage bags?’, the answer is YES!
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Disposable or re-usable breast milk bags?
While most, if not all breast milk storage bags come pre-sterilised for immediate use, not all are reusable. Although disposable breast milk bags do mean less cleaning or washing-up, you will end up buying larger quantities which in turn, becomes more expensive and creates more plastic waste.
Cherub Baby breast milk storage bags are reusable (up to five times per bag). Each bag has a ziplock and is made from 100% BPA Free durable plastic that is pre-sterilised so you can start using the breast milk bags straight away. In addition, reusable breast milk storage bags mean less waste and are easier on your pocket.
To reuse a breast milk bag simply wash each individual bag with warm soapy water after use, rinse with clean water and then leave the breast milk bag open in a steamer or steriliser.
What is the best way to fill breast milk bags?
Whichever method you use to express your breast milk (by hand or by using a manual or electric breast pump), you will normally pump into a bottle and then pour the expressed breast milk into the storage bags.
It is possible to pump directly from your breast into breast milk storage bags if you are using bags that are specifically designed for your brand of pump, or if you buy an adapter which enables the breast milk bags to fit your pump.
Once you have filled your breast milk storage bags, don’t forget to label and date each bag so that you have a record of when it was expressed.
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.
Can I use breast milk bags for long term storage?
Breast milk bags are ideal for long term storage in your freezer. They can be packed together and stacked on a flat surface, which means they take up less space in your freezer than other, more cumbersome storage solutions. Using breast milk bags for storing your breast milk in the freezer also means you have control over the quantities and you can defrost as much or as little as you like.
Using breast milk bags for emergency only?
Having a few breast milk bags stashed in convenient places for emergencies can be a great idea. Keep a few in your baby bag, in your car or next to the bed at home. You never know when you may need to express your milk, and you don’t want to waste your precious breast milk by not having a convenient, sterilised container on hand.
How many breast milk bags do I need?
Now for the burning question – how many breast milk bags do I need? This will depend on whether you are using disposable or reusable breast milk bags as well as how you are planning to use the bags.
Cherub Baby breast milk bags store up to 180ml of breast milk and come in a 10 or 20 pack, which means up to 50 or 100 uses from each pack.
If you want to use the bags as breast milk freezer bags, the amount of breast milk you can freeze will depend on how much breast milk you are producing and how much freezer space you have. Frozen breast milk can last from 2 weeks up to 12 months, depending on your freezer. You will need to calculate how much excess milk you are producing and for how many days you want to store your breast milk.
For emergencies, the amount of breast milk storage bags you need will depend on where you need them. Do you need an emergency stash at work, in your car or just in your baby bag? It’s a good idea to have 5-10 bags with you at all times.
Are you going to be away from your baby? Maybe you need to go back to work, or go somewhere without your baby? You will need to leave enough expressed breast milk with your caregiver to cover the time you will be away. On average a baby between 1 – 6 months will need about 750ml of milk per day, so with the Cherub Baby breast milk bags, you will need a minimum of 4 – 5 bags per day.
Always remember each baby is different, and each baby will take a different amount of breastmilk. The above amounts are a guideline only.