How to store breastmilk and reduce your carbon footprint

Is there a better way to store breastmilk?

The answer is a resounding …Yes!

When I first began to store my breastmilk I had 6 storage bottles that came with my breast pump. I quickly realized that 6 bottles was not enough storage and cycling through the bottles was not working. This began my search for other methods.

The search

My first 6 bottles were not going to cut it. First, I thought I would just buy more bottles. Simple, right? NOPE! Those bottles are expensive and how many would I need? The next step was disposable breastmilk storage bags. I knew people used them and thought they would be a great way to build my storage. I bought NUK bags after reading many reviews from Amazon. They lived up to the reviews and are awesome bags but I had another issue. Tossing out the used bags felt like tossing out money! For the same reasons I decided to cloth diaper I knew I needed a more environmental and economical way to store my liquid gold.

“X” marks the spot

Like a search for treasure I began hunting for ideas. Pinterest, Amazon, and Google, there had to be away to safely store and freeze unlimited amounts. I found Baby Food Storage Baby Food Freezer Tray By KIDDO FEEDO on Amazon. It’s marketed as storage for baby foods that you make yourself. It is a silicon tray with 9, 2 oz. sections. The lid fits snugly and has ledges all around to help it stay fit. Although I couldn’t find a review of it used for breastmilk, all of the reviews were wonderful! After searching Amazon and the kiddo Feedo site for something…anything about breastmilk storage the kiddo Feedo site did mention it very briefly and then I found reviews of how other mums have used it. I decided to go for it and order one. Let me tell you it’s amazing and I love it!

 

Using the new storage system

Once I received it, I washed it and waited for my next pumping session. I pumped my usual 2 oz. from the left and 4 oz. from the right. To the storage I ran! Not really but it sounds good, right? I carefully poured the milk into 3, 2 oz.sections and fit the lid on. Then just to be safe in case of any leakage I put the tray into a ziplock storage bag. I continued to add milk after each session filling the tray. When it was full I would push out the milk cubes, which was very easy (you can even push one out to use and put the rest back no need to push out all of them at once). I decided to put my cubes into a large ziplock freezer bag to store in the freezer. Yes, it is something disposable (you could wash the bags) but I only use 1 or 2 bags a month as they fill with my cubes instead of 2 NUK bags per session. I write the month on the bag and all of the cubes I freeze go into that month. When a new month begins or I run out of room in a bag I start a new bag for the same month or start a bag for a new month. For example, I have a bag for “November”, “November 2”, and “December.” Keeping the month on the bag allows me to keep using the oldest stored first. When my husband prepares for the night feed (currently his night feeds are what we use the stored milk for) he puts the cube in a glass container with a lid and let’s it thaw. If he needs to thaw it faster he microwaves a mug of water for about a minute and places the glass container inside the mug.IMG_0074.JPG

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Final thoughts

This system has worked brilliantly for us! I hope that you find this post helpful and that it can reduce your spending (on items you toss out), and your carbon footprint.

What other ways do you store breastmilk? What has worked for you?

Proud mommy,
Erica