Pumping and Storing Breastmilk: How to Stockpile A Good Supply!

How to build a stockpile of breastmilk in your freezer! Pumping and storing breastmilk how to guide
There are plenty of great reasons to stockpile your breast milk and perhaps the easiest time to do it is right after your baby is born. This is when your milk is first coming in and your supply is going to be based on demand. Since you are still recovering from delivering your baby you will have the most “down” time on your hands now as well to sit and pump your milk after feeding.

So we all realize why a mother returning to work would want to have a good stockpile of milk on hand but why would a stay at home mom need to have a stockpile of liquid gold in her freezer? Well, I’m so glad you asked 🙂 Being a stay at home mom myself I can give you a run down on the reasons that I make it a priority to have breastmilk stockpiled in my freezer. First of all, when you are finally ready to leave your baby with a sitter to *gasp* run errands or *gasp* have some time to rest, you will want to have milk to leave with them. If you don’t have milk stored up in the freezer then you will need to either plan when you are leaving your baby and start pumping ahead of time (which takes a lot of preparation) or give them formula while they are with the sitter. Now formula is not awful but I certainly prefer that my babies drink breastmilk and when Aiden was a baby giving him formula was not even an option as his body couldn’t tolerate it. Another great reason to have a stockpile is because you may need milk to mix medications in and bottle feed it to them, to mix with liquid vitamins and feed, to mix with rice cereal once they start solids, to allow Daddy to pick up a feeding by bottling the breastmilk, or if you should loose your milk supply to have some on hand before switching to formula. There are a whole bunch of reasons that it is a good idea to have milk in your freezer.

Now how do you get a wonderful stockpile of breastmilk in your freezer? Great question. If you just had your baby then I suggest you start pumping as soon as your milk has come in. When I delivered Carson I found that when my milk came in I was quite engorged and needed to pump some milk off in order to be comfortable. I started pumping small amounts and then added a morning pumping session to my routine every day. I pumped once each morning AFTER the baby had his am feeding. Be sure you feed your baby first and pump immediately after. By simply adding a single pumping session of 10 minutes to my daily routine I soon had a huge stockpile of milk in my chest freezer. It really doesn’t take that much extra time and it is GREAT to have all the milk saved up in the freezer. Once you decide that you have enough milk and no longer wish to pump you can simply decrease your pumping sessions until you quit completely. Your body adjusts to supply and demand. Once your body realizes that you no longer require that much milk, it will decrease the amount made to only what your baby is consuming. You may be uncomfortable for a couple of days and can relieve it by simply pumping off very small amounts until your body has completely adjusted itself.

As you can see it really is quite easy to get a nice stockpile of this liquid gold in your freezer. For the longest life store your milk in a chest freezer as it keeps for up to 12 months. Reference the chart below for all of the different storage recommendations:

Storage Time for Human Milk* Deep Freeze
Refrigerator Freezer
Cooler with Ice Packs Frozen
Room Temperature
Fresh Up to 12 Months 3-4 Months 8 Days 24 Hours 6-10 Hours 4 Hours
Frozen, Thawed in Fridge Do Not Refreeze Do Not Refreeze 24 Hours Do Not Store 4 Hours 4 Hours
Thawed, Warmed, Not Fed Do Not Refreeze Do Not Refreeze 4 Hours Do Not Store Until Feeding Ends Until Feeding Ends
Warmed, Fed Discard Discard Discard Discard Until Feeding Ends Until Feeding Ends

If you are looking for the easiest way to pump then you should invest in a double electric breast pump as they provide very effective and quick pumping. Be sure to date your milk and note the volume on each bag before freezing. I’ve found it most helpful to lay my milk flat in the freezer to freeze so that they stack nicely rather than being awkward sizes.

What has your experience been with pumping? Do you have any questions for me?


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  1. excellent post! Thanks for the helpful chart too. I'm due march 2 with my 1st. I will still be working some but I work from home. Still, there are so many reasons to pump extra like you said. Thanks again!

  2. This is awesome! I had to pin & stumble! I don't know how long I'll have or be able so I definitely want to do this knowing I have a good pump! I wish the storage bags weren't so expensive!

  3. Jennifer the Lansinoh storage bags are my favorites. They are better quality than other brands I've tried. Buy the biggest box and it will last you a decent amount of time. Plus if you buy the Lansinoh breast pads they come with samples of the bags in them!


  4. This is all so true! I was home for the whole first year after my daughter was born, but when my son was only 3 months old I went back to school. I made sure to pump over the summer to build up a good supply and it was a good thing I did! Pumping at school is very inconvenient and it took me a week to find a place to do it. There were many days during the semester when I just didn't have time to pump and that frozen stockpile really saved me!

  5. I breastfed all three of my kids, but the 2nd born I only nursed for 8 wks. I had a difficult time storing breastmilk for my last born as he was always nursing same with the boy I nursed for only 8 weeks. My daughter (first born) on the other hand didn't nurse as often and since I had to share custody when she turned 4 mos old I was able to get a decent stockpile of breastmilk using a pump, however, I don't think I ever had a big of a stockpile as you had!

  6. That's impressive! I did the same thing early on. My baby boy is six months old and I've exhausted my frozen supply. Now, I only get an ounce when I pump so I have to pump for weeks to store up enough for a night out.

  7. Jennifer T.-I know if I started pumping again I would not have such a great supply either. That's why it is best to do it right away when your milk is still coming in and easily fluctuating! I'm so glad I did it right away. I'm sure you are too! Hopefully your little guy won't need it too much now that he can take solids soon!


  8. How do you know when you have a big enough stockpile? My LO is almost 3 months old and I’ve managed to freeze about 240 oz of BM. I’m a SAHM and have no real plans if being away from her until November, for about half a day. I am an overproducer and don’t want too much milk that I don’t end up using.

  9. I’m hoping to get some help even on an older post! My second son is 8 months old… I work part time and have a 6 year old son as well… I have been tediously pumping the night before I work so that baby has some for the next day. I HATE doing this… seems like a chore. Any ideas on how to build up a stock pile with a rough and busy schedule? I had to switch my oldest to formula at 6 months because I simply was not making enough and had few resources for help… I so desperately want to make it a year or more with this one… help 🙁

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