Pumping and Storing Breastmilk: How to Stockpile A Good Supply!
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
|Cooler with Ice Packs Frozen
|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?
This post was recently featured along with some tips from other bloggers on the Zulily Blog. Stop by and check it out!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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 🙁