Finding out how to save breast milk while still feeding my baby was confusing when I had my kid and was brand new to the entire breastfeeding business. Most moms will panic before returning to work, assuming they do not have enough milk. Hence, they start to inquire about how to build a milk freezer stash effectively and promptly.
This article is for any new mom unsure how she will be able to feed her newborn on-demand, as well as build up a freezer cache of breast milk as a backup.
Don’t worry; freezing breast milk isn’t as difficult as you think. The following recommendations for increasing breast milk production should make it simple for you to do so.
Pumping for Storage: When to Begin?
For the most part, we would propose pumping for storage when the following conditions are met:
- Breastfeeding has been going great
- Your supply is beginning to stabilize
- When it comes to supplying your kid with adequate milk for the day, you’re confident you can do it
- If you’re returning to work, a month before the start date is a good time to stock up on some additional milk in the refrigerator
- In the first few weeks after birth, many moms have an abundance of milk, so it might be tempting to try to gather as much of it as possible
- It’s not something we advocate doing unless you have no choice since it might lead to an undesirable overstock. You may build a breast milk freezer stash without affecting your supply, and I’ll go into those methods in the following section.
Do I need a milk supply?
Most parents don’t need significant freezer storage, and expecting them to do so creates unnecessary stress and overpumping. It has even been known to drive some moms to quit nursing entirely because they fear they will never have enough.
Having a supply of milk on hand comes in handy in the following scenarios:
- Even if you’re returning to work, we don’t advocate stocking up on a huge milk supply in your freezer. Pumping breast milk for your newborn is ideal. Get enough for the first day of work and an additional 2-3 days’ worth of supplies in case you need it.
- Consider building a breast milk supply if you want to leave your baby with a bottle and do not wish to pump.
- Many mothers reported that they didn’t think they would ever need a freezer stockpile, but when an emergency arises, they are grateful they have one on hand. As such, a little extra milk in the freezer is a wonderful idea if you want to be ready for anything.
- At some time, it may be beneficial for you to stock up on milk in the freezer so that you may stop pumping at a particular point.
A Full-Time Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Build a Breast Milk Freezer Stash
How to stock up on milk It might be difficult to know how and when to gather extra milk when you are exclusively breastfeeding your child. Keep in mind that even modest sums may accumulate over time. These efforts may yield as little as one ounce of milk, so put the remaining milk in the fridge until you’re ready to freeze it.
As a new mother, here are some helpful strategies for building breast milk stash:
Use a Hands-Free Pump
They are meant to sit in your bra all day long and catch your milk as it drips. These are great for when you’re first starting to leak a lot. To prevent the growth of germs, be careful to sterilize these pumps regularly.
Use a Silicone Suction Pump
For mothers, this is one of the most common methods for acquiring additional breast milk. It attaches to the breast on the other side of where you are breastfeeding. In addition to catching drips, it encourages the breast to produce a small amount of additional milk over the feeding. Many new parents claim that this is how they accumulated a large freezer supply in the first few months of nursing. To avoid an oversupply, take care not to overuse it since they do stimulate the breast.
Prioritize feeding your kid. After you’ve previously nursed on one breast, place this on the other.
After Each Feeding, Start to Pump
Pumping after a feeding is a tried-and-true method of getting a little more milk. Waiting for 15-20 minutes is a good rule of thumb. Breastfeeding may be a frustrating experience for many new moms, especially if you pump too near your baby’s mouth when he or she is ready to eat. Pumping after a meal may not provide much milk, but it is a simple and quick alternative to using a hands-on breast pump. Make sure you have a nice hands-free pumping bra at a minimum.
Prioritize Morning Pumps
Your supply will be at its peak in the early hours; therefore, pumping at this period should be a top priority.
Fanciful Nighttime Feeding
Add a fictitious feed if your baby sleeps through the night for an extended time. At this point, you should pump every night at the same time.
Hand Express your Milk
After breastfeeding or pumping, hand expression is a terrific way to acquire a little more milk. Extra milk may be obtained by performing a little hand expression, which we usually encourage.
Use What Your Baby Needs Only
Is it necessary to utilize all the milk produced by pumping? Breastfed newborns have roughly 24-30 ounces in 24 hours or about 1-1.5 ounces per hour. Put away everything that your baby won’t use right away. Start with a tiny bottle and add extra as necessary.
Massaging the breasts and applying compressions may significantly increase milk production. You may be able to acquire a little additional milk by including them in your daily routine.
How to Build a Breast Milk Stash
Create Additional Pump Sessions
Many mothers who use breast pumps develop a pattern that they find quite dependable regarding when and how often they pump. Pump sessions may be added to your workout routine if you create just enough.
Boost Your Supplies
There’s no doubt that this is a lot more difficult than it seems. You may be able to save a little bit more from each pump session if you can boost your supply just a little bit.
Supplement with a Formula
Some mothers choose to extend the time their babies get breast milk – even if they mix it with formula – rather than just continue to provide it.
Consider pumping milk for 1-2 feeds a day and storing it in a cooler for later use if you’re among those who prefer formula.
Storing Your Breast Milk Stash
Pumping enough milk for your baby while you’re gone necessitates adequate storage. The following are some pointers:
- In the freezer, keep breast milk in the back. This is the coldest portion of the freezer, which means it is less exposed to warm air when the freezer door is opened and closed.
- Make sure to write the date on the outside of each storage bag. This will enable you to monitor the freshness of the milk and use it more regularly.
- Freeze in 2-4 oz. Portions to maintain freshness. This will help you save money by extending the life of your supplies and reducing waste.
- Make sure your milk is frozen flat by placing it in the freezer.
- You may keep your breast milk frozen for up to a 12months in a deep freezer. However, six months is considered optimal.
Milk Storage Tips and Tricks While Pumping: Breast Milk Storage Guidelines
It might be difficult to build a milk supply if you are only pumping. To ensure that your baby has enough nourishment while away from home, use these strategies to quickly and easily build up a supply of breast milk for when you return to work. We assist those who don’t feel up to the task.
How Much Space Do You Have in the Freezer?
With my first, I had a major misperception. Before returning to work, I felt I should keep a large supply of milk on hand. Since I would be pumping at work for the following day’s supply, I only required 2-3 days’ worth of milk. You don’t have to fill your freezer with milk.
Pump Early Morning
Creating a pumping routine and accumulating the stored milk gradually over many weeks is the greatest method I’ve discovered for building a breast milk supply without causing your body to chronically overproduce. Over a few weeks, pumping a few additional ounces of milk each day can help you build up your milk supply.
Early morning is the time to start pumping if you’re nursing your baby first thing in the morning.
When you first wake up in the morning, your milk production is always at its peak. You should pump any residual milk to keep it in the freezer after your baby has finished nursing. We found 10-15 minutes of pumping to be enough.
Boost Your Supply in a Healthy Way
Lactation Supplements are a simple approach to naturally increasing your breast milk production. You may notice a drop in supplies if you’re returning to work. Lactation supplements may help you keep up with your baby’s demand by preventing a drop in your milk production. Your freezer supply will be less often depleted this way.
You should focus on storing excess milk when your kid is still a newborn.
The first four months following the birth of my twin sons, I realized that I was producing more milk than they could consume. I could stockpile a significant amount of breast milk throughout this time. Thanks to my daily pumping sessions, a lot of breast milk was in the freezer. In this scenario, I was grateful to have a large quantity since the boys out-drank my supply when they were six months old. Our freezer was a lifesaver when we needed it most.
Compression and massaging while pumping significantly increased the amount of milk I could get out of each session. Here are a few simple steps you can take.
Breast milk must be kept and managed by strict guidelines. A complete week’s worth of pumped milk was thrown away when I initially attempted to develop a freezer supply. This is a blunder you must avoid! Follow these guidelines for storing breast milk.
The best way to avoid waste is to freeze it in small amounts.
Your surplus milk may be frozen into two- to four-ounce portions. You can’t freeze milk once it’s been thawed. Thus this assures that thawed milk won’t be wasted. You don’t want to spend time and effort storing breast milk in the freezer just to have it spoil once it’s thawed.
Find Simple Methods to Store Additional Milk
These milk saver cups are perfect for preserving breast milk if you’re the sort that lets down on both sides when your baby is breastfeeding. It’s a good idea to freeze any breast milk left over after pumping a meal for your baby.
Take Care of Yourself
When it comes to storing breast milk, there’s no need to worry about how to do it. Do your best and be kind to yourself. If you’re too exhausted to pump after your baby’s morning meal, cuddle up in bed instead. Don’t hold on to your pump if you don’t want to use it today.