Breast milk is best for your baby, we all know that. How do you ensure your baby gets nourished in certain situations, e.g. when you need to be away for a while?
Breast milk storage bags can solve this problem and make life easier for you.
They are specially designed plastic bags made for the collection and storage of breast milk since it’s not advisable to use just any container for storage.
They are still something of a novelty to some moms. But, busy moms who have been using them swear by them as they have come to see the convenience and safety they offer.
Benefits of Best Breast Milk Storage Bags
- They are relatively less expensive than plastic containers or glass bottles.
- Best breast milk storage bags come pre-sterilized.
- They’re designed to survive freezing and thawing. They won’t burst at the edges and are well sealed to prevent any leaks.
- They’re disposable so there’s no need to clean them. Just discard after use.
- They stack together very nicely so these bags will take up less space in your refrigerator or freezer than bottles.
- They are convenient to use.
- Compared to glass or plastic containers, breast milk in storage bags thaws faster.
Top 5 Best Breast Milk Storage Bags
It can be annoying and disheartening to spill your breast milk after the stress of pumping it out. But don’t despair, here’s our review of the top 5 best breast milk storage bags available.
NUK Seal N Go Breast Milk Bags
NUK Seal N Go Breast Milk Storage Bags remain a winner among moms due to its virtually leak-free properties. They come with a 100% Leak-Proof Guarantee.
It’s made from thick plastic with reinforced seams, and the bags are self-standing. This allows you to freeze them upright instead of laying them flat if you wish.
- Double zipper seal for extra security
- The seal prevents leaks and freezer-burn of breast milk
- The pour spout is gravity-fed. This also helps prevents spills during transfer
- Unique gusset-free bottom prevents leaks from bottom corners of the bags.
- It comes with tamper-evident top for re-assurance prior to first use
- The unique oxygen barrier permits breast milk to stay fresh during storage and ready for feeding
- Clearly marked, easy-to-read fill lines allow you monitor quantity of milk in the bag.
- BPA free and safe for babies.
- Relatively affordable, very thick bags are less likely to break or leak.
- Complaints of strong plastic smell and poor packaging. Difficult to write on with a pen.
Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage Bags
The Lansinoh Breastmilk Storage brand was founded by a breastfeeding mom, so they understand what’s important when it comes to storing breast milk. It compact so storage space in a refrigerator or freezer will not be a problem.
Each bag comes pre-sterilized for preservation of milk quality in an easy-to-carry design for portability. Just place the bags under warm tap water to defrost frozen milk.
- Patented double Click ‘n’ Secure seal to prevent leaks
- Convenient pour spout allows easy transfer of milk from bag to bottle
- 100% Bisphenol-A (BPA) Free
- The bags are puncture-resistant and waterproof
- Features tissue style dispenser for easy storage and access.
- Easy to open and close. Good price points for the quality and quantity.
- A few complaints of leaks and some baas breaking
Dr. Brown’s Breastmilk Storage Bags
Dr. Brown’s Breastmilk is a renowned name in baby products and as expected, their breast milk storage bags are built for durability to store and preserve your breast milk.
Mothers particularly love this product for its leak-proof qualities.
- Bags are self-standing and feature leak-proof double zipper seal
- Well marked for accurate measurement, and a labeling area for indexing and organizing
- Bags are pre-sterilized for cleanliness and ready to use straight from the box
- 100% BPA free
- Durable and easy to use. Ideal for extended freezing period
- Pricey compared to other brands. The thickness of the bags has been reduced compared to previous productions. A few complaints of leaks during defrosting.
Medela Pump and Save Breast Milk Bags
Medela says “Breastfeeding is at the Very Heart of Our Business.”
Their primary focus is breastfeeding and helping moms to breastfeed well and for as long as they wish. Their baby feeding solutions are research based and this transfers into the quality and usefulness of their products.
Medela breast milk storage bags come in a pack of 50 5oz bags with 2 adapters and allow for easy connection to breast pumps. Save time by using these easy-connect adapters to pump breast milk directly into the bags, or pour straight from bottle to bag.
- Compatible with all Medela breast pumps. The adapters connect directly to breast shield.
- Convenient no-spill, no-leak, easy-to-close zipper top design.
- Features protective oxygen barrier ideal for fridge or freezer storage.
- BPA-free and safe for mom and baby.
- Self standing bottom to prevent spills.
- Convenience of pumping directly into the bag is a major plus.
- Complaints about leaks and difficulties with the zipper. A few complaint about strong smell inside the bags.
Philips AVENT Breast Milk Storage Bags
Philips AVENT Breast Milk remains a trusted name in baby care products and is a brand many moms can relate with.
Philips AVENT breast milk storage bags are designed to protect and safely store breast milk. They are easy to use and constructed to be durable and come in a pack of 50 6oz bags.
- Completely hygienic and ready to use with pre-sterilized tamper evident seal.
- Leak proof, secure double zipper closure.
- Strong and durable with reinforced seams and dual layer bag.
- Each bag is self-standing with wide opening for easy filling and pouring.
- Good quality for the price. Very thick, sturdy bags. The date and time label is very convenient.
- Handle with extra care when frozen to avoid leaks. Tearing the label to open the bag is difficult as there is no perforated line.
- A number of complaints about inaccurate fluid markings on the bags.
- They don’t lay as flat as other bags.
How to store Breast Milk
After expressing milk, you will be required to store it until the baby needs to take it. There are different storage options that a mother can choose from. This is dependent on her personal preference or the family situation.
Guide to Breastfeeding | How to store breast milk
Let Us Look at How To Store Breast Milk in Bags
You can store breast milk in a number of ways to keep it fresh for your baby: If it is at room temperature that should not go beyond 25 degrees for up to 6 hours.
Those who have a cool box that has ice packs can keep the milk safe and fresh for up to 24 hours.
Baby milk can also stay in a freezer compartment for 2 weeks. You could also use a fridge that is at 4 degrees or less, where the milk can stay for 5 days. It is best to store the milk at the back because it coldest there.
Finally, you could go with a home freezer that keeps the milk good for 6 months.
Expressing milk will ensure that your supply remains up. Therefore, getting into the habit of expressing and storing breast milk will enable the baby to enjoy the consistent while you are not at home.
The storage choice you settle for will be dependent on how soon you want to use the breast milk. If it is within a few days, it is better to keep it refrigerated than frozen. This is because freezing kills some essential component in the milk that fights infections. Frozen breast milk is still a better and healthier choice compared to formula.
Breast Milk Storage Bags
When it comes to freezer storage, plastic bags are a good option. They can also be used for fridge storage. There are some best breast milk storage bags that have been designed in a way that it is easy to directly express into them and pour the milk into a feeding bottle when thawed.
These bags are however not reusable and are a bit costly in the long term. You can however save money if you buy them in bulk.
The main advantages of breast milk storage bags is that they are convenient to use, save on space and ensure the highest levels of hygiene.
The downside here is that there are increased risks of leaking, the units can only be used once and the waste churned out is substantial.
If you decide to freeze or refrigerate your milk, you should do the following:
- Always use sterilized containers. Plastic bottles or bags are better compared to glass ones as the latter might chip or crack.
- Always label bottles or bags with dates and ensure you use the old ones first.
- Always keep your breast pump clean. To do this, wash the parts with hot soapy water and rinse properly before sterilizing.
Best Way To Freeze Breast Milk
The best storage container for the baby will be dependent on how frequently you express and where you will store the breast milk. Let’s us look at the different options:
This is a good option if the mum does not express frequently and wishes to store the milk at room temperature, in the fridge or in a cool box. Bottles in general are convenient, durable, and hygienic involve very little washing. Their only limitation is that they tend to be bulky.
Storage Trays for Breast Milk
These are just like ice cube trays but used for storing breast milk. It is a great option if you are saving on space and minimizing on wastage.
They have a lid that seals the milk to prevent freezer burn once filled. Only the needed portion is removed from the tray and defrosted ready for drinking.
Trays are ideal for smaller quantities of milk and are great when it comes to storing weaning foods. On the other hand, they can only be used in freezers.
It is possible to transfer the frozen cubes into another bag and refill with new milk. If you decide to do this, ensure that you label the bags so as to use the old batch first.
Freeze your milk as soon as possible after expressing. When freezing, ensure you leave a gap in each bottle or bag because the milk will expand when freezing.
When storing milk in bags, watch out for tears. It is not easy to notice this until you thaw the milk. When thawing, plastic bags will fall over, causing tears.
Best Storage Bottle Materials
Plastics: Plastics are durable and easy to use. They are best for short term storage mostly from 2-72 hours and infrequent expressing. After 72 hours, plastic will stick to the nutrients. It is freezer-friendly but takes up a lot of storage room.
Glass: This is a good option for fridge storage. It does not leach chemicals to the breast milk. Glass requires careful storage to prevent breakages from falling and is freezer friendly.
Stainless Steel: It is a great non plastic alternative. It is good for fridge storage as it does not break and has antibacterial material. It is however not suitable for freezer use.
Best Way to Thaw Breast Milk from Freezer Bag
To thaw frozen breast milk, it is best if it’s placed in a container in the fridge for 12 hours. It is better to thaw breast milk in a slow pace to avoid destroying the nutrients.
It is not recommended to leave breast milk at room temperature for long periods of time as it can become susceptible to bacterial growth or uneven thawing.
Run the breast milk in a storage bottle or bag slowly under tap water to thaw it. Gradually raise the temperature of the milk until it thaws completely once it has reached room temperature. Another option is to place the container in a basin of lukewarm water and leave it.
There are specialist bottles and bag warmers that can be used to thaw breast milk and are convenient to use. This is because they have defrosted features to unfreeze milk. It is not recommended to thaw or heat your baby’s milk in a microwave.
The microwave will not only destroy the vitamins in the milk, but it can also form heat pockets that can scald the baby’s mouth.
Do not use a microwave to warn or thaw the breast milk, because it does not heat liquids evenly; it creates hot spots that can damage the milk or badly burn a baby. Moreover. If placed for too long in the microwave.
Bottles can explode, and also the heat can destroy the nutrients in the milk. Once the milk has thawed, it separates into layers where the cream rises to the top. You need to gently swirl the milk to mix the milk layers and avoid violently shaking it in a bottle.
How Long Can Fresh Breast Milk Stay Out?
Depending on prevailing room temperature, expressed breast milk can remain fresh for between 4 to 8 hours.
Avoid letting the milk to thaw under room temperature because this significantly multiplies bacteria growth which is likely to have adverse effect on the baby.
If the milk was in a bag, pour it into the feeding bottle while holding the bag upright to avoid spills. Do not re-use the breast milk storage bags, it is recommended to discard them; however, the bottles and the pumps can be cleaned and disinfected in deemed necessary and then reused.