The Best Breast Milk Storage Bags 2017 – 5 Reviews And Ultimate Guide
They say it is pointless to cry over spilt milk, but wait until you spill your own milk. Only mothers who are breastfeeding will understand the need to store breast milk for the baby. Sometimes when you are breastfeeding, and you find yourself away from your baby for a long time, the pain and discomfort when your milk lets down is sometimes too much to handle.
Your breasts may even start leaking, spilling all your precious breast juice that was meant for the baby. Even if you are breastfeeding, you will still need to go to work, more so when your maternity leave expires. To ensure that your baby does not get a raw deal in enjoying her precious meal, you will need to find a way of ensuring that your baby gets a constant supply of breast milk even if you are not around.
Now, this is where breast milk storage bags come in. With these bags, you will have the freedom of going about your business while your baby at home is going about hers too, which is enjoying her mother’s breast milk and growing. If you are a working mother, being able to pump and store your milk will ensure that you are not left behind in the race to chase the dollar.
What are the best breast milk storage bags available?
There are a lot of breast milk storage bags brands available in the market. Let’s take a look at some of the best breast milk storage bags.
1. Medela Breast Milk Storage Bags.
If you buy a Medela breast milk storage bag, you get a breast pump that you will use to pump your milk out of your breasts. In fact, the pump can be hooked up to the storage bag directly hence there is no need to use a collection bottle.
With these bags, you can pump up to 4 ounces of your breast milk and store them for future use.
Top Three Features
- The accurate graduation of the front to give you a measure of how much you are pumping.
- Can be hooked directly to pumps.
- Can carry up to 4 ounces of milk.
- It is convenient for mothers who are likely to be away from the baby for a long time.
- Medela bags have tops with zippers that are easy to close.
- Since they can be hooked directly to breast pumps, spillage is eliminated since you don’t have to pump your milk to a separate bottle then transfer.
- It is designed to minimise leakage.
- It has protective oxygen barrier that makes it perfect for breast milk to be stored in cold conditions.
- It is smaller in capacity as compared to other breast milk storage bags.
- The tiny size of these bags makes them very fragile.
2. Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags
This is the best breast milk bag for those mothers who produce more milk. Its capacity is indicated as 6 ounces but the good news is that these bags can actually hold up to 7.5 ounces of breast milk. The bag is made thick and sturdy; I think the manufacturers had stability in the mind. This makes it very stable when it is put on surfaces like table tops.
Top Three Features
- Double sealed side seams.
- Efficient pour spout.
- Largest capacity of up to 7.5 ounces.
- 100% BPA free.
- The shape of the bags make it possible to lay them flat which makes storage and thawing to be done efficiently.
- These bags have tamper-proof seals that minimise spilling when overfilled.
- The bags may sometimes leak when they develop cracks as a result of freezing.
3. Honeysuckle Breast Milk Storage Bags
Just like Lansinoh bags, these breast milk storage bags can carry up to 7.5 ounces of breast milk. The material used to make them is durable and very thick making these bags to rank higher among the best breast milk storage bags. The material used to make them is also environment-friendly.
Top Three Features
- Very thick side seams.
- Made of biodegradable material.
- Zip lock seals.
- The material used to make this Honeysuckle breast milk storage bags is BPA free. BPA is Bisphenol A, a structural component used in making most liquid containers.
- The zip lock seals prevent leakages.
- They have wide openings that make it easy to fill them without spilling most of the breast milk.
- The bottom of these bags is reinforced to prevent them from leaking even when they are put in freezing conditions for a long time.
- It’s hard to tell how much you are storing since there are no volume calibrations.
4. Philips Avent Breast Milk Storage Bags
How could I miss to include Philips Avent breast milk storage bags in my list of best breast milk storage bags? This bag, manufactured by Philips, is designed to let you store your breast milk safely and securely. The material used to make this bag is BPA free.
Top Three Features
- Leak-proof double zipper seal.
- Reinforced seams with dual layer bag.
- Tamper proof seal
- The bags are pre-sterilized to ensure complete cleanliness.
- Can be stored safely in a freezer without breaking.
- The dual layer makes it leakage proof.
- It has a wide opening that makes it easy to pour in or put the breast milk without spilling.
- This bag has a sturdy design that makes it stable when it stands on surfaces.
- The measurement markings are a bit inaccurate.
5. Kiinde Breastmilk Storage Pouches
I have a habit of always saving the best for last. This breast milk storage bag stands out from the rest. This is because this bag is not only a storage bag; it can also be used as a feeding bottle. With this bottle, you don’t have to collect your breast milk separately then you transfer to the storage bag, here, everything is done once. You collect, store, prepare and feed using this a single Kiinde breast milk storage pouch.
Another great thing about this storage pouch is that the Twist pouches can lock on any breast pumps from all the manufacturers. It is also possible to recycle the pouches after use.
Top Three Features
- Secure threaded cap.
- Universal twist pouches.
- Mess-free storage.
- Its construction is super durable that makes it 100% leak proof.
- The twist pouches are very stable and can stand on their own without falling off.
- They can lay flat in the freezer for easy storage.
- They have accurate labelling of measurements on their surfaces that gives you a measure of how much breast milk you are storing.
- The materials used to make them are BPA and PVC free.
- You can feed your baby the breast milk directly from the pouch. No need for messy transfers of breast milk.
- They cost more than other feeding bottles.
Pumping Tips For Mothers Who Are New To Using Breast Pumps And Storage Bags.
Now that you know some of the best breast milk storage bags, I think you should also know the best pumping tips that you can use to ensure that you produce more milk and store more milk for your baby. You might be new to pumping and storing your breast milk, so I’ve got your back. Here are the best pumping tips.
- Create a routine and then follow it. Establishing a fixed time to pump prepares you psychologically to produce more milk.
- Ensure that you are relaxed before you settle down to pump your milk. Never try to pump when you are in a rush as your milk production will be impaired and you will let-down little than usual.
- Massage your breasts gently to increase let-down.
- Think of your baby when you want to pump. This will work magic on your let-down as you will feel relaxed.
- Ensure that you drink a lot of fluids and eat healthy meals just before your pumping session.
Storing Your Breast Milk
Handling breast milk should be done with a lot of care and the highest degree of hygiene. Any slightest contamination of the breast milk with dirt and bacteria and the baby is sick, and that’s another problem you don’t want to deal with. Here is how you can ensure that never happens.
- Hands must be washed before you handle the breast milk.
- The containers that will handle your milk should be sterilised before use. The good thing is that most storage bags are pre-sterilized.
- Once you have pumped the breast milk and transferred them into the breast milk storage bags, ensure that you label the date of pumping on the bag, and even your baby’s name in case you will leave your baby in a day-care.
- You can then store the bags in a refrigerator or freeze them if you are not going to need them right away.
- Breast milk stored in bags should be used within 24 hours if they are not put inside coolers.
- If you keep the breast milk storage bags in a refrigerator, the milk is safe to use within 3 days. Do not let your baby feed on that milk after four days elapse.
How you should thaw frozen breast milk
Now that you have known how to store your breast milk, it is important that you also know how to thaw it when you want to feed it to your baby. Since storing your milk involves putting it under extremely cold temperatures, not knowing how to thaw the frozen milk can be a little bit frustrating.
Below are tips for freezing and thawing you breast milk properly
- If you usually pump breast milk more than once in a day, ensure that you don’t mix in one storage bag the milk that was pumped separately, that is, avoid adding freshly pumped milk to the same storage bags as the previously pumped ones.
- Put the storage bags containing the pumped breast milk in the coldest part of the fridge. Only the once to be used soon should be put in the refrigerator’s door.
- When you are pumping your milk into the bags, do not fill them to the brim. This is because when the milk freezes, it will expand, and if you didn’t leave any space for expansion, then the storage bags are going to burst, and your fridge is going to be so messy. Plus, you don’t want to cry over spilt milk.
- Ensure that you label the bags with the date that you pumped your milk into them. This will make sure you are organised by ensuring that you defrost the milk in order from the one that has overstayed in the freezer to the recent ones. Nearly all the breast milk storage brands have spaces where you can label them.
- Avoid thawing the frozen breast milk in a microwave. This is because the temperature of a microwave can overheat the milk which may destroy all the milk immune properties and enzymes. The best way to thaw your frozen breast milk is by either running warm water over it until it reaches room temperature or leaving it overnight in the fridge where it will thaw within 24 hours.
You should also know that the odour and taste of breast milk may change after it has been frozen. The changes in odour and taste may also be as a result of your diet since what you eat will determine the quality of your breast milk. So when you notice such changes, you should not be alarmed. In fact, your baby won’t even mind the change.
Change in the odour of the breast milk may sometimes be as a result of an enzyme called lipase. This enzyme is found in normal breast milk and is what may cause the change in odour when the breast milk is put under extremely cold temperatures. Most babies would still drink milk that has changed odour while some may reject it once their taste preferences have developed.
To eliminate the change in odour as a result of lipase, you can scald your milk before you store it in a freezer. However, scalding will remove all the beneficial components. Therefore, if your baby is okay with the change in odour, then there is no need to scald it as it will be good if she just feeds on your milk fresh so she could benefit from the immune properties contained in the breast milk.
This is the video to learn more on how you can thaw and heat frozen milk safely from this YouTube video.
Is It Possible To Reuse Breast Milk Storage Bags?
One of the downsides of breast milk storage bags is that they are not reusable. This means that you only use one bag once then you dispose of it. However looking at the storage bag as half full instead of half empty- oops, I meant to say glass; this is actually a good thing. This is because you don’t have to wash the bags after every use since they operate under use once-dispose of policy.
The bags also come pre-sterilized, which means that even the meanest of all bacteria cannot survive to contaminate your baby’s food and make you take frequent trips to the hospital. Thanks to the low price of the bags, you can comfortably buy them in bulk.
Altogether, there are a lot of breast milk storage bags available in the market. Each bag is different from the other in quality, size and cost. A good breast milk storage bag should, therefore, be of high quality, be able to carry a large amount of breast milk and should also cost less.
If you are looking for a breast milk storage bag that meets all those criteria, then I would recommend that you go for Lansinoh breast milk storage bags. They have a very large capacity and are also very strong because they have double sealed side seams, but if you are looking for the best breast milk storage bags, regardless of the cost, then the answer is Kiinde breastmilk storage pouches. They have no competitor as far as quality and efficiency is concerned.