- Hila Bahari
Breastmilk Freezer Stash
Updated: Mar 29, 2021
Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things that does not come naturally to all.
I was lucky enough to breastfeed both of my kids for over 12 months. With my first, I had a lactation consultant help out in the hospital and he was nursing like a pro. As soon as we got home, it was like he had no idea what to do. He had such a small mouth and his latch was horrible I was in SO MUCH pain! I called a lactation consultant and scheduled for 2 days out by that time he magically begin to latching better and from there things went uphill, thankfully. My son was a great eater and was on a nursing schedule from day one. Fed every 3-4 hours and never asked for more in between.
With my daughter, second baby, her latch was horrible all along! The only way I was not in pain on my left side is by doing the football hold on the left side. We later noticed that she had a lip tie that may have contributed to her bad latch. She was a good eater but her nursing sessions were short and more frequent compared to my son. During the day she was nursing every 2.5 hours and at night she was going much longer, thankfully.
With both kids I was primarily nursing at the breast. My husband was doing the bedtime routine and feeding with our first so I was pumping once a day for that.
This was the best decision we ever made! It created the sweetest bond between them and gave me a little break.
The one pump session was right before I went to bed so I always got extra milk when pumping and was able to store some away and that is how I started my freezer stash.
With my daughter, I rarely used a pump but used the Haakaa almost at every feeding. I was getting anywhere between 1-5oz a day from the Haakaa only. My daughter was not having a bottle for bedtime so we were primarily nursing, unlike my son. This allowed me to store all the extra milk in the freezer.
For both kids I was able to stop nursing and still provide them with breastmilk for over 4 weeks from my freezer stash alone. We stopped nursing my son at 12.5 months and he was having breastmilk until 14.5 months. My daughter stopped nursing at 13 months and was having breastmilk for an additional month, weaning was much slower with her. If you are looking to build a freezer stash you will find the below information helpful.
Here are my tips for you for building your stash:
Pump a few minutes after your MORNING breastfeeding session and right before your bedtime. In general, we have a large volume of milk in the morning compared to later in the day so removing some extra milk at this time is generally an effective way to start building a backstock.
Use a Haakaa silicone pump while nursing (on both sides, alternating the haakaa when alternating your baby). This is more of a tool to use when nursing and less of a pump although it does suction some milk out.
Make sure to rotate your old milk out. When you see milk is about to expire offer it to your child in a bottle and replace that with new milk. Essentially you would be pumping instead of a feeding since you are offering a bottle. This will ensure that you never let milk go to waste.
When mixing milk from different sessions, you should always cool each in the fridge to the same temperature first. Then mix together!
To prevent waste, store milk in 2-4 ounce bags.
Label your freezer bags with date and number of OZ (these are the most important) some people like to note if its am or pm milk. PM milk tends to be more fatty and may help with better sleep.
You can click HERE to see all my breastfeeding favorites.
To learn more about breastfeeding check out my latest guide in collaboration with Leora Robles an IBCLC.
FROM THE FIRST LATCH TO THE LAST DROP
A BREASTFEEDING GUIDE
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