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Freezing Breastmilk

So you want to breastfeed your baby in the 21st century?  Well little lady, buckle up... this is going to take some equipment. (This is of course, assuming you want to leave your baby's side ever in their first year, or however long you want to breastfeed for).  We'll get to breast pumps and things you need to pump at work in some other posts, but this post will be about storing breast milk.

Should you find yourself lucky enough to have adequate supply to start a freezer stash, I would recommend doing so.  (If you do not find yourself lucky enough to have an adequate supply, worry not.  If you're reading this, I assume you find yourself living in or after 2015, a fantastic time in human history when we can just buy baby food in the grocery store and feed our babies.  The future is a pretty rad place to live.)   The freezer stash is great if your supply drops when you're sick (true for me and many, though not all, women).  It's also great if you need to travel or have the luxury to drop the kid off at the grandparents for the weekend or otherwise extended babysitting.  Every time I add a bag to my stash, I stroke the bags already in there and make the "my precious" sign, while mumbling to myself (I don't actually, but it does give me peace of mind that if I die, my husband could feed the baby for a couple of days before having to go out and buy formula).

So back to the practical advice... I would recommend getting an organizer box to store your milk. The organizer box I recommend is the First Years Breastflow Milk Storage Organizer.  Why do I recommend this?  Well, if you freeze your milk in bags (which I also advocate, because freezing it in bottles takes up an insane amount of space and costs an insane amount of money spent on bottles), the bags freeze funny on their own and are difficult to store.  This convenient contraption makes them freeze flat and gives you handy box to store the neat flat bags.  You can even use the lid for additional storage space if you build up a big enough stash.  Also, any brand of bag will fit in the box so you don't have to commit to a "system".  The photo to the left shows the current milk contents of my freezer - a full lid, with space still left in the main box; currently one bag is in the process of freezing under pressure.  If you look carefully you'll see 2 different brands of freezer bags being used.

What about the competition? There are a number of popular "systems", none of which I can frankly recommend in good conscience.  Here's why.
  1. 1.  The most popular solution I've seen based on extensive time spent in baby stores over the last couple of years is the Kiinde Breastmilk Storage Bag Holder and Organizer.  Their big pitch is that you can pump directly into their bags and their bags are recycle-able.  I'm super pro recycling, but that's where their goodness ends as far as I'm concerned.  There are a number of other brand bags that you can pump directly into.  For the same amount of space (approximately) that their solution stores 12 bags, the organizer in my freezer currently is storing about 20.

  2. 2. The other solution I frequently see is Medela Breast Milk Freezer Bottles.  These I personally find ridiculous.  They are 2oz each - an amount of milk most of my babies surpassed eating by 6 weeks.  That is a massive amount of freezer space to give up in order to store 24 ozes of milk.

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