How To Build A Good Freezer Supply Of Breast Milk

There may come a time when, for even a short period, you need to be separated from your baby. It could be a work commitment, an appointment or a much-needed meal with the girls. 

There may come a time when, for even a short period, you need to be separated from your baby. It could be a work commitment, an appointment or a much-needed meal with the girls.
If you are breastfeeding this will require putting a plan in place for feeding your baby. Until now you have only had to think about latching your baby on at the source.
In fact, it might just feel like you have just got the hang of things and the thoughts of having to even think about pumping is a little off-putting, to say the least.
Making a plan to build a freezer supply of breast milk is rarely a bad idea. Once breastfeeding has been established and you and your baby have settled into a positive breastfeeding routine you can begin to think about building a stockpile of milk. This way your baby can be nourished with breast milk even if you are away from them for any period of time.
Just like with breastfeeding, it will take time and patience to find your own personal rhythm regarding pumping and storing milk for later use. It may feel impossible at the beginning but you will find a way that works for you and your family.

Here are our top tips for building a freezer supply of breast milk for your baby

1. Do some research on breast pumps. You can rent a hospital-grade pump for a certain amount of time which can work out well for women who are trying to build a supply before they go back to work. Some women find that these pumps work more effectively. You may decide on a simple hand-held pump or an electric pump (single or double).

2. Don’t compare yourself to other women. You will hear stories of all of the Jennys and Lauras who “get 5oz” in ten minutes. You are unique and so are your breasts so treat this as a very individual experience.

3. Remember that the milk that a pump extracts does not reflect what your baby drinks. Breasts are pretty intelligent and they can tell the difference between a pump and a baby’s mouth. There are all sorts of hormonal, emotional and physical differences. Treat them as separate things.

4. Pumping first thing in the morning is considered to be a good pumping time for a lot of women. It might mean setting your alarm for a little earlier but it might be a good time for you to begin with. Some women believe it is because their body has been at rest and has had a chance to produce lots of milk.

5. Store your breast milk in small batches. Smaller amounts will thaw more quickly and it is also a good way to prevent waste. You can always thaw more but once you have defrosted the milk you are on the clock and it is only safe to use for a certain amount of time.

6. Try not to pump too much. Sometimes you will need to pump a little more but over-pumping may lead to an over-supply and that puts you at risk of Mastitis.

7. Storing the milk When storing the milk store it by date with the most recent milk at the back of the freezer as you will have to use the oldest milk first.

8. Continue to pump when you are away from the baby as when your baby is drinking a bottle of breast milk your body will receive the signal that they do not require the milk currently produced by your breasts. Pumping it will tell your body that it is still needed.

9. Lay the milk down flat in the freezer to give you more space. Remember to clearly label each one and leave a little room at the top of the sealed bag to allow for expansion.

10. Get plenty of rest, plenty of fluids and try to relax, Mama!

Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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