How to store frozen expressed breast milk?

In Autumn 2016, I learned some useful knowledge on how to store frozen expressed breast milk. While it’s better to give babies fresh milk whenever possible, the demands on working mothers result in some babies, including Little Princess has to drink frozen expressed breast milk after she is almost 3 months old. In Spring 2017, I felt that giving babies fresh breast milk is also efficient for working mothers; unfortunately, some work conditions do not allow such a practice. I spent a lot of time washing and sterilizing the pump kits [4].

Useful notes:

  • If storing frozen milk at work, make note of mother’s name, date and volume expressed (A tips I learned from Tommee Tippee’s on 20161102).
  • Defrost breast milk in refrigerator overnight. According to Tommee Tippee, we can also thaw frozen milk by standing it in a bowl of lukewarm water until it has reached body temperature.
  • Thawed milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours (Pur).
  • I prefer to (1) cut off the top corner in a small triangle-shape (for easy pouring) with sterilized scissors and pour into a sterilized feeding bottle over (2) open the seal.
  • Always check the temperature in order not to scald baby’s tongue.
  • Never microwave breast milk.
  • Try to remove as much air as possible (1) to preserve milk flavor* and nutrients and (2) because oxidation cause metallic taste. * Removing air does not help in improving the taste if it is caused by excessive lipase enzyme in the breast milk (see Asia2016/20161009*jpg).
  • To delay thawing, decrease surface or increase surface-to-volume ratio. For the same volume of ice, spheres will melt slower than cubes. Fill more volume into a single container.

I have used the following containers to store expressed breast milk in the freezer:

Lansinol plastic storage bags (180 ml [1])
Made In Thailand
Similar plastic materials [3]: Lansinoh, Nanny, Pur.
Price:
Sep 2016: 29.8 cents (min 50 bags) from Agape Babies or Pupsik
Pro:
double zipper zip
my favorite as of 20161102

Medela plastic storage bags (150 ml)
Similar plastic materials [3]: Medela, Unimom.
Con:
single zipper zip
plastic stick together after 3 years [3]

Nanny plastic storage bags (250 ml)
Similar plastic materials [3]: Lansinoh, Nanny, Pur.
Made In Thailand
Pro:
double zipper zip

Philips Avent cups
Price:
Oct 2016: $2.87-$3.15 (min 10 of 180 ml cups + 2 adaptors) and $2.34 (min 5 of 240 ml cups) from Qoo10
Pro:
reusable (enviromental-friendly)
Con:
plastic degradation (after multiple sterilizations),
harder to remove air in the container

Philips Avent breastmilk plastic storage bags (180 ml)
Made in China
Price:
Oct 2016: 40 cents (min 25 bags)
Con:

double zipper zip [2]
Little Princess’ father mentioned that it’s harder to pour from this plastic bag to bottles.

Pigeon plastic storage bags
Made in Thailand
Material polyethylene [3]
Price:
Oct 2016 or NTUC Fairprice ($15.9): 64 cents (min 25 bags)
Con:
single zipper zip
expensive

Pur plastic storage bags (250 ml [1])
Similar plastic materials: Lansinoh, Nanny, Pur.
Price:
Oct 2016: 32 cents (min 50 bags), 28 cents (min 400 bags) | Mar 2017: 30 cents (min 100 bags)
Pro:
double zipper zip
Con:
On 20170203, Little Princess’ father mentioned that a bag of 200 ml precious frozen breastmilk was leaking (at the bottom part) during thawing.
In February 2017, I realized that it is harder to open the plastic bag. I must hold at the lid part and a almost-torn mark can form on the plastic. To minimize the risk of leakage, I just used the plastic bags with almost-torn marks for other purposes e.g. carrying soup to work.

Tommee Tippee bags (350 ml)
Material: LDPE [3]
Price:
Oct 2016:
Kiddy Palace $13.9 i.e. 40 cents (min 36 bags)
Mothercare $19.9 i.e. 57 cents (min 36 bags)
Sep 2017:
Kiddy Palace $19.9 i.e. 28 cents (min 72 bags) [5]
Pro:
double zipper zip
Con:
uneven plastic edges on sides (from sealing)

Unimom plastic storage bags (210 ml)
Similar plastic materials: Medela, Unimom.
Price: 29.7 cents (min 30 bags) from Agape Babies.
Con:
single zipper zip

[1] I compared the height and width, it seems that both Lansinol and Pur have the similar height and width.

[2] On 20161031 (see also email entitled “20161031 shopping”), I am disappointed to find out that the double zippers of Philips Avent breastmilk plastic storage bags are actually like a single zipper because the double zippers are too close to each other, hence an act of opening will simultaneously open both zippers. In addition, both my sister and I do not prefer the Avent milk bottles.

[3] Lansinoh, Nanny, Pigeon, Pur, Tommee Tippee, are similar in material, as of 20161031, I prefer this type of material as it seemed to have a lower tearing risk while containing frozen breastmilk. Medela, Philips Avent, Unimom are similar in material. I was given Medela plastic bags between late 2013 and early 2014, and in Autumn 2016 I discovered that the plastic on both sides sticks to each other.

[4] Since I will be pumping and traveling to multiple airports, cities, hotels and workplace, I decided to purchase a  Black+Decker travel kettle (~ USD 19 on 20170322) to sterilize the pumping kit and baby bottles.
For first time usage of travel kettle:
Wash the travel kettle in warm, soapy water.
Rinse and dry.
Before using the kettle, fill it with fresh water, boil, then pour the water away.
Repeat 3x times, to remove any residue from the factory.

[5] Perhaps, this purchase would be our last one as each pumping session required 30 minutes. I could use the time to spend a quality time with Little Princess. and/or Little Prince.

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2 comments

  1. […] This question was partly arisen because I am also pumping and storing frozen breastmilk for rainy days, when Little Princess will be separated from her mother – her source of drink […]

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  2. […] of benzene rings), even after rinsing with soapy water. Thus, I decided not to use the cups for storing frozen breastmilk. It appears that sealed plastic absorbs odor easily. To remove odor in plastic containers, […]

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