1 - Introduction

Breastfeeding for the first 6 months after birth plays a really important role in the development of your baby. However, as much as you want to do, it is not always possible to be available whenever the child needs to feed.

There is another choice which a lot of mother all over the world use to make sure that their babies would drink breast milk in the required time, which is to express milk. In general, you can do this with your bare hands or a pump, a special type of storage bag is also necessary. It is an essential item when you need to breastfeed exclusively

In this buying guide, we will show you how to choose the best breast milk storage bag. It is also necessary to know how to handle and store milk correctly when applying those bags since this is the best way to keep you child safe and healthy.

2 - Popular types of breast milk storage bag

This storage bag of Dr. Brown is designed with double zipper seal to prevent any leakage.

Like most of other bags, it is also pre-sterilized so that you could pump milk directly to it without washing or pre-cleaning. In addition, the smart design make it easier for you to keep the bag in a flat as well as upright position.

Pros

  • Double zipper seal
  • BPA-free
  • Can keep in flat or upright position

Cons

  • Quite expensive
  • Measurements are not always accurate

The Kiinde Twist Pouches are generally made from durable polyethylene material. You can directly pump milk into them to feed your baby. After pumping, you could also use the holder of storage bag to organize them. Another benefit is that it could also hold bags from any other brands. Those bags are recyclable, disposable, PVC and BPA-free.

Pros

  • Hygienic and safe to use
  • Secure screw cap
  • Easy to pour the milk without spill
  • Convenient and straightforward to use
  • Can self-stand or lay flat
  • Durable

Cons

  • Measurements are not always accurate
  • Quite expensive

The Lansinoh milk storage bags are generally strong and large to make sure that they could store a large amount of milk, which can be up to 6 ounces. It means that you could prepare your baby's bottle with a single bag. With a unique seal, this bag is very helpful in making sure that no foreign items would get in or the milk would not spill.

It is also rather simple to use thanks to the tissue style dispenser and pour spout. Manufacturer offers 100 units in each pack with a really affordable price.

Pros

  • Double zipper
  • Simple to use.
  • Large and strong
  • BPA free.
  • Puncture-resistant and waterproof
  • Easy to pull out each bag at a time.
  • Cheap

Cons

  • Impossible to directly pump milk into the bag.
  • Cannot stand up well
  • Often spill when pour milk to the bottle

The type of breast milk bag is designed with a stand-up bottom, which make it really convenient to use. It is also compatible with the breast pump so that you could directly pump milk to the bag.

With a protective oxygen barrier, it is really important to make sure that the milk would preserve the essential nutrients when keeping in a freezer. In addition, there are no spills or leaks with those bags.

Pros

  • Freeze well without any leakage.
  • Convenient to use
  • Can directly pump milk into the bag
  • Long-term storage
  • Easy to label
  • Protective oxygen

Cons

  • Stiff material
  • Small size
  • Quite expensive

NUK is one of the most popular brands in the market these days, which is famous for its 100% leak-proof products. These bags are generally designed with a double zipper and thick material to make sure that they provide you additional security.

These pre-sterilized products are big enough to store up to 6 ounces of breast milk, and the self-standing designs also make them convenient and easy use.

Pros

  • Double zipper and strong seams
  • Easy and convenient to use.
  • Pre-sterilized.
  • Large enough for 6 ounces
  • Clear fill lines
  • Easy to thaw the milk

Cons

  • Rather difficult to label.
  • Bulky to store in upright position
  • Cannot directly attach to a pump

Those bags of Mommy’s Precious are very large so that they can store nearly a quarter liter of breast milk. Each bag is designed a double zipper to avoid leakage and a gusset bottom to make it easier to handle.

They are also pre-sterilized, latex-free and BPA-free to guarantee the safety of your baby.

In addition, with accurate measurement lines, you can give your child the adequate amount of milk that you want.

Pros

  • Leak-proof and self-standing
  • Latex-free, BPA-free and pre-sterilized
  • Accurate measurement lines
  • Easy to label
  • Excellent safety seals
  • Contain 110 pieces

Cons

  • Difficult to open
  • Thick plastic

3 – Recommended duration and temperature for breast milk storage

  • Room temperature – above 26 °C: 1 hour
  • Room temperature with air conditioner – below 26 °C: 6 hours
  • Refrigerator: 48 hours
  • Freezer compartment of a refrigerator: 2 weeks
  • Freezer compartment of a refrigerator with separate doors: 4 months.
  • Separate deep freeze: 6 months.

4 – Important things to consider when choosing a breast milk storage bag

Hygiene​ : This should always your top priority when choosing a storage bag as breast milk would quickly go bad. Any bag that you purchase should have maximum cleanliness, which make it difficult for the milk to be contaminated. In fact, pre-sterilized products are ideally the best choice due to their hygienic features.

Size : A suitable storage bag need to hold sufficient milk for a couple feeding times so that you would not throw out any milk. Also, a measurable one will help you decide the amount of breast milk that you are producing.

Durability​ : Make sure to buy a durable product as you will not always have money and time to shop for a new one. A good bag also need to last long enough to make sure that it is still safe and hygienic to use.

Seal​ : This part will make sure that the milk stays in a storage bag till you want to use it. In addition, nothing from the outside would find its way to the milk and adulterate it. There are many choices for you to choose in terms of the seal, ranging from screw cap types or double zipper.

Pump ability ​: Convenience is also an essential thing when going for the right breast milk storage bag. One way to make sure this is to choose a product that is suitable with the pump which you will be applying to express your milk. This will help to reduce the risk of spillage, and this is also a good way to decrease the possibility of the milk having contact with harmful bacteria or germs because it would go straight to the storage bag from your breast.

Ease of use​ : A bag would be simple to use when it is compatible with the pump, which will save you a lot of time. Stand-up feature is also very straightforward to apply as you can put it in the fridge or on the counter without any troubles with spillage. A product with pouring spout is also a good option as it will be easier for you to pour the milk into a feeding bottle.

Price​ : Storage bags are available a wide variety of types and designs with variation in prices. An expensive product will often provide more features and make you more convenience, but a cheap one is still hygienic and offers necessary function. When it comes to money, it is highly recommended to buy milk storage bag in bulk as it will save you a lot.

5 – How to use breast milk storage bags

A breast milk storage bags often provides instruction for usage, but the basic one is similar for most bags.

1. Before filling, label the storage bag with a waterproof pen.
2. Remove its sterilizer seal to open the bag.
3. Place it around a breast pump shield and then collect the breast milk or pour expressed breast milk from a bottle to the bag.
4. Do not fill to the maximum capacity of the bag.
5. Push out any remaining air from empty space in the bag.
6. Securely seal the zipper.
7. Put the bag upright if you store in a fridge. If you keep it in a freezer, put on a sheet of paper towel and lie flat to prevent it from sticking to other items or the surface.
8. To thaw, get it out of the freezer and then thaw upright in a refrigerator or a bowl of warm water.
9. Pour the thawed breast milk to the feeding bottles and make sure that the bag is at a strong angle to avoid spill.
10. Throw away the used storage bags. It is not suggested to reuse.

6. How to store breast milk

Buying a good milk storage bag is one thing, but making sure that you can store and handle the milk correctly is another. Therefore, you need to strictly follow the guideline as below:

  • The first thing you should bear in mind is to wash your hands carefully before handling the breast milk.
  • Never add or mix fresh milk with any which is already frozen.
  • Make sure to label every storage bag with the time and date.
  • You should not attempt to save milk from used feeding bottle as it is not reusable.
  • Do not freeze breast milk again once you have thawed it.
  • Store the breast milk in small batches to make sure that none of these would go to waste.
  • Place the breast milk in a freezer as soon as you can as being out for a long time would make it less fresh.
  • If you want to put milk bag in a refrigerator, ensure that you do not fill it fully because it needs enough space for expansion.
  • Make sure that your baby always drinks the oldest breast milk first.

7. Conclusion

Breastfeeding would be frustrating and challenging, especially when you are a working mother. However, this should never be a problem if you choose the best breast milk storage bag as it would make sure that your baby will always have adequate milk to drink.

It is necessary to spend time considering a suitable breast milk storage bag. With all useful information mentioned above, you will find this process so easy. Also, remember to follow our guidelines when handling and storing the milk to ensure that it is safe for your baby.​

Nancy D. Richardson

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