Breast milk is important to the development of your baby. It promotes the healthy development of your baby and also builds your baby’s immune system. As a nursing mother, if you are planning to return to work or probably need your spouse to help with feeding your little one, you would need to pump your breast milk and would need a safe place to store the breast milk. It is important to use a breast milk storage bag or other safe alternatives when storing breast milk for your little one to make the breast milk safe.
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Breast milk storage bags are not similar to the storage bags used to store food items, it is much thicker, BPA- free and has been approved for the use of storing breast milk without any leakages. Breast milk storage bags are disposable and cannot be reused, hence the possibility of the storage bag being exhausted. But the thing is, what will you do when you ran out of breast milk storage bags?
There are different alternatives you can use to store breast milk instead of using breast milk storage bags. Below are a few alternatives you can pick from to store your breast milk after expressing.
5 Cheap Alternatives You can use to Store Breast Milk
1. Freezer zip lock bags
The first thing you can use when you ran out of breast milk storage bag is the Ziplock bag. It come in handy when your breast milk storage bag gets exhausted. It is important that when storing breast milk in a zip lock bag, it is properly clean, sterilized, and dry. The zip lock bag must be placed in a place that will not get it damaged or punctured. You can place the zip lock bag in a cup or double the zip lock bag to avoid leakages. Although zip lock bags are not designed to store breast milk because of the chance of spilling or leakage, they can be used for emergency breast milk storage.
2. Glass storage bottles
Using glass storage bottles is another cheap alternative to storing breast milk. Ensure that you do not fill the breast milk to the brim of the bottle to avoid leakages and ensure you screw the lid of the bottle properly. It is also important that glass storage bottles are properly washed, sterilized, and dry before pouring the breast milk in it to ensure you don’t expose your baby to health complications. Another advantage of using a glass storage bottle is that you can also use the bottle for other household purposes when you no longer store your breast milk in the glass storage bottle.
3. Ice cube tray
Ice cube tray is another thing you can use when you ran out of breast milk storage. It comes in handy when you run out of storage bags. Ensure that the ice cube tray is properly clean to avoid the breast milk being contaminated. Once you pour the breast milk into the ice cube tray and the milk is frozen, ensure you wash your hands before popping the frozen breast milk out. Put the frozen breast milk in a zip lock bag and label the bag with the date you put them in. You mustn’t leave the breast milk in the ice tray for a long time to avoid the milk picking the taste off the freezer. One great ice cube tray you can use specifically for freezing milk is the Milky milk trays. Each of the trays freezes eight 1-ounce “milk sticks”, allowing you to thaw the right amount of milk you need for each baby feeding.
4. Silicone food storage bags
A silicone food storage bag is another cheap alternative to use when your breast milk storage bags get exhausted. It can be completely sealed so you don’t need to worry about leakage. Silicone food storage bag is reusable, therefore it is important to properly wash and sterilize it before the next use to avoid exposing your little one to the risk of contamination or germs. When pouring the breast milk into the silicone food storage bags, ensure you don’t fill it to the brim to allow for space to expand when the breast milk starts to freeze. Another advantage of using a silicone food storage bag is that you can convert it for household use when you no longer need them to store breast milk.
5. Plastic storage bottles
Plastic storage bottle is a very useful and cheap alternative to store your breast milk in when you ran out of breast milk storage bags. Ensure you don’t fill the breast milk to the top of the plastic bottle to leave extra space for the breast milk to expand while freezing. Use BPA-free bottles or any similar food-safe plastic storage bottle to avoid putting your little one at risk of health complications
Guidelines On Storing Breast Milk In Storage Bags Or Any Alternative
- Wash your hands before pumping your breast milk or handling breast milk that will be put in a storage bag.
- Storage bags or any alternative should be properly cleaned, sterilized and dry before putting breast milk in it to avoid exposing your little one to germs. Wash storage bag or any alternative in the bowl used for only washing items used for your little one. To sterilize the storage bag or any alternative, submerge the storage bag or any alternative in hot water for 3-5 minutes.
- Ensure you leave a little space at the top of the storage bag or any alternative when you put the breast milk in it because the breast milk expands when it begins to freeze
- Ensure that the storage bag or any alternative is not punctured to avoid contents of the breast milk spilling out. You can also put them in a plastic container that has a lid if you are afraid it would get punctured.
- Label the storage bag or any alternative with the exact date stored so you can utilize the old ones first.
Ran Out Of Breast Milk Storage Bags?
Breast milk storage bags can get exhausted at any time since it is not reusable and it would be a relief to have cheap alternatives to store your breast milk for some time so your baby still has breast milk to take even when you are not around. Above are a few alternatives to store your breast milk when you run out of breast milk storage bags. The guidelines provided on storing breast milk in breast milk storage bags or any alternative would help you ensure your little one gets the breast milk and a healthy and safe way.