Whether you’re a working mom on a tight schedule or a new mom struggling to get the hang of things, storing your breast milk can be a life-saver. There are several ways to store breast milk properly, but using breast milk storage bags can save time and effort. To make your search easier, we’ve pulled together some of the best breast milk storage bags on the market.
What are the Advantages to Using Breast Milk Storage Bags?
In days past, plastic and glass bottles were the leading products for breast milk storage.
While BPA-free bottles get the job done, this product can be impractical for moms with limited storage space and no extra time for clean-up. This is where storage bags have the greatest advantage.
Handling your child’s nutrients requires care and precision. While bottles are reusable, you need to thoroughly sanitize the interior after each use.
Storage bags come pre-sterilized. When you’re up to your eyeballs in dishes and laundry, this is huge.
BPA is short for Gestational Bisphenol A, a harmful chemical found in plastic goods.
BPA is nothing to joke around about; it has been linked to psychological developmental issues, such as aggression and anxiety.
When using a bottle with traces of BPA, there is a chance that your child could be exposed to its harmful effects. All of the storage bags on our list are completely BPA-free.
Easy to Store:
If you’re tight on space, the compact shape of storage bags could be very helpful. Most storage bags are able to be stored completely flat, maximizing what little space you might have.
In addition, storage bags come pre-labeled with measurements and a date designation.
How do I Use Storage Bags?
Using breast milk storage bags is very similar to using storage bottles. While the CDC offers an extensive set of guidelines, here are the basics:
Never let breast milk set out longer than 6-8 hours. It’s best to refrigerate or freeze right away if you’re not planning on using it.
Breast milk refrigerated generally spoils in 5 days. Milk stored in the separate freezing compartment of a refrigerator stays for 3- 6 months, whereas milk stored in a deep freeze stays for 6-12 months. Despite these generous time frames, it’s best to stick to the minimum.
Whether you’re using storage bags or plastic bottles, labeling is safeguard against feeding your baby spoiled milk.
Label your bags clearly with a sharpie to ensure that the expiration date is clearly visible. Many storage bags come pre-marked with a space for the date as a friendly reminder to label.
Always wash your hands:
Storage bags are sterile, however, your hands are not. When you transfer the milk to the storage bag you will need to cup the top of the storage bag and close it.
The top is a breeding ground for contamination. Make sure that your hands are thoroughly washed before you begin this process.
Never microwave your storage bag:
This can cause the bag to either melt or explode. The best method is to put your storage bag in the refrigerator the night before to let it thaw out.
If you’re in a pinch, you can thaw the bag by placing the bag in lightly warmed water. Storing breast milk may sound like a complicated process, but with practice and a quality storage system, you’ll get the hang of it in no time.
The internet is a great resource if you’re a new mom still honing your craft. Check out this vlog for additional breast milk storage tips and guidelines:
How to Choose Breast Milk Storage Bags
Discovering the best breast milk storage bag for your individual needs requires a little bit of research, but it’s not as daunting as it might seem when you know what to look for.
A leaking bag of breast milk can ruin any mom’s day. Leaks are caused by faulty construction around the seams or a poor design in the bag’s opening.
Some storage bags have a reputation for being almost leak-proof while others are a constant frustration. Purchasing a bag with a double seal or a twisted cap is a great way to prevent leakage.
Ease of Use:
Look for a bag that makes transferring liquids simplistic. While some bags may excel in leakage and capacity, many are cumbersome. Bags that have either circular openings or sprouts are much easier to work with.
Experts recommend that newborns drink between 1.5 and 3 oz. a meal, gradually moving up to 4 and 6 oz. after four months. 6 oz. are the preferred capacity for breast milk storage bags.
Accuracy of Measurements:
Storing milk with pre-determined serving sizes can save busy moms precious time. While most storage bags offer pre-marked measurements, not all are accurate.
Accuracy of measurements shouldn’t be a deal-breaker when considering which bag to purchase, but it is a valuable convenience.
The Best Breast Milk Storage Bags
To make the search less daunting, we’ve compiled a short list of the best breast milk storage bags on the market. Our list considers every factor to help you decide which product is best for your needs.
If your main goal is to streamline the breast milk storage process, Kiinde could be a good fit.
Kiinde is a well-rounded storage bag, offering innovative design with durable materials. In addition to a quality bag design, Kiinde offers a complete storage solution.
Durable Materials - Kiinde’s bags pay close attention to the seals on each wall, preventing leakage and spills.
Easy-to-Use Design - The twist-lock caps are secure and provide a variety of benefits. The mechanism is designed to be leak-free, which is a relief for traveling moms.
If you decide to connect the pouch directly to a breast pump, the caps lock securely, preventing leakage or, worse, dropping the bag. If you need to transfer milk to a bottle or another storage container, the round twist cap makes it easy to pour.
6 oz. Bag Capacity - This is just another feature that stream-lining moms love. Preparing 6 oz. meals eliminates the need to thaw multiple bags and allows them to grab and go.
Additional Accessories Available - Kiinde’s all-in-one system is convenient and especially beneficial to moms that want to minimize equipment and time-consumption.
Kiinde offers many products in addition to the bags, such as breast pumps, BPA-free bottles, nipples and bag warmers. If you already have a breast pump that you’re in love with, consider purchasing the Kiinde adapter. Kiinde’s adaptors are compatible with all breast pump brands.
Quantity - Kiinde offers multiple packages, including quantities of 80. If you prefer to buy your storage bags all at once, this can be very beneficial.
Issues with this bag:
Not Completely Flat - The twist cap design does have one disadvantage: the bag is unable to become completely flat in the freezer, taking up slightly more space than a traditional zip-seal bag.
Lansinoh is a popular, well-rounded bag that could be a good choice if you like to stockpile. Lansinoh is a well-known brand sold at most major retailers.
Its design is also convenient, utilizing a sprout and flat surface for freezer storage.
Easy Sprout Design - If you have ever had to juggle a baby in one hand and pour a bottle in the other, you can appreciate the sprout feature. The easier the method of pouring, the less spills and cleanup.
Available in Large Quantities - Lansinoh comes in quantities of 20, 50, and 100; this makes it very easy to stockpile supplies and always be prepared.
Lies Flat in Freezer - This may seem like a small factor, but for moms that are working with very limited space, this can be a life-saver. Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags store very flat, a feature attributed to its slim zip-seal design.
Click n’ Secure - This is a double-seal that helps prevent leakage. Most leakages happen during motion or thawing, when bags have expanded. The double seal ensures that the milk stays inside the bag and not a single drop is lost.
Issues with this bag:
Midrange Leakage - Although Lansinoh’s double seal design assists with preventing leaks on the top end, it’s not leak-proof. When milk storage bags freeze, the bag expands.
Bags with thin walls are more likely to develop leaks at the seals as a bag thaws. Lansinoh addresses this issue by suggesting that mothers leave an inch of space to allow for expansion.
Durability - Lansinoh is not as thick as other milk storage bags and may cause more spills if not handled carefully.
If the sight of your breast milk pooling pointlessly into a breast pad makes you cringe, consider trying out the Milkies Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collector.
This product attaches to your breast during nursing and collects any excess milk from your non-nursing breast.
Simplistic Design - The Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collector fits securely on to your breast and has a hole fitted for a typical-sized nipple. This design can also be hands-free if you secure the collector inside your bra. This feature is especially beneficial for the longer feeding days when securing the collector by hand is an exhaustive chore.
Reusable - You can use the collector over and over again, as long as you sanitize it efficiently in between uses. The milk collector is dishwasher-safe and BPA-free.
Travel Case - When it’s not in use, you can safely tuck the collector in a dirt-free environment, decreasing the risk of contamination.
Eliminates Breast Pads - Babies represent massive amounts of laundry. If you’re up to your eyeballs in laundry, you will really appreciate Milkies Milk-Saver Breast Milk Collector.
Issues with this bag:
2 oz. Maximum Capacity - This can be a disadvantage, depending on how much milk you leak during nursing.
Collects Mostly Hind Milk - This is the greatest disadvantage of this product. Hind milk may not contain the required fat content necessary for healthy weight gain. If you choose to use this product, remember to supplement the collected milk with an appropriate amount of foremilk.
May be Uncomfortable - If you use this product, make sure you have a bra that has enough room to accommodate it.
Leakage - While leaks from the bottoms seals are unlikely, the top can still leak during collection. Make sure not to fill the collector too close to the top.
Requires Additional Storage - The milk collector is for short-term use. Milk is meant to either be used quickly or transferred to a storage container.
Ameda is a simplistic, no-nonsense storage bag with a traditional zip-seal design and sprout opening.
Ameda also offers staple features, such as pre-marked measurements and dates, and the option to connect to a breast pump.
5 oz. - While this is not the ideal size, a 5 oz. size is nothing to discount and can be very doable for infants under 4 months.
Sprout - Ameda’s sprout is unique and very easy to use. The sprout is situated on the side of the bag and can be cut open with scissors.
Additional Accessories Available - While Ameda does not offer a complete system like Tommee Tippee or Kiinde, they do offer a convenient flange that allows you to connect directly to most breast pumps.
Gusseted Bottom - Gusseted materials are thicker and more stable than typical bottoms. The gusseted bottom allows the bag to stand upright. This feature is very helpful when you transfer milk from your breast pump bottle to the bag, especially if you are new to the process.
Issues with this bag:
Moderate Leakage - Ameda’s bags are designed with a single zip-seal, which may cause more leaks. Ameda’s bags do not handle expansion as well as other brands. Be careful not to overfill if you want to avoid leaks.
Measurements are Inaccurate - While the pre-marked measurements are a nice feature, it’s important to note that they are off by 1 oz. This isn’t uncommon for storage bags and easily remedied once the inaccuracy is recognized.
Not Completely Flat - Ameda’s unique design prevents the bags from storing as neatly as other products, requiring more freezer space. When comparing to other sprout-designs, like Lansinoh, this is disappointing.
Tommee Tippee is a fast-growing brand now offered at many retailers. Their product line is designed to streamline the breast milk collecting process and includes a range of additional accessories.
Tommee Tippee strives to design superior products with innovative designs that mimic the natural nuances of a woman’s body.
Twist Top Design - These bags are easy to transfer milk into other containers and less likely to leak at the top.
In addition, Tommee Tippee has developed an Easi-Vent system that captures excessive airflow. This feature allows your child to consume less air and more important nutrients. This feature also helps decrease the chances of colic.
Additional Accessories Available - Tommee Tippee Pump and Go Milk Storage Bags are designed with busy moms in mind.
The bags are designed to connect directly to breast pumps; you can use a Tommee Tippee pump or purchase the adaptor to use your favorite pump.
Tommee Tippee also has an impressive line of supporting accessories, such as the milk warmer, Closer to Nature Slow Flow Nipple, a travel case, and a cooling bag for traveling.
Issues with this bag:
Measurements are Inaccurate - While the bags do measure up to 6 oz., they are about .5 oz. off.
Possible Leakage - If directions are not accurately adhered, this bag can leak around the edges during thawing.
Quantity - Tommee Tippee can only be purchased in packs of 35. While this shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, it can be a disappointment if you prefer to buy products in mass quantities.
Which Breast Milk Storage Bag is Best?
Each of these storage bags are excellent choices but one product stands above the rest. If your main priority is efficiency and reliability, Kiinde Twist Pouches are a great buy.
Kiinde’s all-in-one storage system is a working mom’s best friend, making the process quicker, and with minimal cleanup. The bags provide accurate measurements and are an excellent size for different feeding requirements.
While other brands offer quality bags, the Kiinde Twist Pouches are the most leak resistant and reliable.
Breastfeeding can be an arduous task; save yourself some time and effort by choosing the storage bag that works best for your needs.