Hi mamas! I’m Kristin Gourley, an IBCLC and mome of 5. I’m here to answer some concerns about breastmilk freezer stashes. Enjoy!
If you spend any time on an internet breastfeeding support group, you’ll see at least a few mentions of a breastmilk freezer stash. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s a way some moms refer to the bags, sometimes hundreds of ounces, of breastmilk in their freezer.
There are lots of ways women end up with freezer stashes, but are they necessary? Do you need a freezer stash of any size to be successful at meeting your breastfeeding goals?
Having your breastmilk available in the freezer at all times is not a necessity to be successful at breastfeeding—but many families have circumstances that make it very convenient to pull milk out from the freezer to feed baby.
Common reasons moms might consider a freezer stash:
- You are returning to work.
- You have a premature or sick baby.
- You pump more than your baby needs when you’re at work.
- You want a date night or vacation away from baby.
If you don’t foresee yourself leaving your baby for more than an hour or two, you may not need a freezer stash at all! Many mothers, throughout the world and for millennia, have successfully and exclusively breastfed their children without pumping or storing a single ounce. Watching your baby’s feeding cues and bringing baby to breast whenever he or she wants is the best way to meet your breastfeeding goals, but we are glad we have pumps now to provide more options for moms!
If you have more questions about pumping or storing milk, like how to get the most milk in a pumping session or how long your milk can be stored in the fridge or freezer before going bad, check out our Pumping and Storing video class. It has everything you need to know to pump and store your milk!
Thanks for stopping by,
Kristin Gourley, IBCLC