I’ve found that having a supply of pumped milk in the freezer gives me peace of mind that there’s plenty available for my baby when I’m at work, if there’s unexpected travel, or if I need to take medication that isn’t safe for breastfeeding. (One of my friends was on antibiotics for a sinus infection and had to pump and dump for a week!). Also, it’s just nice to have milk ready to go for my husband or a family member to be able to give her a bottle anytime.
With that said, I still dread pumping. Even though it’s not really that big of a deal, it’s one more thing that I need to do. And there are so many steps involved: hook up to the pump, unhook to go find the piece I forgot on the drying rack in the kitchen, pump, wash all the pieces after, and put the milk in a labeled storage bag— it’s quite a process.
To make it more manageable for myself and less daunting, I made it a goal to pump once a day, shortly after the first feeding. Even just getting a few ounces is helping to compile a really solid supply in my freezer. (Seriously – let’s say you get three ounces each session. Do that seven days a week, and you’ve got 21 ounces stored!) Pumping in the morning just gets it out of the way early, and I can cross it off the to-do list. Lots of moms find that pumping right after the first feeding or late at night once the baby sleeps longer stretches produces the most milk.
A friend also gave me a great tip to freeze milk in various increments, not just what you use for a full bottle. Sometimes your baby may want an extra ounce or two. And rather than having to defrost four ounces, you can grab only what you really need and not waste a drop. (They call it liquid gold for a reason!)
So if you’re trying to build up your stash, try this low-stress, once-a-day method. Overdoing it on the pumping will mess with your milk supply and make you exhausted.
Do you have any good tricks for building a milk stash?
The medical information in this article is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your doctor for guidance about a specific medical condition.