When I was pregnant I was desperate to find an alternative to the plastic breast milk storage solutions that most companies offer. I had bought the Medela Freestyle pump for it’s compact size and ease. I soon discovered that the brand Lifefactory sells amazing glass bottles that fit right onto the Medela pump. At $15 a bottle they require a pricey initial investment, but the bottles can be used both as a bottle for pumping, a baby milk bottle, and as a sippy cup well into toddlerhood.
What you will need:
- Good quality pump (you will have to make sure that the pump parts fit onto the glass bottles that you choose).
- Glass bottles for pumping – I used these from Lifefactory and had eight on rotation.
- Freezer safe glass bottles for storage – I used 125 mL jars by Bernardini with this BPA free lid.
- Label kit (you will want to label your bottles with date and liquid volume).
With the sippy cup attachment:
125 mL freezer jars:
These bottles are great, but I don’t trust the original canning lids that they come with. They have an odd coating on the inside which I don’t believe is BPA free. They also rust when you wash them which isn’t very helpful! I found these BPA free plastic lids by Bernardini at Canadian Tire.
The Medela Freestyle pump comes with this handy bag. I found these incredible diaper bag organizers from Hey Sugar Snap that fit right into the Medela bag and keep everything organized.
The only catch with a glass breast milk storage system is that you need to thaw the bottles slowly (in the fridge overnight is best). This requires some organization and you need to know how many bottles you will need for the next day. Because of this I would recommend to freeze some breast milk in the plastic bags that come with your pumping kit. These thaw in a few minutes and are great to have on hand in a pinch. Never thaw your breast milk in the microwave!
I found that the 125 mL jars were the perfect portion size for my baby (each jar holds about 3 oz with room left for freezing expansion). You do not want to thaw too much breast milk at one time because if it is not consumed right away, it needs to be thrown out. You cannot re-freeze your breast milk.
Keep the milk in your freezer with the new milk on the bottom and the oldest on the top, so that you are constantly replenishing your stash. Breast milk will stay safe in the freezer for up to three months, so pump away!
Freezer inside fridge: 2 weeks
Freezer (separate from fridge, i.e.. with own door): 3 – 4 months
Deep freezer: 6 – 12 months