Many breastfeeding moms wonder if they can reuse breast milk bags.
This article will help you find out more about breast milk bags in general and their use. As a new mom who wants to pump her breast milk, you also want to find the best ways to store it.
It can be hard to make everything comfortable and convenient, but with some organization and planning, it’s possible.
If your milk supply is good enough to breastfeed, it’s good to consider all of your feeding options.
Even if it’s not, pumping and storing milk could help you with this problem. Breast milk storage bags are perfectly designed to help you store your milk and use it later.
They’re affordable, they’re easy to find, and they will make this part of your life much easier.
Can You Reuse Breast Milk Bags?
You can reuse breast milk bags, but only if they’re marked as reusable.
There are many types of breast milk bags, and not all of them are reusable.
Many people claim that you can reuse all types of breast milk bags. All of them can be cleaned, disinfected, and sterilized. However, it’s possible that some residual bacteria stays on the bag since it’s not made to be reused.
This could have a negative effect on your baby’s health, so it’s best to avoid this. If you want to reuse breast milk bags, find ones that are high-quality, with zip-lock technology, and that are made to be reused.
All the usual breast milk bags are made from food-grade plastic, they’re sterilized, and ready to use right away.
Reusable breast milk bags are usually made of silicone. They’re BPA-free and latex-free, which makes them eco-friendly too.
They have a zip-lock system for opening and closing, and they’re quite stable and firm. They can be easily cleaned and sterilized with the right products, and the best thing is they can be used even after you stop breastfeeding.
This type of milk bag is great for storing baby food.
These bags can be a bit pricey, but if you think about it, they will last forever, and you won’t have to worry ever again whether there are any milk storage bags left when you’re ready to pump.
Reusing Breast Milk Bags For Other Purposes
Let’s repeat it – to store breast milk, we should only use reusable breast milk bags. Milk storage bags that are made for single use could be harmful if used again.
However, some moms like to reuse these too, but not for breast milk. I will give you a few interesting options for reusing breast milk bags.
- Freezing smoothies and food – after you clean the bags well, and sterilize them in hot water, you can use them once more by storing some fruit, smoothies, or other foods in them.
You might want to store things that are intended for adults to consume. Even though there is a small chance for any contamination, don’t put anything that your baby should eat. Their immune system is still weak, and you should use only reusable milk bags to store baby’s food and drinks.
On the other hand, you can use these bags to free many things for yourself and other adults.
Soups, broths, slushies, and veggies are just some of the options. A milk storage bag is also great for packing snacks. It’s not too big, and it’s not too small.
- Storing medications – many medications should be kept in cold places, but many of them don’t have the best packaging. Some of them leak and leave traces all over your fridge or table.
The used milk storage bags can be cleaned and reused as a safeguard and container for certain medications.
- Creating a DIY waterproof case – it may sound silly but when you don’t have anything else that is small enough to hold your phone, keys, or wallet, milk bags are a good option.
If you’re going to the beach, and you just want something that will keep water and sand from your personal items, this is a great option. It’s quite small, and it will fit anywhere you put it.
Just remember, you should reuse milk storage bags only once or twice if they’re not reusable.
Why Do People Store Breast Milk?
It’s important to know some facts about storing breast milk. Whoever came up with the idea of storing breast milk is truly the hero of many moms out there.
If you’re still exploring this topic, you might wonder why moms store their milk.
If they already have a good breast milk supply, why don’t they just breastfeed?
Well, there are many reasons for this. First of all, many moms are both pumping and breastfeeding. Sometimes they have too much milk and they don’t want to waste it.
Sometimes they’re both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding their baby. This is very convenient for moms who are away from the baby sometimes.
Someone else can simply use the breast milk to feed the baby with a bottle. Some moms are exclusively pumping breast milk. Even though breastfeeding is something unique and rewarding, it’s not comfortable for everyone.
For some moms, breastfeeding is simply too painful. Maybe they have a certain medical condition that is stopping them from breastfeeding.
Maybe the baby has some health issues that aren’t compatible with breastfeeding. In these and similar cases, pumping and bottle-feeding are life saviors.
Besides good breast milk storage bags, you will also need a good pump. There are a few options, and it’s up to you which one will you choose.
It’s possible to express the milk manually, but it takes a lot of practice and time to do it. Besides, even when you learn this technique, it will always be time-consuming.
Three basic options are manual breast pump, electric breast pump, and battery-operated breast pump.
A manual breast pump is the most affordable option, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. It’s easy to clean, but it does take a while to express breast milk.
It can be a bit exhausting to pump with a manual pump, especially if you have a lot of milk.
An electric breast pump usually has a cord attached to it, and it’s quite fast in expressing milk. It’s a bit more complicated to clean, but it saves you time.
You have a single electric breast pump- for expressing milk from one breast and a double electric breast pump – for expressing milk from two breasts simultaneously.
Battery-operated pumps work in the same way, they just don’t need a power source.
Electric pumps are great and efficient, but if you’re breastfeeding everywhere, even at work, this can be complicated. They are larger and they require a power source near you. So, battery-operated breast pumps are the best option.
But, don’t be in a hurry to get any battery-operated pump. You should find a wearable breast pump.
Wearable breast pumps are battery-operated too, but they fit perfectly inside your bra.
You can continue with your activities while expressing breast milk with this pump. The most popular wearable breast pump is the Willow pump. Besides a good pump, you also need some pads for possible leakage.
How To Use Breast Milk Bags?
Now that you know all about the needed equipment for pumping, it’s time to talk more about the star of this article – breast milk storage bags.
They’re easy to find, they’re affordable, and they are ready to use right after you open the package.
You simply pour the milk from the breast pump storage bottle. Close them tightly and store them away.
You can store breast milk in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months. Some people find it acceptable to store breast milk in the freezer for 12 months.
It’s also good to know that you can leave it at room temperature for about 3-4 hours.
When you defrost a breast milk bag, you can’t freeze it again. Honestly, there are different opinions on this topic, and you will probably find different information.
However, these are the recommendations of many healthcare providers too.
Breast milk storage bags can be found in different sizes. You can choose from 200ml up to 2l or even more. It’s a must to write a date on the storage bag.
The best thing to do is to use breast milk storage bags that are big enough to hold the amount of breast milk pumped in one session.
This will be the perfect amount for the store because that’s the amount your baby will eat anyway.
Reusable bags for breast milk are a much better option than a breast milk container. They won’t take up a lot of space in your fridge or freezer, and they’re easy to handle.
Storing Breast Milk Has Many Benefits
Using milk storage bags to store your breast milk is a great idea, not just for feeding your baby with that milk but also for some other things.
We all know that mom’s milk is something amazing and something super healthy. It can be used in many recipes, just like any other milk.
Reusable bags are also more desirable to use in these cases since you will probably store milk for a longer time if you want to use it when your baby starts to eat other foods.
Milk storage bags that are reusable are healthier and they will preserve milk for longer. Most of these recipes are created for your baby. However, there is nothing wrong with using your milk to prepare food for yourself.
If you have enough of it, then go for it. It will boost your immunity, and it will make you stronger and healthier. Simply use your milk instead of regular milk in some of your favorite recipes.
And now, let’s use these practical bags to freeze the milk and use it to make great recipes for our little ones.
Just make sure your baby is old enough to eat certain ingredients from the recipes to avoid possible allergic reactions.
Most moms can’t wait to give their babies avocados. Avocado is healthy and it contains so many nutrients that are essential for the human body.
It’s also easy to prepare – you simply mash it, and that’s it. Avocado by itself can be bland, so it’s good to add something to it.
So, mash ½ of the avocado with ½ of your milk. I suggest blending these ingredients to avoid any lumps. You will create a perfect puree.
You can always add some fruit to this puree if your baby prefers it. Either way, it will taste great, and it’s very healthy.
Just like you would make oatmeal with some other kind of milk, you can make it with your own milk.
Warm up the milk, add some oats and mashed fruits of your choice, and stir it well. You will create a perfectly nutritious breakfast that your baby will love.
Smoothies are always my favorite type of recipe. They can make everything taste amazing.
For this smoothie, you will need 1 cup of breast milk, ½ cup of yogurt, ½ cup of carrot juice, and one mashed banana.
Blend everything together and enjoy. You can use reusable storage bags to make a few batches of this smoothie for later.
You can use your regular pancake recipe, just replace the regular milk with your own.
I like to add a mashed banana to the mixture to add even more nutrients. After you make the pancakes, you can serve it with some fruit and peanut butter.
Teething popsicles are great to take away the pain and they’re healthy. Blend some of your milk with one mashed pear, and pour it into a popsicle mold. It’s so simple yet so effective.
Strawberries are delicious and filled with fiber and vitamins. When you mix them with mother’s milk, they’re even better for your baby’s immunity.
Wash and clean some strawberries, and cut them into small pieces. Put them in a bowl and use a fork to squeeze them as much as you can.
When you do it, just pour some of your milk over it and add some honey. Mix it with a spoon, and you have a perfect fruity dessert.
Milky Baby Food
The simplest way to enrich your baby’s meals with your milk is to add it to regular baby food.
It’s always better if it’s homemade, but you can also add it to store-bought food. Adding one or two tablespoons will be great for this option.
Storing Breast Milk As A Remedy
Reusable milk storage bags are not just great for nutrition and healthy recipes. Breast milk is known for its healing properties and its health benefits for different things.
Some people don’t like the idea of using breast milk for something that’s not bottle-feeding or breastfeeding.
That is understandable, but it’s always good to learn the power of mother’s milk before making any decisions.
We eat and use so many products that are filled with harmful and disgusting ingredients. Mother’s milk is natural, and there is nothing wrong with using it for various purposes.
So, let’s go over a few interesting uses of breast milk.
Breast Milk Lotion
Breast milk lotion is made of your milk and other nourishing ingredients that are great for your skin.
This lotion is very hydrating, but it also has healing properties. If you’re struggling with skin rash, irritations, or stretch marks, you should try making this magical lotion.
Mixing your milk with green or pink clay will do wonders for your face. You will feel refreshed, and your skin will be cleaned and purified.
This mask is also great for minimizing and cleaning out the pores. Some women claim that using breast milk on your face can remove wrinkles.
Treatment For Infections
Your own milk will cure oral, nasal, and ear infections. Just spray some of your milk on the affected area and wait.
Your milk is not just good for the baby. It’s packed with nutrients and healthy ingredients. It’s a magical, living fluid that is great for the immune system and protecting everyone’s skin and body.
Treatment For Rash, Eczema, and Acne
Using breast milk on your or your baby’s skin is not just for preventing some things and hydrating.
It’s also a great treatment for certain skin conditions. It has healing properties and it will improve the condition in no time.
You can spray the skin with the milk, or you can just dab it. Some moms even bathe their kids in breast milk.
Your milk is a natural fluid that has everything your baby needs. It’s truly a cure for many things.
Cradle Cap Cure
Wetting your baby’s hair with your milk, and leaving it to soak for a while will help you to remove the cradle cap.
Just brush it away gently with a comb after some time, and that’s it. Make sure to wash the baby’s hair with shampoo after brushing out the cradle cap. If you don’t do this, the milk will smell awful after some time.
Organization Is Important
Now that you know so many things about storage bags for milk and pumping milk for storage, you should also know that all of that is not hard at all.
It may seem like a lot of work. It is definitely easier to simply breastfeed your baby or store the milk in a container for no more than a day.
However, if you’re a busy mom with a hectic schedule, it’s important to manage your time well in order to give your baby the best things.
You know that your milk is like liquid gold to your child. If you have enough of it, why not store it?
Create a good breastfeeding and pumping schedule, and include other family members in the process.
Get them to feed the baby too, and explain your schedule to them. It’s important to organize your day and stay on track.
If you want to do all of this, but you don’t have a sufficient milk supply, then consider using some lactation drinks or hiring a lactation consultant.
Massaging your breath and using a warm compress is also a good way to induce lactation. Warm showers and stimulating the nipples is also helpful when you have lactation issues.
You can do this and your body is made for this. If you want to store that milk to use all its amazing perks of it, then go for it.
Eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle. You can even find some tricks to make your breast milk fattier.
Once you get the hang of everything – pumping, storing, freezing, and breastfeeding, you will understand that you’re a super mom who’s doing everything that’s good for the baby.
You can definitely reuse breast milk bags if they’re made for that purpose. Not all breast milk bags are made to be used more than once.
Some people reuse them for storing something else because it’s not recommended to use them for storing breast milk.
Luckily, someone came up with reusable breast milk storage bags that are made from safe materials. They can be cleaned and sterilized, and they can be used all the time.
Some moms claim that you can use every milk storage bag at least two more times if you clean them well. They say that they don’t have to be reusable.
However, I would avoid this. It’s better to be safe than sorry. You never know what could happen.
The breastfeeding period comes with many challenges, and it can be hard to organize yourself. When you also want to pump the milk and store it, this chapter of your life is even more overwhelming.
Even if you didn’t use your own milk to feed the baby, it’s never too late to start breastfeeding and pumping.
But you’re not alone. So many moms are going through the same thing, and all of that eventually goes away.
You have to be patient and strong. You have to think about the baby and its health. You’ve got this, and you can pull this off. Ask for help if you need it, and stay focused on your goal to provide your baby with the best care possible.
Hi all, I am Sidney, a nutritionist by education, a hobbyist photographer, and a mother to two sweet girls who are my motivation. I love sharing the tips and tricks I gained all these years I’ve been a mother. I hope it will help you!