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A question about freezing EBM

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#1 MrsMammaB

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:02 PM

Im struggling to express much milk at all but am persisting. Its not really vital as Im only wanting to do it so I can let DH feed DD if I need go somewhere as she is feeding every 2 hours in the day..

As its going to take me a while to get enough I want to be able to freeze it and add to it. Can I top up a bottle of already frozen milk with fresh milk? Whats the best way to do it? Ill probably only get 20ml at a time if Im lucky sad.gif

Also, DD is 3 months old. How much would I need for a full feed?

Edited by MrsMammaB, 21 November 2012 - 04:04 PM.

#2 elle-M

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:13 PM

Expressing can be hard work can't it? I did it for so many months but in hindsight I'm glad I had stored milk on tap just in case.

I use the Avent storage containers (you can buy them from most chemists) http://www.philips.com.au/c/mother-and-chi...-scf612_10/prd/

I would recommend you have a look at the ABA's guidelines about storing, it's all evidence based - https://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bf-info/br...ring-breastmilk

Good luck, you're doing a great job

#3 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:17 PM

There are lots of ways to store frozen ebm.  If you are only expressing 20mL at a time, I'd suggest looking at getting something like this:


Each 'finger' is 30mL.  

How often are you expressing?  If you want to combine ebm from several sessions expressing on the same day, the best way to do it is to refrigerate the breast milk, then when you express a second batch, chill it, then combine the cold milk.  Then at the end of the day, freeze the lot. original.gif

In terms of how much to give as a feed, I think that will vary depending on how frequently your dd feeds.  Another reason why freezing in small batches is good, so your dh can just keep thawing out more if your dd  wants it.
My ds would only ever take small amounts of ebm when I wasn't home, just to take the edge off his hunger, then would have a big feed when I got home.

#4 KBM

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:17 PM

Another mum suggested to me that I freeze them in an (sterilised) ice cube tray and defrost the oldest as required.  This worked pretty well except the darn cubes were slightly bigger than the neck of the bottle, I had to thump them in!

#5 Futureself

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

The ABA site PP gave  is great for what can be done with different fridge/freezer scenarios..
I am expressing at the moment too - small amounts after a BF to top him up. To freeze excess,  I have an ice cube try that I just keep putting the small amounts into. Each cube is about 20ml and when I have 5 cubes I pop them in a storage bag for the freezer and mark it up as an 100 ml feed which is about what he needs at the moment.
The paediatrician I just saw said 160ml of breastmilk per kg of bodyweight per 24 hours. So 800ml per day for a 5 kg baby.Just divide it by number of feeds you give to get the amount needed for one feed.

Edited by futureself, 21 November 2012 - 04:24 PM.

#6 MrsMammaB

Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:34 PM

Thanks so much ladies original.gif I started with the ABA site but couldn't find anywhere that said if I could add fresh to frozen anywhere.

Thanks elle-M. Yes it is bloody hard work!!

Alacritous~Andy thats good advice. I will check those out. I seem to only get some in the mornings. After that its just sad the amount I get! I guess I would do twice a day. First thing and again mid morning.

So If Im doing it on the same day I refrigerate each session before combining them?

KarenBubMachine Thats a good point. Best check the bottle necks are big enough. I have tomes tipee ones and I think theyre wide

Thanks futureself. I have some of those freezer bags so I think that way is a goer.

Thanks everyone!!

Edited by MrsMammaB, 21 November 2012 - 04:35 PM.

#7 elle-M

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:39 PM

MrsMammaB I wouldn't add fresh EBM to frozen, instead I would do what other posters suggested and freeze it in smaller amounts, then store all ice cubes in a sterilised container. Then you can just defrost a few at a time and not have waste.

#8 Wahootifandango

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:46 PM

Re the expressing - I could hardly express any milk on my own as I couldn't seem to ever trigger the letdown.  So I would always express whilst breastfeeding - so baby feeding on one side, and me pumping on the other.  A little bit of a juggle logistically but could easily pump a decent amount this way.

If I didn't get quite a full feed, I would leave in the fridge and freeze once I had topped up.

#9 mandala

Posted 22 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

You can add cold to frozen, but it is a better idea to be able to defrost a small amount at a time - unless you freeze in volumes for a full feed, maybe if you're away from your baby for a feed.

The Sensible Lines sticks will fit in the neck of the 260mL Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature bottles, but you can only fit three sticks in at a time, unless you break them in half to try to shove them in the sides, which can be tricky. If you have the little ones, you can only really fit two in until they defrost enough to shove more in. It's worth being careful not to over-fill the trays, otherwise it's hard to fit them in the bottles.

#10 Copper and May

Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

Does your exclusively breastfed baby take a bottle, because some babies will not. Another way to give them the expressed milk is in a little open cup - like a medicine glass or a large syringe from the chemist and just place little sips in the baby's mouth at a time. When you are establishing your supply and your baby is having feeds every 2 hourly, then you don't want to muck up the sucking reflex, which is entirely different with a bottle teat and a nipple, so go carefully here. Some others may tell you that their babies took both bottle and breast, but not all do this, so the above ways are much better for your DH to learn.

#11 Dylan's Mummy

Posted 22 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

I like to have a few bottles in the freezer too. I add to my frozen milk but not straight away. When I express I do it at about 10.30 because I know that bub won't need a feed again until morning. I put the new expressed milk in the fridge until morning and then add it to the frozen bottle and put it back I to the freezer. I don't think you can add fresh milk to a frozen bottle because the warmth can partially defrost some of the frozen milk.

#12 lucky 2

Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

If you do want to express then doing so after one or two morning feeds seems to work better as usually there is more milk stored at those feeds.
Some women can get a let down easier if the baby is on one breast and you are expressing on the other, perhaps get the pump on as soon as baby goes on the breast so you can catch the let down.
I was one who found the pump didn't lead to much milk removal in the early months so it was baby or nothing!
All the best.

#13 MrsMammaB

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:01 PM

Thanks everyone original.gif

I bought the The Sensible Lines trays and have started filling them. I manage to get 30ml at a time (sad huh!?) when I pump in the morning so Im just doing one a day. Its not for any other reason than to have back up when I need to go somewhere so no real rush. Ill try another mid morning and see how I go.

Winterdanceparty yes she does take a bottle. She had to when she was born as she had jaundice and was topped up with formula for 2 weeks but I did check again this week and she guzzled it down!

I have some freezer bags that Im going to bag up 4 x 30ml sticks of frozen EBM at a time so they are ready to go.

Thanks so much again, everyones advice really helped!

#14 Alacritous~Andy

Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:23 PM

That sounds like you have found a good system for you, OP.  Well done on making such an effort to express. original.gif

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