For August, our guest post was written by Benz Rana, owner of Weddings@Work. Early in her nursing career, Benz had doubts about being able to provide enough milk for her newborn Laya. But with perseverance and determination, she consistently nursed and expressed milk, allowing her to store more than 300oz. of milk in her freezer. Due to the numerous emails she received asking her how she organizes her frozen milk, she came up with a step-by-step guide on freezing and thawing milk.
Sealer – P690 (I got mine from Office Warehouse, saw the same model at National Bookstore for P1190)
Playtex Pre Sterilized Disposable Liners – P449/box of 125 pcs (available at all leading department stores)
Glad Freezer Ziplock Bags – 26.8cm x 27.3 cm 15pcs per box (I assume they are
available at all leading supermarket I got mine at SM Hypermart)
When using the sealer there are heat settings ranging from1to 8, 1 being the least hot to 8 being the hottest. I tinkered with it and found my setting to be 2.5 where I press it at roughly 2 seconds, with my daughter (Benz has an 11 year-old daughter, Kite) she presses longer so I put the setting at 1.
Do play with it before you actually use it for your milk. I suggest putting water in the disposable liner so you get an actual feel of sealing it. I tried filling the liner up till 7 oz and I cant do it, it fills since it seals horizontal.
I prefer Playtex Liner over the sealable bags as this is way cheaper also trying to achive a flat frozen bag is not possible with the sealable bags.
To start storing I pull the number of bags I need depending on how many oz. of milk I am going to pack and seal for that batch.I also tried the 4oz bag but they come out bulky thus it wastes freezer space so I use the 8oz bag even when I just fill it up to 2 oz. I know I am wasting the bags by not filling it to the maximum and thus leaving more carbon footprint but I figured my milk is more precious.
I usually store freshly expressed milk in feeding bottles and let them stay in the ref until I have time to pack and freeze or until I gather enough for a batch. A batch for me is between 6-14 oz. or 3 to 7bags.
The reason I do not pack and seal them immediately is because I want expressed milk to be available in our ref for darling daughter anytime. (I read that milk hierarchy is breast, room temperature, ref milk then last is frozen milk – meaning breastmilk has most nutrients and antibodies and it depletes as you go next level, but frozen milk is still better than any other formula milk)
Tip: do not allow having too much milk in a batch as it is quite difficult to freeze several bags at the same time unless you have spacious/strong freezer.
I write down the date on the bag before pouring the milk. It is very hard to write on it once the milk is in. If a batch were expressed on different days (say, 4 oz was expressed today and the other 4 oz were expressed yesterday), I indicate the date yesterday.
I decided on a 2oz milk partition as 2oz thaws faster, besides I am usually out for a short period of time only. Although packing them in 4-6oz may be wiser for a mom who’s regularly out a long period of time. Adjust milk partition to suit your lifestyle and/or your baby’s drinking pattern.
Then I seal it.
I let it rest on something after sealing as the top part is quite hot, though it cools very quickly.
This is the sealed pack.
If I wasn’t able to take of all the air then there will be bubbles in the pack. Those bubbles are not harming they just eats space so no problem about that.
After sealing, I place the new batch in the freezer. I just place them on top of our ice trays.
There’s also another tray that I use, if I have several packs to freeze.
I place the batch in a small plastic bags first, then move them in 1 Ziplock bag when I reach 25 packs, for easier
25 packs of 2oz milk bags fits perfectly in this Ziplock bags if flat. Do not forget to mark and date the
Ziplock bags so you know which
pack to use first. FIFO (first in/first out) rules apply.