Why I Didn’t Focus on How To Build Breast Milk Stash
I’m a breastfeeding, work and pump mama and I chose not to follow advice on “how to build breast milk stash” and I’m grateful I didn’t! While this advice isn’t for everyone, it’s what works best for me. If you are a milk stashing mama and that’s working for you then great! If you are struggling like I was then I hope this can ease some of those worries.
I struggled with a low milk supply during the first month of my baby’s life. See my article One Mama’s Breastfeeding Newborn Journey where I share my struggles as a first-time breastfeeding mom.
I went back to work a few hours each week when my son was one month exactly. I was stressed about how much breastmilk I should stockpile while trying to build up my supply. Pumping like crazy was my key to increasing my low milk supply.
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But anytime I would take a half ounce of breastmilk away from my son to freeze, he could tell. He would get angry and hit my boob while crying. So I stopped trying to build a supply of breastmilk and hoped for the best. I needed to stay away from how to build breast milk stash advice and find an alternative solution.
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The best came to fruition with this new system has worked really well for us!
My Work and Pump Schedule:
– Every three hours I pump for 20 minutes on the highest breast pump setting. I pack two bottles, two flanges, one electric pump, one ice pack. I freeze the ice pack when I first get to work so three hours into my six-hour day it’s completely frozen).
– Once finished pumping, I place the pump with the bottle full of milk attached into my insulated lunch pale with my freezer pack. The freezer pack keeps the milk cold for three hours.
– I get home and transfer the milk I pumped into the Lifeproof bottles, which I reviewed here
– The next day Daddy warms up the bottle in a bowl with hot water. There’s no transfer waste like when he warms my breast milk from frozen ice cubes, there’s always hindmilk left on the cup, and that’s the stuff that satiates babies the longest.
– If it’s the last day of the week, I pour the breast milk into the silicone ice cube tray. Once the breast milk has frozen, transfer it over into our airtight glass container and store it in the freezer until the first day back at work.
READINGS YOU’LL LOVE: Breastfeeding Stories: One Mama’s Breastfeeding Newborn Journey
Pros of this Schedule:
– No anxiety of needing to use my milk by a certain time or date.
– No need to write what time/day I pumped because he’s eating roughly around the same time I pump each day.
Guilt consumed me for the first two months because I didn’t have a breastmilk freezer stash. But not having a breastfeeding stash has worked wonderfully for us!
I wish when I first started breastfeeding that I knew there was an alternative to a breastmilk freezer stash. I read so much about a breastmilk freezer stash that I thought it was a requirement for mamas who work away from home.
Some of the Cons of a Breastmilk Freezer Stash
I’ve heard multiple mamas share that they throw out their breastmilk freezer stash because they can’t use it all before it expired.
Some Mamas donate their milk, which is such a beautiful gift. Unfortunately, I don’t qualify to donate as I take a daily anti-anxiety medicine.
My hope is that if you are struggling with creating a breastmilk freezer stash that my breastfeeding story helps build your confidence that you may not need a large supply on hand.
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The CounselingMama Approach
I hope this post has helped ease your mind as a new breastfeeding mama. Most importantly I hope it helps to eliminate the pressure of how to build breastmilk stash. You are the expert of you! Listening to my inner voice allows me to question the conventional knowledge that is passed around about the importance of a breastmilk freezer stash. I know now that this advice doesn’t fit me and my family.
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Infinite love and light,
Author: J Kontos
Hi! I’m J; a full-time Mama by choice and a part-time academic, personal, and career counselor by profession (and by choice as well). I received my Master’s in Counseling and a Bachelor’s in Human Services. My infant, Kaiden, has gifted me with being his Mama. I love all things wiener dogs, coffee, and hearts. I’m waiving hi to you from sunny San Diego!
Infinite love and light, – J