Tips on storing and expressing breastmilk?

I go bk 2 work in 2 weeks and i want 2 continue beastfeeding. I have a medela pump in style. I used it for the 1st time today but i havent expressed much. In 3 sessions only 1.5 oz. Im wondering if i should just freeze the bottles instead of the bags? Will I eventually get more milk. How often should i pump?


I will be provided with a room and time to pump at work.

Update 2:

Is this ok to do? I pumped 3 oz (yay) just a little while ago. I am storing that in the refrigerator til the next time I pump, then I will freeze the whole 4 oz.

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    First off, I am really happy to hear that you are breastfeeding.

    Are you consuming enough calories to keep up your milk production? During breast feeding, your body needs extra calories, protein and certain vitamins and minerals. You need extra calories because your body uses more calories (energy) during breast feeding. Most breast feeding women need about 200-500 calories more than they needed before being pregnancy.

    You also have to drink lots and lots of water, juice or milk. I noticed when I was breastfeeding that if I didn't keep up my liquid intake, I didn't produce/pump enough milk to fill up a bottle. It took me several session of pumping to fill a small bottle.

    Try to stay clear of antihistamines. From personal experience, they dehydrate.

    I know it's hard, but try not to stress because stress affects milk production.

    I would only freeze the bags because bottles will take up all the space in your freezer and it takes a shorter time to defrost/warm a bag by itself.

    If you increase your caloric intake and keep up, or even increase, your liquid intake, you should get more than you're getting now. Pump as often as possible because you want to keep your breasts stimulated for milk production. Pump at intervals when you would normally breastfeed your newborn.

    Here's a link to the La Leche League. Their site is filled with information. It also includes a link to leaders (members of LLL) in your area:

    I remember phoning them... lol

    You can also call your local hospital to see if they have a Lactation Consultant that you can speak with.

    It is truly wonderful that you have decided to continue breastfeeding.

    Congratulations on your bundle of joy!


    Source(s): Me... I breastfed my first daughter (now 8) for 12 mos. and my 2nd daughter (now 5) for 15 mos. .
  • 1 decade ago

    I personally used the PIS and then transferred my milk into the Avent Via container cups. Freeze whatever you don't plan on using in 5 days. I used to pump about 45-50 ounces a day, so I had to rotate stock. Keep it all labeled!! Date date date!! Very important. I always put the oldest to the rear of the fridge, and spare stash in the freezer. Don't worry about the amount you are getting, just keep at it. Massage before you pump, that always helped me. I never used the bags because they just seemed too likely to leak or tear. I really recommend the Avent storage cups. They are stackable and sturdy. I exclusively pumped, so I began doing it every 3 hours, even through the night. Eventually, once I realized I was making too much milk and my freezer was overflowing, I tapered back to every 4 hours during the day, and just before bed. Pump every chance you get at work. Try and keep the pumping sessions under 20 minutes each if you can, and cycle the pump. This is easier using a manual sometimes. I could get more with my Avent Isis than I could with the PIS for some reason. In 15 minutes, I could get 5 ounces out of one side, and 7 ounces out the other using the Isis. You have to experiment what works best for you. There is no one size fits all for pumping. Try the Isis, maybe you will have good luck with it. It's cheap, and effective, so it's worth a shot. Plus, the clean up is easy and assembling it is a piece of cake.

    Source(s): Experience
  • 1 decade ago

    Don't worry that you didn't get much, the first time of expressing milk often doesn't produce much milk.

    I found it best to express first thing in the morning, or to express from one side whilst my daughter was feeding from the other.

    Express at every chance you get, but wait until you know that there is something there to express. You probably already know that milk is produced on a supply and demand basis, so try and increase the demand by using the pump though out the day.

    Also, when you go back to work, is it possible to find a quiet room somewhere where you can express milk on your lunch break or some other time? If you can continue to express at the same times that you would normally be breastfeeding, this may help too.

  • 1 decade ago

    pump whenever you have extra milk. and if the baby normally feed at a certain time and just happens to sleep through it, pump then. Definitely use the bags. Maybe you need to adjust the speed or the suction tension. Go to the Medela website for more advise, or call the hospital you were at and speak with lactation specialist. While you are at work, try and pump every 2-4 hours, or at the time the baby would normally nurse. I only got that much out the first few time also. Try and drink plenty of water and relax while you are pumping. This will help the flow. Let me know if you have any questions.

    mother of two w/one on the way

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  • 1 decade ago

    Good on you - breastfeeding is the best choice!! I also was extremely frustrated when I started pumping because I was getting hardly any out. The trick is to find the best time in the day when you boobs are the fullest to try and pump. For example: I found that first thing in the morning was the easiest for me to pump - before my baby sucked. And also long periods between feeds during the day. You have to wait for your boobs to fill before pumping otherwise you are going to be extremely frustrated. I have been using the Avent pump which I will sing its praises. I stored my milk in bags because the bottles are too expensive to keep in the freezer. Try and pump as much now while you are still at home so that you are not under pressure when you go back to work to still pump. Frozen breast milk can last up to 3 months in the freezer. My baby is almost 7 months now and is still exclusively breast fed with obviously her solids. I have been back at work since she was 4 months.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have to boys and I breastfeed both with my first child it took alittle while before I had alot of milk but when it came in I had to much so when he wasnt ready to eat again I would pump and freeze it I used my bottles not bags but either is fine when I would freeze it I would use it the verry next day so its not like you have it for months atleast I didnt. Also I think the more food you eat the more you express and you want to eat and eat healthy because your body is what keeps your milk health for the baby.

    As in how often should you pump I would do it every hour so you can get your milk coming faster try to get your self on the babys skedual so you can have plenty for him and plenty to freeze for him when you have to go back to work. I would have somewhere between 7-12 bottles a day for my boys but not everyone is the same your going to have to pace yourself and as the weeks go by your body will know when it is time to make more milk its part of mother nature.

  • 1 decade ago

    Try to pump more when you are at home still and the supply shld be established when you go back....try some fenugreek (it may cause some sweating and may hv other side effects).....

    If you are really eager to continue, get yr doctor to prescribe some pills which are safe for breastfeeding...these pills will stimulate yr body to produce more but you still need regular expression to maintain yr supply

    If u take the medicine that the doctors prescribe, it may cause some engorgement if you dun express regularly..if it happens, go slow on the pill eg instead of taking 1 tablet 4 times, try 1 tablet 3 times and so on...

    try drking some warm drink before you express and relax......

    and drink some papaya n fish soup which some say helps to produce more milk....

    also, pump two sides at a time to maximise the use of yr pis which i am also using at home....

    good luck

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