I read another thread here where some Moms said you can freeze breast milk in glass containers "as long as you leave room at the top for expansion". I've personally had glass shatter on me from freezing, and other websites warn to never freeze breast milk in glass, so I would like to know if this is really possible. If so, how exactly is it done?
What about stainless steel containers?
I'm having twins and want to limit plastics, but I have to be able to freeze breast milk.
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I think most people are using tempered glass which is unlikely to shatter but it would have to be a very small volume. I've heard of people freezing bm in ice cube trays and then popping out to store in larger glass or storage containers. I have pumped and stored a LOT of breastmilk for my kids and I cannot even imagine the logistics of non-plastic storage for twins. The best method I found was lansinoh bags stored flat in a standalone freezer and at any given moment it would be half full. We avoid plastic generally (storage, toys) and use glass bottles part of the time but really, anything else seems mind boggling.
I have no idea what your supply is like or what volume you need to pump or store but even working full time with a singleton meant a LOT of milk stored prior to returning to work.
If you do have a big supply, which can happen of course to pumping and nursing mothers of twins, you sometimes have more than you need. You won't be able to donate it with unconventional storage. I donated about 500 oz with my first.
With my twins, I never pumped enough to really worry about freezing. They typically drank what I pumped one day at work on my next work-day. I don't think I pumped 500 oz total over 2 years of pumping, LOL! It was only with my 3rd child, when my body seemed to believe it still needed to make milk for 2 babies, that I had enough to worry about how to store it. It's important to remember that output with a pump doesn't reflect true production!
I used baby food jars. Since we don't feed baby food (and wouldn't have had jars available when I really needed them even if we did), I got them off Freecycle & from a coworker whose cat was eating the stuff. I didn't cap them tightly until the milk was frozen, just placed the cap over the top, then twisted the caps down later. I'd leave some space at the top - they only hold 2-4 oz anyhow, so not too much space. And they were the perfect size for storing breastmilk in small quantities. I don't know how well they actually sealed, but since I only worked part-time & only a small portion of my DD's diet was frozen milk, I wasn't too worried about the potential of nutrient loss. My 3-year old recently found some old jars in the back of the freezer (at least 1-2 years old, possibly older) and insisted on drinking them. They smelled fine & clearly tasted okay because she guzzled down a full cup in less than 5 minutes.
I do agree w/ PP, donating would be difficult if the milk was stored in glass, but not impossible & you may not have this issue.
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My midwife told me to use baby food jars too. I never ended up pumping or storing much, so can't offer much more than that. I do use recycled baby food jars to store frozen homemade baby food though, and have never had a problem with shattering, even with liquids like pureed chicken soup and even when I've accidentally over-filled the jar (the lids just pop off). I've seen special small cube containers that are meant to store homemade baby food. Square glass is less likely to shatter than round, so that is a plus. Unfortunately, they are ridiculously expensive. Not worth it when recycled commercial jars are perfectly functional.
Emily Lin, mom to Alia (2011). Clinical herbalist and nutritional consultant at Integral Herbalism (www.facebook.com/IntegralHerbalism).
I thought I would add that baby food jar lids are coated with bpa so unless you have another lid option, I think that would be less safe than bpa-plastic bags.
Ball makes jars in all sizes, and one of our supermarket chains carries them. They have small, I think 8 oz, jars that even have a fill line for freezing, taking the guess work out of that. Also, the glass is obviously meant to go in the freezer, so it should be more durable. A one time expense, true. And you can buy, separately, glass lined lids. Another expense, I admit. Just throwing the options out there.
Can you provide a source for the lids? I was under the impression that most brands of canning lids were also bpa-coated. I've never heard of glass lined canning jar lids.
Those lids are longer on their website. I guess they weren't popular enough. It may have been longer ago. Possibly 10 years.
Sorry. It doesn't look like the lids are available.
I cared for my breastfed grandson while my dil worked 10 hour days 6-7 days a week. We never used frozen milk. We stored the milk in glass bottles and rotated. She went back to work at 2 months and we never had any problems. Fresh milk tastes best, is best for the baby, and is easiest to handle.
: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons
I know this thread is a little old but wanted to throw out that Tattler makes a reusable canning lid that is BPA free. I'm sure you can Google it to find a source for purchasing.
I'm not sure what sizes they sell, but it would be an option if you were to use canning jars for freezing BM and wanted a BPA free lid. :)