Breastfeeding

A huge freezer stash really is overrated

I went back to work this week feeling good having over 500oz of frozen milk in the freezer (three months of stocking up). Well, it's a total pain! My freezer is full of breast milk first of all. Second, my mom is having a hard time remembering to use frozen first, fresh second ( I send a bit of fresh milk just in case because it will last an extra day if DD doesn't eat it all). Total, I thawed out 30oz, and so far I will have to freeze 50oz of fresh milk. So I'm still pumping way more than DD is eating! 

 Lesson learned! Trying to eliminate at least one pumping session to slow my production down. I was just so scared of not having enough when I returned to work.  

Re: A huge freezer stash really is overrated

  • It is not overrated.  As time progressed, my supply started decreasing.  That frozen stash (I had over 1000 oz) allowed me to breastfeed till he was 1.  I personally would not eliminate a pumping session.
  • Definitely not overrated! I pumped up to a 1000oz freezer stash, and now the girls are eating more than I produce as they've gotten bigger, so I've been needing to pull some frozen milk regularly for weeks now. Thankfully, we probably have a couple of months before I'd need to supplement at all. 

    As obnoxious as the lack of usable freezer space is, cycling the milk to keep it fresh, all of that -- it has bought me weeks and weeks of being able to avoid supplementation. Which is awesome. :) 

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  • If I continue down this path, my stash will keep growing. I will have to buy another freezer. 

    I pump more than enough for her to eat the next day, but will still have to feed her frozen milk to keep the stash rotating. I read that it is only good in the freezer for about 4 months. It really is a lot more work than it has to be if I would have just had a small stash and a normal supply that matches DDs eating habits I would still be able to breastfeed until she is 1, and beyond! 

  • I disagree, but I do have an extra freezer in the basement.  If I didn't, I would buy one just for this purpose.  I went back to work with hundreds of ounces in the freezer. I was able to stop pumping at work when DS was 10 months old and continued to use the freezer stash for 2 months. Also, I continued to nurse in mornings and evenings until he self-weaned at 15 months.  I never used any fresh, though, I froze my breast milk once a week, on Friday nights, then sent the oldest bags to daycare.  Even though I had so much milk, it was never older than 2-3 months.

    And I don't understand why it's hard to use frozen first?  Just ask her to follow your directions...

  • I'm just curious why you thought a freezer stash that large was ever necessary?

    And why did you thaw 30 ounces? (the most your LO should be eating in a day is 15 or so if you're gone for 8-10 hours). And why are you pumping more than 2x what most babies eat in a full 24 hours? Pump less. Find a mom to donate to.

    ETA:

    I had a surgery where I had to be away from my baby for 2 days when she was 6 months old, and I pumped and dumped for 24 hours. I had several times of her being overfed at daycare.  However, I always pumped more to match her intake, and my freezer stash of 100-200 ounces was more than sufficient for her to have only BM for her first year - and in fact, I am just now running out for daycare bottles at 13.5mo, having stopped pumping at work at 1 year.

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  • I agree with you. I pumped too early and developed a ridiculous stash and oversupply. Pumping at work was maintaining the oversupply, so after a few weeks at work of pumping 20-30oz extra per week than what she would eat, I dropped from 3 down to 2 pumping sessions. It has helped a lot, I now am only 5-10 oz over per week. While it does take up an insane amount of room in the freezer, I have made one donation of milk (over 100 oz) and will probably donate more, and look forward to being able to wean off the pump at work sooner.

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  • cltk12cltk12
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    I went back to work with about 500oz in the freezer. It was a little pain to freeze and thaw, but it allowed me to have piece of kind that there would be milk for my son. The milk in the freezer will begin to dwindle much faster than you think: date nights where you have a few drinks, you may get a cold and supply decreases, AF returns, growth spurt, etc. Dont't do frozen all the time, do it a couple times a week to rotate your stash. If you have a newer freezer that isn't opened much, milk can be good for 612 months.
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  • I personally enjoyed knowing I had that to fall back on should my supply ever dip. Luckily I didn't have that problem but because of my stash I was able to donate to a mom in need and drop pump sessions at a year knowing I can still feed my son breastmilk in his straw cup well past a year. 

    I will most likely try to do the same with my next child.  

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  • I have to respectfully disagree that a freezer stash is overrated.  I bought a separate deep freeze because I produced so much extra and because of that I was able to donate over 2200 oz to a set of adopted twins along with giving my daughter at least 10 oz of breastmilk a day for over 6 months after she weaned.  I was so grateful that I was able to continue giving her breastmilk even though I had to wean her at a little over 13 months.  I would always rather have too much of a stash than not enough.
  • There are obviously 2 parties on this issue, but I'll tend to agree though I could always fit a few frozen pizzas in my freezer.  My DD2 just drank the last bag of frozen milk and I stopped pumping in January..... DD1 had a few bags/day until 18mo also, so I should have known better but couldn't help but again worry about supply issues returning to work but my supply never went below her demand until after I started weaning pumping sessions after 13mo with each...... I keep telling myself not to let that happen with DS but it probably will then I'll be trying to figure out how to move cross country with a massive supply of BM.
    5/08- blighted ovum, spont ab; 2/20/09- epi, VAVD, Girl! breastfed 24mo; 10/10- blighted ovum, spon ab; 12/10- no fetal pole, Cytotec; 11/20/11- unmedicated SVD, Girl! breastfed 18mo; 11/7/13- unmedicated SVD, Boy! Breastfeeding with success!
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  • Five hundred ounces does sound like a lot, especially if you are nursing when you are with baby. I could not have stored that much milk without getting a second freezer, which I wasn't particularly interested in doing. My stash was consistently around 100-120 oz. We survived pump slumps and the return of my period without significantly dipping into the stash. I didn't significantly cut back my pumping until two weeks before DS turned one. I used the last bag of frozen milk a week after he turned one.
  • I personally would much rather have a huge freezer stash and have "too much", but then again, I've been having supply issues...Also, why don't you donate like a pp said? What an awesome gift that would be!
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  • I donated 200 oz to human milk for human babies. Your local group probably had a Facebook page. Once DD is a year, I'll donate again.
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  • I had 4-500 ounces and it kept growing until about 5-6 months when I leveled off production.  Had to drop down to two sessions. They extra milk let me stop pumping at work at 8 months. Better for my crazy schedule. He is going to be ebf for one year. Rotate and keep it coming. You get flexibility down the line. We went away for a week and left baby home. No worries about milk. That freezer stash is like my safety blanket. We are down to about 250 ounces and I am working on cutting daytime sessions when I am home using that milk. We will just be am and pm nursing by end of July for however long baby wants. It gives me so much flexibility. I would buy a deep freeze next time if we did not have an extra freezer in garage. 

    Make up the bottles for your mom. I defrosted overnight in fridge and set up bottles with nipples and all. Then they use those first. Leave the extra fresh in a nipple free bottle. 

  • Use one of those Omaha steak coolers and dry ice to move cross country. 
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