Milk storage bags: so frustrated I want to scream — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Milk storage bags: so frustrated I want to scream

I exclusively pump.  Which means I spend hours a day pumping to give my baby the good stuff.  It's inconvenient, and a pain in the ass, but I do it because I really want to give her breast milk.

So I store and freeze my milk.  And constantly I thaw milk only to have the bags leak.  And it makes me so angry I want to throttle someone.  What the hell am I do wrong?  I've used both Medela and Lanisoh bags and it seems like every third or fourth bag leaks, which is such a waste.  I thaw four bags every night for DD #2's bottles the next morning and at least one ALWAYS leaks.

It has to be me/"user error."  I can't accept the fact that this many bags are faulty, or Medela and Lanisoh would be out of business.

Please help!  I get so angry and DH doesn't understand.  He's not the one hooked up to this pump all the time so he has no earthly clue why I get so emotional when my milk gets wasted.

(can you tell I'm also exhausted?) 

Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.

Re: Milk storage bags: so frustrated I want to scream

  • This has me scared. I haven't tried to thaw any bags yet. Does this only happen when you thaw them? Can you put the bags into a sterilized container in case they leak??
  • I was recently reading reviews on storage bags on Amazon to try and figure out which kind I wanted to buy. One thing that some of the posters said is to be sure to not overfill the bags because the milk needs room to expand. Could that be the issue? I'm sorry that you are having this issue - I know it must be incredibly frustrating.

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  • Hmmm, I've never had any issues with the Medela bags leaking (and I've never tried the Lanisoh ones). But ditto what Kendra said, maybe they are too full? I know how frustrating that must be...good for you being such a dedicated pumper!
  • I haven't frozen that many bags, but those I have frozen (Lansinoh) have never leaked.

    I fill the bags with no more than the recommended amount, squeeze all air out the top several times by sliding my fingers, and freeze in a plastic dish lying flat with paper towels between the bags.  I unfreeze upright using lukewarm water in a container especially for thawing BM.  That's pretty much it.

    Sometimes I spill the milk while pouring it into the bags, which sucks and pisses me off.

  • Weird - I used Lansinoh bags when I pumped for DD1 and I use them now for DD2. I don't think I've ever had one leak (other than when I accidentally spill them from time to time, but that's not the bag). I used Medela a little for DD1 also but I didn't like them as much. Anyway, how full are you making them? I don't think I've ever put more than 5oz in a bag. I just defrost them in the sink under warmish running water and then dump the milk into a bottle.

    I'd be frustrated and mad too. I HATE wasting milk - and right now we waste a lot because DD keeps refusing bottles. And last Friday I forgot to put the milk from my pump cooler into the fridge until the next day. I ended up having to toss 15oz and I wanted to cry!

  • Ugh - the nest keeps doing weird things to me. That last reply from A&Wwedding is me, baby4OT. A&Wwedding is my ancient knot user id. I haven't used it in years!!
  • well I must be doing something wrong too because when I have been thawing bags lately- I have had leaking ones and it is so annoying. I have been using the gerber bags and the few that have leaked the leaks are coming from the side seams. ugh.
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  • That is so frustrating, wasting BM is the worst! I think of it as liquid gold!

    I used to use Medela bags but now use Lansinoh ones b/c I can put more in there. I always overfill. I put 9-9.5oz into the 6oz bags and freeze flat. I usually defrost in the fridge. I take them out on Mon night to pour into bottles on Tue night for use on Wed during the day. I have never had one leak (so far, knock on wood!). I usually put the frozen bag down flat to defrost.

    I always make sure to use scissor-motion with my fingers to squeeze all the air out. The bags have a double zipper which I really like.

    I am not sure why yours are leaking :(

    Can you take the frozen bag out, take the frozen milk out (cut it out if you have to) and put it in a sterile container to defrost?

    IMO, no man will ever understand the commitment, frustration, PITA that BFing/pumping is

     

  • I have used Lansinoh, Medela and Gerber and at one time or another, they all have leaks. I think (for me) it happens in the freezer. I lay the bags flat to freeze them then I arrange them all in the big bottom drawer of our freezer. I've noticed that once they're frozen, the bags can get some pretty sharp corners/edges and I think they slice open other bags when I'm stacking or pulling them out of the freezer. Then when they thaw out--LEAKS. Not much I can do about it but try to keep an eye on the bags when I'm thawing them so I can catch the leaks early.
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  • Thanks everyone.  It's just so frustrating.  I don't overfill them, and I def. squeeze all the air out... but claraj - that's interesting because that's my DH's theory.  That once the bags are frozen, when I shift them around in the freezer they get damaged then.  The thing is I'm so careful with the bags, or at least I think I'm being careful with them, as I shift them because I don't want them to split open... but obviously they are. 

    SadSadSad

    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
  • image Artslvr:

    Thanks everyone.  It's just so frustrating.  I don't overfill them, and I def. squeeze all the air out... but claraj - that's interesting because that's my DH's theory.  That once the bags are frozen, when I shift them around in the freezer they get damaged then.  The thing is I'm so careful with the bags, or at least I think I'm being careful with them, as I shift them because I don't want them to split open... but obviously they are. 

    SadSadSad

    When I was freezing mine, I always put them into gallon sized ziploc bag.  Maybe it protected them from punctures a little more?  I never had a leaky bag either (I used Lansinoh bags).

  • If your freezer looks anything like mine (an overfilled disaster), then it'd be super easy to puncture a bag, thus causing a leak.  I use Lansinoh bags and store them laying flat in a giant Rubbermaid container, to keep them safe from all the other stuff that gets thrown in there.  I've only had one bag leak in 9+ months. 
  • that is odd.  We use Lansinoh and I can count on one hand the number of bags that have leaked (and I pumped exclusively for 17 months with Mackenzie and I have a deep freeze full of milk for Ian currently).

     How are you freezing and storing them?

    Lauren,
    Mackenzie Beth 10.26.05 Ian James 08.09.08 Rhys Edward 07.05.10 William Brendan 04.17.12
  • image victoria1212:
    well I must be doing something wrong too because when I have been thawing bags lately- I have had leaking ones and it is so annoying. I have been using the gerber bags and the few that have leaked the leaks are coming from the side seams. ugh.

     

    I had tons of problems with the gerber bags.  They are really thin and cheap.  I had a much better time with the Lansinoh.

    Lauren,
    Mackenzie Beth 10.26.05 Ian James 08.09.08 Rhys Edward 07.05.10 William Brendan 04.17.12
  • We have a 5 cubic ft. freezer that has nothing but my milk in it.  Yes, I have a ridiculously large stash - mainly because I was freaked out my milk supply would go down when I returned to work as it did with DD #1.  And I was right, my supply has gone down, but I've got my stash for back up!

    I put 6 oz. of milk in Lanisoh bags, work my fingers from milk to the top to get the air out, close both zippers, and lay flat to freeze.  When they get shifted around, it's me then taking the already frozen, flat bags and stacking them front to bag - like a card catalogue - in plastic baskets I got from Target.

    Maybe it's the fact that I'm stacking them on their side?  Maybe it weakens the seams somehow?  Maybe I should pile them on top of each other?  I wasn't doing that because they slide all over the place. 

    What do you think?

    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
  • image Artslvr:

    I put 6 oz. of milk in Lanisoh bags, work my fingers from milk to the top to get the air out, close both zippers, and lay flat to freeze.  When they get shifted around, it's me then taking the already frozen, flat bags and stacking them front to bag - like a card catalogue - in plastic baskets I got from Target.

    Maybe it's the fact that I'm stacking them on their side?  Maybe it weakens the seams somehow?  Maybe I should pile them on top of each other?  I wasn't doing that because they slide all over the place. 

    What do you think?

    no, I also stack side-by-side. Could it be a defective box of bags? Or did the ones that split open come from different boxes?

    I really don't know why this is happening :(

  • I've had a couple of defective boxes of bags - they would only open 1/2 way. Maybe call lansinoh? They can tell by the number on the box. I don't think their quality control is perfect. Otherwise, maybe thaw them in a bowl or other container so you don't lose any that leaks.
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