Breastfeeding

The Genius Tool You Need to Stash Your Freezer Full of Breastmilk

If you want to build a freezer stash of breastmilk without the headache of pumping around the clock this is the manual breastpump for you!

graphic with an image on top and text on the bottom; image: white background with frozen bags of breastmilk spread out, a manual breastpump lies in the middle of the bags of breastmilk; the text below reads "The genius tools you need to stash your freezer full of breastmilk."

When I was pregnant I remember every time I was on Pinterest I would see article about how to build a freezer stash of breastmilk.

These posts would go on and on about the perfect pumping strategy to get plenty of milk stocked away while still feeding your baby. Most of which involved nursing a baby and then pumping. And that sounded exhausting.

I also thought these women were nuts! Ummmmm, didn’t milk just come out whenever you needed it? Why would you need a stash in your freezer.

In my extreme naivitee I ignored all of those posts.

Why You Need a Freezer Stash of Breastmilk

And then I figured out exactly why you need a freezer stash. Aside from the fact that it’s just a good idea to have extra food for your baby on hand, here’s a few reasons why you might want to have a freezer stash of milk. Even if you stay home with your baby, like me!

  1. You’re headed back to work. This seems to be the most obvious and common reason to have a freezer stash of breastmilk.
  2. In case you ever want to be away from the baby for more than one hour. At the beginning you might think “I never want to be away from this miracle!” but by about three months you might be singing another tune. I’m not talking about a weekend away (although maybe you would want that) but how about just a trip to the salon? Just yesterday I went to the grocery store and my husband was able to give our baby a bottle because of my freezer stash.
  3. For those pump and dump nights. Some nights just call for more than one glass of wine, and that means pumping and dumping that milk. It kind of sucks to watch that milk pour down the drain, but it will sting a little less if you have a freezer stash!
  4. In case of emergency. God forbid something should ever happen to you or your child. But just in case, breastfeeding might not be an option in that moment. A freezer stash will give you peace of mind. Plus, sometimes I wonder what would happen if I needed to be with my other kids (in the hospital or something) baby would need bottles of milk and that milk isn’t going to just appear. (I realize this is all kind of morbid but when you’re a mom you think about this kind of stuff.)
  5. In case you need to take a medicine that’s not safe for breastfeeding. I just saw a woman the other day say she had to stop nursing her baby for a week because she was temporarily taking a medication that wasn’t safe for breastfeeding. Luckily she had an entire freezer full of breastmilk.
  6. You can use breastmilk for other things. Did you know there’s a ton of stuff you can use breastmilk for, including making a lotion out of it! How crazy is that?! I’m like the dad from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”, except instead of Windex I use breastmilk for everything!! Have a burn? Breastmilk! Cradle cap? Breastmilk. Diaper rash? Breastmilk. Breakout? Breastmilk. (Yes, seriously) House needs to be cleaned? Breastmi….ok it doesn’t work on everything, but you get the idea!
  7. For those growth spurts when you can’t quite keep up. My littlest is currently having a growth spurt and it’s draining me. In more ways than one. It’s nice to have a little extra milk on hand to give him on those days when I can’t keep up or I just need a break from the cluster feeding.
  8. Dreamfeeding at night. If you don’t know what what dreamfeeding is you should look it up! I’m not an expert on it but it’s basically this idea that you feed baby in his sleep. The theory is that it’s supposed to help him learn to sleep for longer stretches. And it turns out that sometimes breastfed babies dreamfeed better with a bottle! Who knew! Luckily, I have a freezer stash to dip into for bottles full of breastmilk.
  9. For those times when you don’t want to breastfeed. Sometimes I feel a little weird about breastfeeding in church. I probably shouldn’t, but I do, so I will bring bottles with us. It’s nice to just reach into the freezer and grab a bag of milk!
  10. To mix with baby food. When your baby starts solid foods you’ll want to think them out and I found that breastmilk is the best for this. An added bonus is that might find it easier to introduce new foods since they will have the familiar taste breastmilk mixed in.

I could go on an on, but you get the idea. Even if you stay home there are a lot of legitimate reasons why might want to build a freezer stash. Even just 24-48 ounces is a great stash for baby!

How Do I Build A Freezer Stash?

This post contains affiliate links, you can read more about that here.

For your convenience I have linked several different options for the manual breast pump I recommend. All of them will perform the same function, it’s up to you what works best for you and your breastfeeding routine/budget. I use a very similar pump, which I can no longer find on Amazon.
Ok, I’ve got you convinced. You need a freezer stash. Now the question is how do you build one? Well, you can come up with a rigorous schedule of feeding and pumping.

OR…..

….you can use a haakaa manual pump.

haakaa manual breastpump
This is the most similar to the one I ordered from Amazon.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would I use a manual pump when I have an electric one? Isn’t that going to be so much work?

And the answer is, not if you get the right manual pump!

I can’t believe I didn’t find this pump until baby number three came along! A friend recommended it to me and it changed the way I breastfeed. And it allowed me to quickly and easily build a freezer stash of breastmilk without even trying!

How does it work? This manual pump isn’t like other manual pumps. You don’t have to actually pump anything, the pump does all the work for you.

How?

When you’re feeding the baby you will have a letdown of milk on both sides. But baby can only latch onto one side at a time, which means the side without baby is just leaking like crazy. Super annoying and kind of stressful when you start to think about all of the milk you’re losing.

haakaa manual breast pump

So this manual pump uses suction to attach to your breast and it catches all of that milk that is letting down while baby nurses! And because it’s using suction it actually pulls out more milk too!

It’s kind of crazy how the haakaa works, but it’s the best way to build a freezer stash.

The best part is that the pump doesn’t completely drain your breast which means baby can still eat from both sides. You’re just catching milk you would have lost anyway (and maybe a little extra) and then storing it.

Since baby Bear was born about 5 months ago I have only used my big electric pump twice and I have a freezer stash of over 150 ounces of breastmilk! 150 ounces might not sound like a ton but considering the fact that most of that stash is extra milk I caught using my haakaa as it leaked during a let down, I’d say 150 ounces is a HUGE number. Well worth the money I spent on this incredible manual breast pump.

How?

haakaa manual breast pump
I like that this one comes with a stopper. Mine doesn’t and I’ve definitely spilled milk a few times!

Because I made it a habit to always use this manual pump whenever I nursed. I was able to catch so much milk and I don’t worry about having to pump before I leave the baby with someone else, because I have a freezer full of milk!

It’s awsesome!

And here’s the best part, this pump is ridiculously affordable! It’s easy to use, easy to clean, easy to store. Everything about it screams easy. And what new mom doesn’t want easy?!

If you want to build a freezer stash but you don’t want to spend a ton of time pumping this is the pump for you.

You can quickly build a freezer stash without even trying! How great is that?!

Have you ever used a manual breast pump? What was your experience with it?