I think most moms will agree that pumping is not the easiest or most pleasant thing to do. If you pump exclusively, the pump owns you and you can never leave for an extended period of time without it. If you nurse your baby, but pump to get a freezer stash, it can be painfully disheartening when you are only able to pump an ounce or so at a time. It’s a labor of love mamas, and that’s part of what makes that freezer stash so precious.
Prior to becoming a mom, losing power was mainly just an inconvenience. But let me tell you that when I woke up in the middle of the night to find the power off one of the first things I thought was, “My breastmilk will thaw!!” With the winter months approaching, there are some things to keep in mind:
- First off, unless you know for sure that you are going to be taking the breastmilk out to get it to another freezer, do not open your freezer door. If your freezer is full it will hold its temperature for 48 hours. If it is half full then it will hold it for 24 hours. If you are like me and only have an old bag of frozen peas and a box of Eggos in your freezer, then you might want to think about getting it to another location. Always keep ice packs and an insulated cooler ready to go just in case.
- I started to make a little food tent that surrounded my breastmilk in the corner to give it its best chance of survival if the power went out and we were away.
- If you have family or a friend that will let you store some in their freezer, it might help to hedge your bets should you lose power for a significant amount of time.
- As long as there are ice crystals in the milk, it is still considered frozen and is safe to either use for consumption or to put back into the freezer.
- If you are in an area where there is a lot of snow on the ground, you can even store it outside in the snow until the power comes back on. (desperate times call for desperate measures)
- Lastly, if you know that you are going to be building a mighty stash, it might be worth investing in a deep freezer that can be also packed with bags of ice. I can’t imagine the heartbreak over losing hundreds of ounces and this could save everything.
Lisa is a babywearing, breastfeeding, cloth-diapering mama who has found herself in a last-minute hustle trying to save frozen breastmilk.