Don’t Waste a Drop: the Best Breast Milk Storage Bags
If you’re a pumping mom, there’s a solid chance you’ve cried over spilt milk. Pumping is hard work, so seeing a drop of your liquid gold go to waste can be pretty devastating—especially when you throw new-mom hormones into the mix. To prevent spilling any expressed milk (and tears), it’s essential to store pumped breast milk correctly. That’s where breast milk bags come in, and just like with most baby products, there’s an abundance of choices. To save you the trial, error and potential breakdowns, we’ve rounded up the best breast milk storage bags out there.
In terms of cost and space, breast milk storage bags are the most economical way to store your stash of breast milk. Made of sturdy, food-grade, BPA-free plastic, breast milk bags are specifically designed to keep your milk safe, organized and sanitary, no matter where it’s stored. (According to the CDC, freshly expressed breast milk can be kept on the counter for four hours, in the refrigerator for four days and in the freezer for up to 12 months.) A quality storage bag will also prevent leaks or bursts, lay flat for storage, stand on its own for pours and provide ample space for measurements and labeling.
Tempted to use plastic baggies or disposable bottle liners instead? Don’t. Not only does the CDC advise against it, but neither are designed to hold breast milk—meaning the chances of spills, leaks or contamination are high.
Got the guidelines down? Now it’s time to select the breast milk storage bag that’s best for you.
Between pumping, storing, labeling, cleaning, thawing and feeding, pumping breast milk is a time suck (pun intended)—but the Kiinde Twist Pouches make the entire process as efficient as possible. The pouches, which are available in 6 oz. and 8 oz. sizes, attach directly to nearly every major brand of pump via an adaptor, eliminating the need to decant into a bottle first (and clean a bunch of pump parts). When it’s time to feed baby, the milk can be served directly from the pouch, thanks to corresponding nipple and bottle attachments. But beyond the innovative time-saving features, the Kiinde pouches are also extremely high-functioning: They rarely leak, thanks to the twist top closure, are easy to label and compact to store. A breast milk bag that saves mamas from wasting time, breast milk and extra cleaning? Now that’s the holy grail.
Buy It: Kiinde Twist Pouches, $26 for 80, Amazon.com
In terms of parent popularity, there’s one breast milk bag that reigns supreme: Lansinoh. Nearly 6,000 parents give the bag glowing reviews, and for good reasons. The Lansinoh bags have an easy-to-close double seal, lay flat for easy storage and an even thaw, and have a handy spout design that makes pouring—without spilling—a breeze, even in those wee morning hours. The latest design also allows the bags to attach directly to Lansinoh pumps and other major brands with an adaptor, a feature that few other bag brands can boast.
Buy It: Lansinoh Breast Milk Storage Bags, $14 for 100, Amazon.com
In a perfect world, breast milk bags would never leak and none of the precious liquid would ever go to waste—but thanks to design flaws, user errors and accidents, leaks and spills unfortunately do happen. Your best option for avoiding them as much as possible? The Nuk Seal N’ Go breast milk bags. Featuring a double zipper lock, reinforced seams and a thick plastic that won’t accidentally get torn by rogue items in your freezer, the Nuk bags claim to be 100 percent leak-proof, and nearly 2,000 parent reviews agree. If the promise of no leaks wasn’t enough to sell you on these bags, here are two more popular benefits: The waterproof plastic also allows these bags to be thawed simply by running them under warm water (with no fear of diluting the milk inside) and an oxygen barrier keeps the milk inside fresh, even after being stored in the freezer.
Buy It: Nuk Seal N’ Go Breast Milk Bags, $9 for 50, Amazon.com
Think emptying a bag of breast milk into a bottle is easy-peasy? Think again—especially when you’re working with little sleep and one hand (because the other is busy holding your hungry little one). Ameda Store’N Pour bags aim to make the transfer from bag to bottle as seamless and spill-proof as possible, thanks to a tear-and-pour spout that keeps even the shakiest of hands from spilling.
Buy it: Ameda Store’N Pour Breast Milk Storage Bags, $20 for 40, Amazon.com
Milkies storage bags have everything you could want in a breast milk container: A double zipper and reinforced sides to prevent leaks, a self-standing bottom for easy fills and a compact, lay-flat design for freezer storage. But our favorite feature? Each bag has detailed breast milk storage guidelines printed on the front, a perfect reminder for first-time pumpers (or those just suffering from a case of mommy-brain).
Buy it: Milkies Breast Milk Storage Bags, $12 for 50, Amazon.com
One of the benefits of bottle feeding is knowing exactly how much breast milk baby is getting, but that hold up if the storage bag provides an inaccurate picture of how much liquid is inside (a more common issue than you may think). Dr. Brown’s breast milk storage bags may not come with many frills, but they do take the guesswork out of pumping with their easy-to-read and accurate measurement marks. If accuracy isn’t a major concern, parents also rave about the extra-thick plastic material these bags are made of, great for keeping however much milk you have stored inside safe.
Buy it: Dr. Brown’s Breast Milk Storage Bags, $9 for 50, Amazon.com
Moms who decide to exclusively pump can fly through storage bags at a rapid pace, so finding the most cost-effective option is pretty critical. Even for parents who don’t fall into that category, a wallet-friendly yet still-functional breast milk bag is definitely appealing. Enter the Philips AVENT breast milk storage bags, some of the most affordable on the market. Reinforced seams, a double zipper lock, dual-layer plastic and a nearly 3-inch tab makes for easy labeling ensure that the lower cost doesn’t translate to lower quality.
Buy It: Philips AVENT Breast Milk Storage Bags, $10 for 50, Amazon.com
Growing babies call for bigger bottles, which can present a conundrum for pumping parents. Since most bags store smaller quantities (4 to 6 oz.) and you’re only supposed to thaw as much as you’ll use in 24 hours, parents are often left with having to dive into more than one bag and waste the extra. Unimom solves that issue with their 8 oz. breast milk storage bags, one of the largest available—and at just $8 for 50 bags, they also give great bang for your buck.
Buy It: Unimom Breast Milk Storage Bags, $8 for 50, Amazon.com
Updated July 2019
Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.