Advise please:Freezer Storage/reduction of Handling of BM w/Medela Advanced Pump

Updated on April 20, 2007
N.M. asks from Glen Ellyn, IL
9 answers

I am getting a head start on this (been to a breast feeding class) but want to know what freezer storage bottles are compatible with the Medela Advanced Pump. Seeking a bottle that can be pumped into, freezer friendly and used directly with a nipple to feed the baby. My understanding is that I will eventually need 9oz bottles as my supply grows as well as the baby. Seems that pumping into a 5oz bottle, storing it in a freezer bag than pouring it into a bottle is a lot of handling. How can I make this a one process step and easier on me?

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So What Happened?

I pump into the 5 oz Medela bottle and transfer to the Medela freezer bags.. The process isn't as hard as I thought. We'll see how it goes when I go back to work.

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answers from Chicago on

Hi Sylvia,

I too pump into the 5oz Medela bottles and then transfer to the freezer in the Lansinoh bags - in 3 or 4oz's so there is no waste. The bags definately take up a lot less space in the freezer, and I've only had two that have leaked out of 50-60 used to date.
Good luck with the pumping!!


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answers from Chicago on

What I did was pump into the 5oz bottles. Then, I froze my milk in Lansinoh freezer bags (those are the best bags in my opinion). Then, I used the type of bottles that you can use the bag in the bottle (disposable bottle) for feedings. That reduced one step at least. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I used the Playtex Nurser system, and they make an adapter with which you can pump directly into the drop in liners that you put in the bottles. When I had extra milk I would just put it in a milk freezer bag (Medela makes some of these, but my faves were Lasinoh...I got them at Target), sometimes I would was a drop in liner but it was ok with me because it greatly reduced the number of things I had to wash. My son never took more than 6 oz in a bottle and he took bottles all the way up till 14 months in daycare..I don't know many BF babies that would ever take much more than that. Usually I could take the frozen BM and put it in the fridge to thaw overnight, and then put the whole freezer bag in the Playtex nurser similar to the drop in liner and it worked like a charm, although sometimes I'd have to trim the bag a bit with scissors.

I love the Playtex line, it made my life so much easier, and their nipples are shaped more like a breast. And they still make Latex nipples, which are much softer than a sillicone nipple and collapse more like a mother's breast.

Milk Mate does make some nice freezer compatible bottles, but they don't take wide mouth nipples, and I wouldn't use a narrow nipple as it can lead to even more nipple confusion. You want the nipple to be as breast-like as possible.

here are some links you might be interested in:

I don't know if I would buy a whole lot of bottles. Maybe just one of each kind. Your baby will decide which nipple he /she likes and then you are kind of stuck with it and have to work around it. I don't know why so many people like the Avent because other than the nipple being wide, they are sooooo incredibly hard and stiff and you have to wash all the bottles.

Good luck to you! I would also reccommend the My Brest Friend nursing pillow for positioning. It was a lifesaver for me!!!



answers from Chicago on


I picked up a neat trick for freezing my breast milk. After I pumped I froze it in ice cube trays. Each cube was about 1 ounce and as my daughter grew, I just took out the number of cubes needed to make her bottle. It was so easy and no guessing. I used covered trays from Tupperware and was able to keep them "fresh" for about 3 months. Super easy and convenient for me who worked full time and for her daycare provider. Hope this helps.



answers from Chicago on

Congratulations on your baby! And...kudos to you for wanting to breastfeed and get a head-start on the issue, especially since you'll be working.

I was a little disappointed that one of the 'breastfeeding police' came out to caution you against pumping. Don't panic about pumping now - it's absolutely fine to do. And you're right - you're totally getting a head start on the process which is important if you don't ever get a good milk supply or if your work is so demanding you aren't able to pump at least three times during the day. It's best to have a contingency plan, like you do.

I don't 'nurse' my son, but I pump 7 times a day to make all the milk he needs that he drinks from a bottle (I wish he would nurse, but he won't...long storry). I pump straight into the Medela bottles, then put the milk in a Lansinoh bag, and will thaw it out when needed. I store in 4 ounce increments, since that's what my baby seems to be 'stuck with'. It's really not that big of a hassle, but I do understand the time constraints of a busy mother and streamlining processes to make things easier!

One note - if you decide to go with bags you may have to experiment to find which ones work best for you. I love the Lansinoh bags, and out of a batch of 50 only 2 have leaked thus far. When I thaw them, I make sure I place them in a small ziploc baggy so if a leak occurs I don't lose any milk.

Good luck to you with whatever you decide - only you know your baby and your life schedule, so make it easiest for you! Oh, and start using the nipple cream now - I wish I had!

Best wishes,



answers from Chicago on

I am not sure what I did wrong but I used the bags and all my milk was ruined by freezer burn taste. My baby would not drink any of the frozen milk even if it was just a couple of weeks old. I found the 3 oz similac bottles worked as well as the 6 oz similac and medela bottles for pumping. I just always poured it into the bags for starage convenience but ended up distroying it all anyway.



answers from Chicago on

Depending on your kid, you may or may not ever make it to a bottle that big. My son never in his life ate more than about 4 oz at a sitting.

One option is to pump directly into a freezer bag (you can do that, esp. with the Madela bags, which have a strap that goes over the pump horn) and then use the bag as a drop-in insert for a bottle.

They also sell adapters so that narrower bottles can be screwed onto larger pumps and vice versa (ie you could use an adapter and pump into a larger Avent bottle if you wanted). Honestly, if you're going to be storing any amount of milk for any amount of time, you'll probably want to use freezer bags for 2 reasons. First, they take up a lot less space. Second, they're a lot cheaper than bottles, and if you're anything like me, you'll have over 2 gallons of boobsicles in your freezer - and that's a LOT of bottles you'd need to buy. Lots more than you actually need for feeding.

On a related note, I would NOT recommend pumping AT ALL for the first 3-4 weeks after the baby is born. Just nurse him a lot, get the breastfeeding down pat, get your milk supply established. I think there's a potential for people to run to the pump when they're having trouble breastfeeding (either because their nipples are sore, latching problems, etc) and if you start bottle feeding your baby too early he WILL get lazy and decide that it's easier than breastfeeding. Plus, then parents start to get used to bottle feeding their baby and start worrying about stupid things like "how do I know if he's eating enough?". Hopefully, they told you in your class that you should keep feeding your baby until he decides that he's had enough - and that means nursing one the left side, the right side, and if he wants to go back for seconds, back to the left side, etc - until he's full. What you should NOT do is offer him a "chaser" bottle after he's nursed. Your milk supply will never adapt and increase to meet his needs if he's not nursing exclusively.

Don't worry about having enough milk stored for when you go back to work. Once your baby is 5-6 weeks old you can start pumping on one side while you feed him on the other side (you'll get the most milk in the mornings) and if you get just 2-3 oz every day this way you'll have plenty in reserve by the time you go back.

PS: (commented added 3/25/07) I do not consider myself to be "The Breast Feeding Police". All I posted is what worked for me and the people that I know who had good success breastfeeding, versus the people I know who had problems with it (which was many). Of course there's nothing wrong with pumping full time if that's what makes you happy, but lots of moms have difficulty keeping their supplies up while exclusively pumping. Not to mention, breastfeeding is much easier and pleasant than messing with a pump - you get to be close to your baby, you don't have anything to prepare or clean up, and the baby always get exactly what she needs.



answers from Chicago on


Medela is a universal fitting- you can pump into any bottle/ milk mate makes a "system" / you can buy addtinal Medela bottles. If you are using the Avent feeding system you will need a converter as Avent is metric.

You may never need a 9 oz bottle. I do not think I know of any bf babies taking 9 oz. in a feeding.

Pres. Lactation Support Group, Inc



answers from Chicago on

Congrats on your upcoming arrival.

I have the Medela pump and I bought the converter kit from Babies R Us to pump directly into the Avent bottles and Avent disposible bottles, the converter actually comes with 2 different pieces, one for the regular Avent bottles which you can put in the freezer but would become costly, and one for the disposible Avent bottles which come in the 6oz and 9oz size if I recall. It was wonderful because I pumped directly into both because I was working and knew what my daughter would eat the next day and what I would need to freeze. The disposible bottles come with converters so you just put the nipple on them and they are ready to go after you unfreeze so you dont have to worry about spilling any of your milk. Good luck and enjoy your sleep now.

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