Milk Storage Bags Leaking!

Updated on June 27, 2008
S.A. asks from Binghamton, NY
11 answers

HELP! I have been freezing loads of my breast milk. I LOVED the Lansinoh freezer bags, but lately, every time I thaw out a bag- it LEAKS all over!!!!! Do I need to dump this milk? Is it not safe to feed my baby since it was not properly sealed due to the tear or split in the plastic? I have over 75 bags of breast milk in these types of bags and I will seriously CRY if they all leak like this. Anyone else use these bags and have this problem? What bags work best for you?

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answers from New York on

Hi S.,
Wow! 75 bags - that's impressive!!
I would cry, too if I lost frozen milk! I was storing bags of milk in a long tupperware container in my freezer and I accidentally dropped it, causing most of the bags to tear. After that, everytime I defrosted one, I would cut the bag open as soon as it came out of the freezer, then pop the frozen chunk of milk into a clean ziploc bag and defrost it in there. Best of luck to you!

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answers from New York on

How are you defrosting the bags? Because your defrosting method may be the problem. How much are you putting in the bag in the first place? Too much milk and when it freezes, the bag ruptures.

Put the frozen bag in a cup and let it sit on your counter to defrost at room temperature. I know its not the quickest method, but it works. Then pour the milk into a bottle. If the bag does leak, you'll only lose a little bit in the cup.

Check out for more BM storage info or the pumping mom board at

Just a note on a couple of other responses to this request:
1. Don't microwave breastmilk--it doesn't matter how long. It creates hotspots and "nukes" the nutrients in the milk.

2. Don't throw out your "bad" or old milk. I hate thought of my milk going down the drain. When I rinse out my bottles, I use that water to feed my house and garden plants and I'll even give my plants any "bad" milk. You should see how my plants have grown! Also, if you have any frozen milk that you don't need, try contacting a milk bank to make a donation. With my 2nd daughter, I've been overproducing and am donating some of my extra milk to the Mother's Milk Bank in Ohio. I've got almost 400 ounces stored in my freezer and I've only been pumping here and there since April! The milk is then processed and shipped to hospitals for preemies and those in need. Check out

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Be sure to leave space in the bag for the milk to expand as it freezes.Perhaps putting the frozen milk in a bigger bag to help protect it would be good.Put some of the frozen milk in a big ziplock bag.Be sure to date the bags of milk,they are only good for so long,and you don't want to waste it,it is so precious.Good for you in having so much pumped milk,that is the only way to keep your supply up for several months.

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answers from New York on

I have never used the Lansinoh bags, but have used the Medela and Gerber bags. I love the Gerber bags. In one of the boxes I had, there were a few defective ones that leaked as soon as they were filled - it was along one of the seams. It was just a few bags out of the pack of 45, and it hasn't happened since (I am on my fourth box).

I noticed the other responses you received, and agree that you need to make sure not to fill the bag too much as the milk does definitely expand as it freezes.

I also wanted to comment on the post you received about microwaving the milk to defrost - NEVER put breastmilk in the microwave - the microwaves destroy properties in the milk. You can either put the bags in cold water on the counter to bring it slowly to room temperature (doing it quickly with hot water could make the milk separate), or I sometimes leave it in the fridge for a day and it becomes slushy enough to put into hot water (on the counter) to bring to room temperature.

You should definitely contact Lansinoh about the bags to let them know about the problem, and they will probably also send you replacements.



answers from New York on

I am having the same problem with them! I used them with my oldest daughter last year and I never had one leak until now. I find in mine they leak during the thawing process, as in there wasn't already a leak or tear.. As long as I don't find a leak or tear first I still use the milk. I defrost mine in a cup in the microwave until it's mushy- never so that the milk get warm or hot, just cold and slushy, and if it leaks it has leaked into the cup. Maybe they are having an issue and need to do a recall? Good luck!



answers from New York on

I use the Lansinoh bags exclusively, because I love them as well. How do you fill the bags? I find that if I pump directly into the bag, then that's what causes the tear, b/c I have to screw the pump part onto the bag and bottle. If I pump directly into the bottle and pour my milk into the bag, then I never have an issue with leakage. If you're not overfilling the bags, then maybe that's what is occuring. If I do have to pump into the bag, then I just add a clip below the area that the pump was screwed on to. Hope this helps!



answers from Rochester on

I use the Gerber bags. I put 4 or 5 oz in it, get the air out and zip it up. Then I lay it flat in the freezer. Then when frozen, I stand it up and order it by date in the upright chest freezer.
When thawing, it DOES leak sometimes. So anytime I use frozen milk, I put it in a bowl the night before and let it defrost in the fridge. Or when running it under warm water, and notice a leak - I just stop - put it in a bowl, take a spoon and put frozen chunks in a bottle, then warm up the bottle.
My girls never had a problem with it - bags aren't 100% fail's completely ok and you can use the milk...



answers from New York on

It's happened to me more times than I'd like to count. I started putting the storage bag in a clean zip lock bag when I was going to defrost, especially since I use a pot of hot water to defrost it. I used the bags of milk anyway and my son (8 1/2 months) is perfectly fine. I would recommend using the gerber storage bags, they seem to hold up much better than the lansinoh bags for some reason.



answers from New York on

I don't know much about storage bags, but I used the Medelas 80ml (2.7 oz) bottles. I found these to be the perfect size for my daughter and allowed for growth. I would defrost 3 containers at a time when she started taking 8 ozs per bottle.

The nice part is that they are sterilized and prewrapped so I was able to toss them in my pumping bag. A box of 12 is about $15.00 bucks. They moved really easily from the fridge to the freezer if I pumped at work that day and the milk was not needed the next day. Once open, they are reuseable and Medela sells steamer bags that worked great for sterilizing. I usually used tongs to take them out of the bag. They have a small "rim" at the bottom and I had a few of these rims break when I dropped the container as I took it from the freezer, but it did not effect the milk holding area (i.e. no leaks during defrost).

Daughter and I never had any significant trouble with these.



answers from New York on

I agree, you must be putting too much in the bag and not leaving any space for expansion.

the milk should be fine, just make sure to rinse off the bags prior to thawing,

the milk is frozen,

Once the milk hits the air its no longer sterile anyways.

good luck




answers from New York on

If you are worried, double bag them. I used the regulare (cheap) Gerber feeding bags to fill them, then I would put the woole bag in the ziplock gerber bags. This way if the inner bag leaked while thawing, it would go into the outer bag. Good luck. If you defrost them in the fridge in a bowl, it sould not be harmful to the baby. I also heard that, even though you are feeding the milk in order as pumped, the milk itself changes to the growing child. So if you have 75 bags of milk, and some are from say 5 weeks ago, it is still good, but the nutrients are different for that stage of infancy. Just something to keep in mind. I too would pump and freeze (just incase I had to escape for a few days, I have 4) and would end up throwing quite a bit out over the year.

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