Congeler du lait maternel : intérêt, quantités, méthode… - Élhée

Freezing breast milk: interest, quantities, method…

Breast milk is a true elixir of life for little ones!

It protects them from infections and diseases. Did you know that colostrum, the first milk produced by the body after childbirth, or even at the end of pregnancy, contains a very high concentration of antibodies , as well as other essential nutrients to strengthen the immune defenses of your new -born ?

Preserving this precious liquid is therefore a perfectly rational idea, given the advantages it presents. And for that, what’s better than freezing ?

But what exactly are the advantages of such a process when it comes to breast milk? 🤨 And above all, what quantities should you freeze to be sure that baby doesn't miss anything at each feeding?

Let's first see the benefit of freezing your milk and then let's look together at the number of doses of breast milk that you can put in the freezer over the months.


4 good reasons to freeze your breast milk!

  1. Coping with milk surges occurring outside of meal times
  2. Store excess expressed milk if you are breastfeeding
  3. Offer breast milk to baby without breastfeeding (thank you bottle!)
  4. Allow other people to give breast milk, even when you are not there!

Good to know…

What to Know Before Freezing Your Breast Milk

How much breast milk to freeze?

What to freeze breast milk in?

What shelf life should be respected for frozen breast milk?

➔ In a freezer

➔ In a refrigerator-type freezer (with drawers)

➔ In a chest-type freezer

In summary

4 good reasons to freeze your breast milk!

Breast milk helps prevent respiratory, gastrointestinal infections and many other ailments. It acts a bit like natural armor for babies, protecting them from external pathogens.

It also promotes its proper development thanks to the proteins, fats and suitable carbohydrates it contains. Finally, it is generally easier to digest than industrial milks, which reduces the risk of colic and reflux .

Finally, let's add that breast milk is ecological ! It is produced naturally by the mother's body, and therefore does not require manufacturing, transport or packaging, thus reducing the environmental impact… 🚚

Building up a reserve of this magical milk by freezing it also allows you to:

Coping with milk surges occurring outside of meal times

In some women, milk surges can be painful and occur around ten times a day, outside of the baby's usual meal times.

If your child is sleeping or not hungry, and you feel milk coming in, you may be embarrassed and feel the need to express your milk for greater comfort (or to prevent breast engorgement in the most severe forms). extremes).

Store excess expressed milk if you are breastfeeding

It is possible to store milk expressed and not consumed by baby in order to build up a reserve . This not only avoids waste but also guarantees the availability of breast milk in all circumstances! (Resumption of work, occasional absence, etc.).

Some women tend to produce in abundance.

If you pump 100 ml per breast, but your baby only drinks 150 ml , consider freezing the remaining 50 ml of milk!

This way you can supplement a bottle of fresh milk with this remainder the day your child has a good appetite. (On the other hand, if baby does not finish his bottle, you will not be able to freeze the undrinked milk since part of the preparation will consist of thawed milk.)

On the same subject : Mixed breastfeeding: how to restart your lactation?

Offer breast milk to baby without breastfeeding (thank you bottle!)

Freezing your breast milk allows you to feed your child without using powdered milk, by offering him not the breast, but the bottle. Note that this action will result in reducing your milk production to the extent that lactation will no longer be stimulated, unless you use a breast pump to preserve it.

The breastfeeding pump is an ideal solution for women who do not want to breastfeed! 🍼

freeze breast milk

Related article : Weaning: how to switch from breastfeeding to bottle feeding?

Did you know ?

A sudden drop in lactation can occur for various reasons: returning from childbirth, general fatigue, deficiencies, breast feedings spaced too far apart (due to pain, a need for independence or a return to work, etc.). Offering your baby the breast regularly and opting for breastfeeding on demand remain the safest ways to maintain effective lactation while promoting good hydration for your child.

Allow other people to give breast milk, even when you are not there!

Building up a reserve of breast milk is also interesting for mothers planning to return to work or whose maternity leave is coming to an end. You will thus have the guarantee that your baby will have something to drink and that a third person will be able to offer him his meal even in your absence, thanks to a bottle.

Read also : 7 caring tips for getting a breastfed baby to accept the bottle

Good to know…

It is essential to note the date of each expression on the container before placing it in the freezer to ensure you respect storage limits.

What to Know Before Freezing Your Breast Milk

We advise you to freeze small quantities of milk and avoid grouping several pumps, although this action does not present a risk in itself. But it will in fact be easier to date the container if it does not contain milk of different ages.

Be aware that you will never be able to refreeze thawed milk and that too much milk is more likely not to be drunk (and therefore lost).

However, be sure to freeze and then defrost sufficient portions to satisfy your child. If he cries at the end of the meal and seems to be looking for the pacifier, it's probably because his stomach is asking for extra!

In summary, it is recommended to store your milk in small quantities, ideally less than 120 ml , which is equivalent to the size of a baby bottle. This approach helps reduce waste by defrosting precisely the quantity needed.

How much breast milk to freeze?

There are no “standards” when it comes to women. 😉 Your lactation and your motherhood cannot therefore be compared with that of your colleague, neighbor, sister or even that of your mother!

However, here is an idea of ​​the quantities of milk you may be able to freeze if you choose to pump exclusively:

- 50 to 90 ml of milk per pot in the second month only

For the first few weeks , it is recommended not to express your milk because this action is not as effective as breastfeeding in establishing lactation. So you obviously won't be able to freeze it.

But from the 2nd month , you can start drawing small portions, in order to better manage your stock while minimizing possible losses. This amount is ideal to meet your little one's needs. You may produce more, although the tendency in the first weeks is to provide very nutritious fatty milk, less abundant than in the following weeks.

- 150 ml the following months, depending on your production

As your baby grows and your milk supply adjusts, you can increase the amount of milk you freeze. A 150ml serving may be enough for most of your baby's meals. If you breastfeed, express your milk after feeding instead . Baby will then be able to take his share and you will be able to harvest what is left, and not the other way around. 😉

- 200 ml after 3-4 months, depending on your production

When your baby reaches 3 to 4 months and older, you can consider storing 200 ml portions, always depending on your production (i.e. 100 ml per breast). This amount is usually adequate to satisfy your baby's growing appetite . If this is not the case, it is possible to cut powdered milk with breast milk to increase the dose…

What to freeze breast milk in?

Breast milk can be frozen either in a glass container, preferably tinted, or in freezer bags specially designed for breast milk and without Bisphenol A, or in an Elhée medical silicone baby bottle transformed into a small storage jar airtight thanks to its lid.

The main thing is to guarantee the airtightness of the container for optimal conservation.

What shelf life should be respected for frozen breast milk?

Did you know that how long you can store frozen breast milk largely depends on the type of freezer you use? Here are specific recommendations based on the type of equipment you have:

  • In a freezer

Breast milk can be stored for up to 3 months in a freezer. It is important to regularly ensure that the freezer maintains a constant temperature of -18°C to guarantee the consumability of the milk.

  • In a refrigerator-type freezer (with drawers)

In freezers built into refrigerators, breast milk can be stored for up to 4 or even 6 months . These freezers generally have a lower temperature than stand-alone freezers, which slightly increases the possible shelf life.

  • In a chest freezer

Chest freezers offer a maximum shelf life of up to 12 months , provided the temperature is maintained at -20°C or lower.

These recommendations are based on general guidelines. If you have specific concerns about storing your breast milk, particularly in cases of prematurity or baby health issues, it is a good idea to consult a healthcare professional for advice specific to your situation.

In summary

You are now an expert in freezing breast milk! Keep this knowledge in mind and enjoy your motherhood adventure, because every drop of milk counts... So much so that freezing them can allow you to face any kind of unexpected or situation (last minute outing , sudden desire to pass the baton, painful milk flow, mixed breastfeeding, etc.). Happy freezing! 🧊

→ And now, become a pro at defrosting breast milk!

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