The pitcher method is a popular option for storing breast milk as a pumping mom. It can make storing milk each day so much easier! Here is how to use it and some of the best pitcher method breast milk ideas.
What is the Pitcher Method?
The pitcher method breast milk option is where you collect the milk that you pump from several sessions throughout the day in one container. Then, you can spend some time at the end of the day preparing the bottles you'll need for the next day.
Spectra Baby explains that there are a few benefits to using this method. For example, it makes your life easier as a mom because you can prep all of your bottles at once and spend less time doing so throughout the day. Additionally, you have fewer bottles or containers to wash because you're combining the milk into one container. And lastly, it saves space in your fridge! Instead of separate containers or bottles for each session, you can combine all of the milk you pump into one single container.
What to Use For the Pitcher Method
Obviously, you need some sort of larger container to combine all of your milk in throughout the day. You'll want this container to only be used for breast milk and washed frequently to ensure that the milk is safe for your baby.
As the name suggests, one option for pitcher method breast milk storage is a simple kitchen pitcher. However, our favorite option is the Junobie Milk Boxes. These leak-proof containers are perfect for both fridge and freezer breast milk storage! Plus, they can be stored either standing up or laying down so you can make them fit in your fridge however needed.
Another reason the milk boxes are a great option for pitcher method breast milk storage is that you can easily pour from the box to prep your bottles for the next day or create individual milk bags to freeze for long-term storage. Or, you can even pop the whole milk box into the freezer if you'd like!
Pitcher Method Breast Milk Safety
Because you will be mixing breast milk, it's important to think about how to store your breast milk safely!
For example, it's recommended to cool your breast milk down before adding it to the pitcher with the rest of the day's milk. This is considered the safest way to prevent bacteria or other issues with your pitcher method breast milk storage.
Additionally, the CDC explains that breast milk can be kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. So, if you pump more than your baby will need the next day, it's perfectly safe to use that same milk the following day as well.
However, another option is freezing leftover breast milk, which can be frozen for 6-12 months. For the best results, you should freeze breast milk as soon as possible if you plan to freeze it at all. If you plan on freezing your pitcher method breast milk, you can simply put the whole milk box in the freezer or pour the milk into storage bags or trays!
Another thing to consider is whether you can mix milk from multiple days. Ideally, you should only mix breast milk that you pump in one day. This also helps with storage and can keep your dating accurate. However, if you do combine two days of pumped milk, the date of use should be based on the earliest pumped milk. This means if you combine pumped milk from Monday and Tuesday, you would use Monday's date for your use-by date.
Overall, you should do what makes sense for your family and your individual circumstances!
Will You Try the Pitcher Method?
This method of breast milk storage is a great option for pumping moms! It really makes the whole process of storing and prepping so much easier!
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