Leaving your baby for the first time can be very stressful, but storing enough milk for your baby to drink doesn’t have to be. Many mamas think that you need a large amount of stored milk in your freezer, especially if you are returning to work for the first time, but that just isn’t true. You don’t need a ton of milk to have a successful stash. Below is a little guide that can help you understand how to store enough milk for when you are away from your baby.

  • the best time to start pumping for your baby is around 4 weeks postpartum
  • you only need to pump once a day to start a stash
  • the best time to pump is after your morning breastfeeding session
  • you only need enough milk for the time you are away from your baby
  • if you are returning to work, 10-15 ounces will get your baby through the first day (for an 8 hr workday) and then you can use the milk you pumped at work for the next day
  • if you are concerned that your childcare provider might spill a bag, you can send along an additional 4 ounces for those ‘just in case’ moments

If you’re actively building a freezer stash, consider using Ardo’s Easy Store breast milk storage bags. These milk bags are created to store your breast milk up to 12 months and made from BPA-free material. Easy Store protects your valuable breast milk against odors and the double zip ensures it’s not leaking milk.

And always remember, mama, the amount of milk you have in your freezer stash has nothing to do with your success as a breastfeeding mama. If you have a large freezer stash, good for you! Maybe you can even donate your milk to another mama and baby in need. If you only have an ounce, good for you! Every ounce you have matters! Keep on pumping!