I have to admit that throughout my exclusive pumping journey I haven’t used many breastmilk storage bags, mostly because I was never fortunate enough to have much left over to freeze in the beginning, and then when eventually I did have a surplus of supply, what I would freeze would mostly be donated in donation bottles or ziplock freezer bags.
I have however tried a few brands for my small personal stash, and when I received the Philips Avent storage bags I knew exactly what I was looking for, and what I was not looking for in storage bags.
Three of the biggest concerns for moms who pump, are milk bags that:
1. Take up too much storage space
2. Leak during defrosting
3. Burst when accidentally dropped or stepped on
First off I have to mention what I loved about these bags the most; the tear off sterile strips!
The first tear opens the bag leaving a sterile funnel to pour milk down into the bag reducing spillage, the flap then has space for information like time, date and quantity of milk, when you take out a bag and defrost, you just tear off the slip so the milk in the bag does not come into contact with any older milk that may have remained in the funnel. I love the idea as so many of the bags I have used previously have spilt while decanting from the pumping bottle into the bag, I also appreciated the attention to detail when it came to safe, sterile storage of breastmilk.
When it comes to storing you can either store standing, which is the recommended storage option, or if you fill to just below the line they can be stored relatively flat and take up minimal space – which is a huge benefit for moms who freeze a lot of milk and have limited storage space available.
I was interested to find out how strong these bags were so I filled 3 up with regular milk and ran a few “tests”, first I purposely dropped the filled bags to check that the zip locking didn’t burst, then I applied a little pressure in the form of a toddler standing on the bags. I’m happy to report that the bags didn’t burst being dropped or stepped on. (I have to add that when my toddler jumped on the bags the bag did burst after the second jump, but who jumps on breastmilk bags anyway?)
Defrosting was my next test, I defrosted the milk in 3 different ways, in a bowl of Luke warm water, left out on the counter and under a running tap, just to be sure I randomly used 3 new bags from the pack and froze my liquid gold, none of the bags leaked at all. (And none have leaked when defrosting any other bags and my donor recipient mom hasn’t had any issues either with the few bags I have sent her way)
Overall I really liked the storage bags and have found that they certainly make storage a lot easier with the small flap with all the details on, generally I store my bags flat in a box and it’s much easier to check dates and quantities without having to remove the bags from the box, and let’s admit it, any small detail that makes a busy pumping moms life easier is a win!
The bags are available from the majority of Philips Avent stockists such as Dischem, Baby City, Reggie’s etc and retail for around R170.00.